A sentence that reads, “I MUST DO THIS!” in white chalk on a black/gray surface. The “O” in the word “DO” is replaced with a small, red heart figure.

What Is なければならない (Nakereba Naranai) In Japanese?

なければならない (nakereba naranai)is used to express an obligation to do something. It means “must, “have to,” or “should” in English. For example, “I have to do my homework” or “I must study for the test tonight.” It also means “has to” when talking about someone else. For example, “She has to finish up her work.” … Read more

An illustration of three sets of hands clapping in the middle bottom of this image. On the left and right and side, there is a hand giving a thumbs up. There are small white circles and stars on a blue background in this image.

What Is “さすが (Sasuga)” in Japanese? How Do You Use It?

さすが (sasuga) has many uses in Japanese. It generally means: As one would expect. / Just as you’d expected. Compliment (That’s awesome. That’s great. I’m proud of you. Amazing.) さすが (sasuga) is an adverb used to express surprise and admiration for something we expected that then came true. It’s like saying, “I knew you would … Read more

A picture of a large, orange Japanese Torii gate in the middle of a calm ocean in shallow water. In the background, there are mountains and land with some buildings. Text on this image in reads, "Using もう (Mō) and まだ (Mada) in Japanese"

Using もう (Mō) and まだ (Mada) in Japanese: An In-Depth Guide

Depending on how it’s used, もう (mō) and まだ (mada) can have different meanings. Generally, they can have the following meanings: もう (mō) can mean: already, not anymore, again, soon, almost certain, or even “come on!”    まだ(mada) means “not yet” or “still.” What is もう(Mō) in Japanese?  もう(mō) is an adverb that can mean “already, soon, … Read more

A picture of the blue sky with white clouds above a snow-capped Mt. Fuji. In the foreground on the left and right side of this image, are branches with pink flowers on them extending out into the image. There is a text overlapped on this image that reads, “What Does どうも (Dōmo) Mean?.”

What Does どうも (Dōmo) in Japanese Mean? 7 Ways to Use it Naturally

You hear the word どうも (dōmo) all the time in Japan. どうも (dōmo) has many different meanings. It can be used as: an adverb to emphasize feelings of appreciation and gratitude.  an adverb to emphasize feelings of apology. a greeting, “hi,” “hey,” or “hello.” a casual way of saying “thank you,” like “thanks.” sorry well … Read more

A strip of red and white checkered cloth on top of a wooden surface. On top of this strip of cloth at the top are two red and black ladybug figures. Below this is a white card with the text, Good Luck!” on it. On top of this white card is a stem of a plant being clipped by a small clothespin. This stem has a flower at the top with black and green petals.

How to Say Good Luck in Japanese: 4 Different Ways

The most common way to wish someone good luck in Japanese is “頑張って(ね) (ganbatte (ne)).”   However, “頑張って(ね) (ganbatte (ne)) doesn’t exactly translate to “good luck” in English but is very commonly used in Japanese. We’ll cover other ways to say “good luck” in Japanese in this article, but “頑張って(ね) (ganbatte (ne)) is by far the … Read more

Two young women are standing on a platform at a train station. They are facing each other (with one woman’s back facing toward the camera), and have their arms open ready to embrace each other. The woman with her face towards the camera has a big smile, and looks extremely happy.

What Does お久しぶり (Ohisashiburi) in Japanese Mean?

“お久しぶり! (ohisashiburi!)” or “久しぶり! (hisashiburi!)” is a common Japanese greeting that is said whenever you haven’t seen someone in a long time. This short but convenient phrase is equivalent to English phrases like “long time no see!” or “it’s been a long time since we’ve seen each other.”  Let’s take a look at how to … Read more

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What Does しょうがない (Shōganai) Mean?  A Guide to Shōganai and Shikata Ga Nai

Have you ever been in a situation you couldn’t control, and the only thing you could do was accept it? Or how about a situation where you wanted something very badly? I bet you probably experienced both of these situations in your lifetime. In these situations, the phrase しょうがない (shōganai) might really come in handy.  … Read more

Pieces of paper on a desk that have Japanese kanji characters written on them with a brush and black ink. On top of these papers is a red notebook in the center on the image and a Japanese notebook for practicing writing characters is on top of it.

Award-Winning Japanese Words You Should Know

The “buzzwords award” started in Japan in 1984, and since then, the “words of the year” get announced at the end of each year. Most words are fads, but some words have become a part of Japanese vocabulary.  1. 激辛 (Gekikara) – 1986: Extremely Spicy 激 (geki) means very/extremely. 辛い (karai) means hot/spicy. This word … Read more

A red heart that is on a blackish-grayish blackboard type of background. On the blackboard in white chalk, a EKG line is drawn from the left side of the heart, extending to the right side of the heart. In front of the heart, a white, curvy line is overlaid on it and connects to the two white, chalk lines on the left and right side of the heart. This makes it appear as if the white EKG line is one solid line that is running above the red heart.

What Does Doki Doki in Japanese Mean?

ドキドキ (doki doki) is used to express emotions such as nervousness, excitement, expectation, surprise, and so on. It describes the condition of your heart beating faster than usual. What Is ドキドキ (Doki Doki)? ドキドキ (doki doki) is an onomatopoeia, the Japanese sound for a “heart beating fast.” Doki doki is the perfect expression to describe … Read more

A birds-eye image of a group of 8 people sitting around a large, yellow, tabletop. Only the arms and hands of most people at the table can be seen. There are also cups of coffee, notebooks, and books on the table. In the center of the table is a white speech bubble with a black border, both of which are created by white or black colored squares. In this speech bubble, the words, “WHAT’S UP?” is displayed.

8 Ways to Say “What’s Up” in Japanese 

Most beginner Japanese classes teach you “konnichi wa” or “ogenki desu ka” as ways to greet people, but would you use that in casual conversations with friends? What if you want to play it cool and toss out a casual “‘sup” to your friends instead?  We have just the solution to your problem.  “What’s up” … Read more

An image of two human silhouettes climbing up a hill. The person at the top is extending their hand to the outstretched hand of the person below. The shining sun is in the background, peering through space between the two people’s outstretched hands.

What Does 助けて (Tasukete) Mean in Japanese?

If you are in serious trouble, you can ask for help using the phrase 助けて (tasukete). 助けて (tasukete) means “help!” or “save (me)!” in Japanese.  Example:  誰か、助けて!(Dare ka, tasukete!)Somebody help me! However, you need to be careful when you use this word, as it might not be appropriate in some situations. 助けて (Tasukete): The Basics 助けて(tasukete) … Read more

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What Does Moshi Moshi Mean in Japanese? Does It Really Mean “Hello?”

Using もしもし (Moshi Moshi): Saying Hello on the Phone In Japan, もしもし (moshi moshi) is commonly used when some answers the phone. It is equivalent to saying “hello” in English.  However, moshi moshi is only used over the phone. もしもし is one of the first Japanese expressions many students learn. Anytime you answer the phone in … Read more

An overhead shot of 2 businessmen and 2 businesswomen sitting at a small wooden desk doing work. The two women are focusing on a notepad, while one man's right hand is holding a coffee, and the other man's hands are typing something on his silver laptop.

How to Say Because in Japanese: 5 Major Ways

There are many ways to say “because” in Japanese. One way is 何故なら (nazenara); however, 何故なら may be a bit too formal for everyday conversations. 何故なら (nazenara) is more useful in writing.  In casual conversation among friends or family, Japanese people use other words like だから (dakara), なので (nanode), or ということで (to iu koto de). … Read more

A black, stone-like, flat plate on a black background. On the right side, is a branch with white flowers. On the plate, the text, "おいしい (Oishii) What Does It Mean?" is displayed.

Useful Japanese: What Does Oishii Really Mean?

おいしい (oishii): delicious, yummy, tasty: can also mean attractive, favorable, or convenient The most common use for oishii in Japanese is to describe food or drinks. When you enjoy the food you just ate, you can say it’s “oishii!” However, there are other ways to use this term. Let’s see how.   Writing Oishii in Kanji … Read more

A young Asian boy crouching down and picking up books for a young girl, also crouching down and smiling at the boy. Both are wearing a school uniform (white dress shirt with a blue tie and grey skirt/pants).

How to Say “Are You Okay?” in Japanese

The simplest way to ask “are you okay?” in Japanese is 大丈夫ですか? (daijōbu desu ka?) Although you can use this phrase in most cases, there are a few other ways to ask if someone is okay. This article will look at different ways to say “are you okay?” in Japanese.  How to Say “Are You … Read more