Speakin' Japanese: Sea-life speak

by Tetsuo Nakahara
Stripes Japan

It’s still not too late to go to the beach in September while water is still warm. Try using some of these words or phrase while there – or the next time you’re at a sushi restaurant.

“Umi ni ikimashou!” = Let’s go to sea (beach).
 
“Kurage wa imasuka?” = Are there any jellyfish?
“kurage” = jellyfish, “same” = shark, “sakana” = fish, “kame” = turtle,
“kujira” = whale

“Watashiwa kirei na kaigara wo mitsuke mashita.” = I found a beautiful seashell.
“Kaigara” = seashell
“Kono sakana no namae wa nan desuka?” = What is the name of this fish?
 
“Yasei no iruka wo mita koto ga arimasuka?” = Have you seen wild dolphins?
 “yasei” = wild, “iruka” = dolphins,  
 
“Uni ni ki wo tsukete kudasai.” = Please watch out (be careful) for sea urchins.
 
“Shii fuudo no oishii omise wa dokodesuka?” = Where is a good seafood restaurant?
“shii fuudo” = seafood

“Maguro onegaishimasu.” = Please have some tuna.
“maguro” = tuna, “ebi” = shrimp, “hamachi” = yellowtail, “Saa mon” = salmon, “uni” = sea urchin, “unagi” = freshwater eel, “anago” = sea eel, “nigiri” = raw fish atop rice-style sushi, “maki” = sushi roll, “temaki” = hand roll

WHEN ON OKINAWA –
you can also say it in “Uchinaanguchi” (island dialect) like this:
“iyu” = fish,
“Shibi” = maguro
“gurukun” = a popular reef fish on Okinawa

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