Speakin' Japanese: Conversing about pets

Speakin' Japanese: Conversing about pets

by Takahiro Takiguchi
Stripes Japan

Like Americans, Japanese love pets. If you happen to see someone walking with a pet at park or on the street, it can be a great opportunity to strike up a conversation. Try using some of these phrases. 

“Totemo kawaii!” = Very cute!
“Kawaii.” = Cute.
“Busa-kawaii.” = Ugly-cute. (Slang that combines “busaiku” [ugly] and kawaii [cute]; it works for a pet like a French bulldog.)
“Kono inu wa nanno shurui desuka?” = What kind of dog is this?
“Kono … wa nanno shurui desuka?” = What kind of … is this?
“Inu” = Dog
“Neko” = Cat
“Usagi” = Rabbit
“Kame” = Turtle
“Sumimasen, anatano inu wa totemo kawaii desu.” = Excuse me, your dog is very cute.
“Sumimasen, anatano … wa ...” = Excuse me, your … is ...
“Namae wa nan desuka?” = What is its name?
“Osu desuka? Mesu desuka?” = Is it male? Is it female? (Note: “Osu” and “mesu” are used mainly for animals, not people.)
“Totemo genki na inu desune!” = That is a very energetic dog!
“Kono inu wa kamimasuka?” = Does this dog bite?
“Inu to Sanpo ni ikimasu.” = (I’ll) walk the dog. (Literally, go on a walk with the dog.)

When on OKINAWA, you can also say it in “Uchinaaguchi” (island dialect) like this:

“Inn guahh” = Cute dog.
“Nani san desu?” = What is its name?
“Inn” = Dog
“Mayahh” = Cat


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