Speakin' Japanese: Holiday illumination conversation

Speakin' Japanese: Holiday illumination conversation

by Takahiro Takiguchi
Stripes Japan

During the holiday season, towns and parks across Japan are decked out in beautiful lights. If you are checking out some illuminations, here are some helpful Japanese words and phrases to make the experience even more fun.

“Dokode irumineeshon ga mirare masuka?” = Where can I see illuminations?
(“irumineeshon” = illumination, “dokode” = where, “mirare” = can see)

“Irumineeshon wo mini ikimasen ka?” = Let’s go see illuminations, shall we?
(“mini” = to see, “ikimasen ka?” = let’s go, shall we?)

“Kirei desu ne?” = It’s beautiful, isn’t it?
(“kirei” = beautiful, “desu ne?” = isn’t it?)

“Reinboo Burijji ga raitoappu shite masu.” = The Rainbow Bridge is lit up.
(“Reinboo Burijji” = Rainbow Bridge, “raitoappu” = light up)

“Samui desu ne?” = It is cold, isn’t it?
(“samui” = cold)

“Konde imasu ne?” = It is crowded, isn’t it?
(“konde” = crowded)

“Ashimoto ni kiwo tsukete kudasai.” = Watch your step, please.
(“ashimoto” = step, “kiwo tsukete” = watch/take care of, “kudasai” = please)

“Shashin wo tori masho ka?” = Shall I take a picture?
(“tori masho” = will take) 

Atatakai koohii wo katte kimasho ka?” = Shall I go buy hot coffee?
(“atatakai” = warm, “koohii” = coffee, “katte kimasho” = will go and buy)

“Tanoshikatta desu.” = I enjoyed it.


You can also say it in “Uchinaaguchi” (island dialect) like this:

“Churasan yaa?” = It is beautiful, isn’t it?

“Umusatan.” = I enjoyed it.


Pronunciation key: “A” is short (like “ah”); “E” is short (like “get”); “I” is short (like “it”); “O” is long (like “old”); “U” is long (like “tube”); and “AI” is a long “I” (like “hike”). Most words are pronounced with equal emphasis on each syllable, but “OU” is a long “O” with emphasis on that syllable.

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