Welcome to JapaneseLingo.com   Click to listen highlighted text! Welcome to JapaneseLingo.com Powered By GSpeech

Hai – はい pt.2

はい(“ha-i”; “Yes”)

Continuing from yesterday’s post, there is one more usage for はい(ha-i) that you should be aware of- the inquisitive version. This means you add a question mark to the end. You have to say it with a rising tone, just like when asking a question in English.


This means “Excuse me?”, “I’m sorry?”, or “Come again?”. It can be used in situations where the listener could not hear exactly what the speaker was saying, or the listener is baffled or in disbelief at what the speaker said. For example:


(“wa-ta-shi no na-ma-e wa pu-ru-chi-gu-gu-chi-gu-gu de-su”; “My name is Puruchiguguchigugu.”)



(“ha-i?”; essentially saying: “Huh? Your name is what?”)


PRACTICE: Use はい (ha-i) as a question in response to something someone says.

Hai – はい

はい(“ha-i”; “Yes”)

Going way back to basics, let’s focus on a simple, yet flexible, word in Japanese:


When used in response to a yes/no question, this means “yes”. However, in Japanese, it is more polite (and natural) to also respond with the positive statement. For example:


(“a-na-ta wa John de-su ka?”; “Are you John?”)



(“ha-i, John de-su.”; “Yes, I’m John.”)

はい(ha-i) can also be used as a response while someone is telling you commands or instructions, as a way to say “Yes, I understand.” You can use it in the breaks between their speech as a way to let the speaker know that you are understanding the conversation (there will be a lesson on this concept of あいづち(a-i-dzu-chi) in the future).


(“ko-no mi-chi wo mas-su-gu it-te,”; “Go straight down this road,”)



(“ha-i”; “Got it”)



(“tsu-gi no ko-u-sa-ten de hi-da-ri,”; “At the next intersection, go left”)



(“ha-i”; “Got it”)

PRACTICE: Use はい (ha-i) in the ways described above

Renshuu – 練習[れんしゅう]

練習[れんしゅう] (“ren-shu-u”; “practice”)


“Practice” and “study” are two slightly different concepts. “Study” tends to lean more on the side of “being introduced new information, or looking over what you were already taught” while “practice” generally means to put into effect what you’ve learned (practicing speaking as opposed to studying new words) Here’s a new phrase to motivate you:

毎日[まいにち]練習[れんしゅう]して下さい!(“ma-i-ni-chi ren-shu-u shi-te ku-da-sa-i!”; “Please practice everyday”)


毎日(ma-i-ni-chi) = every day

[Verb]~して下さい(~shi-te ku-da-sa-i) = Please do ~[Verb]

Thank you for using Japanese Lingo in your daily study/practice routine! We hope to keep providing you with daily quality content!

PRACTICE: 練習 speaking all of the Japanese phrases you have learned so far!

Benkyou – 勉強[べんきょう]

勉強[べんきょう] (“ben-kyo-u”; “study”)


Hopefully, you have all been doing this at least a few minutes each day. Remember- Japanese is a very difficult language to learn as a native English speaker! If you want to see results, you will need to dedicate time to studying. Here’s a new phrase to motivate you:

日本語を勉強しましょう!(“ni-hon-go wo ben-kyo-u shi-ma-sho-u!”; “Let’s study Japanese!”)


日本語(ni-hon-go) = Japanese (the language)

日本(ni-hon) = Japan (the country)

〜語(go) = Add this to the end of a country to mean the language of that country.

AをB = This will be explained later, but basically, it says that the action B happens to the action A.
[Verb〜ましょう] is a way to say “Let’s *verb*”. We will expand upon this concept in a future grammar lesson.

PRACTICE: Find some time to 勉強 Japanese a little each day!

Pikapika – ピカピカ

ピカピカ (“pi-ka-pi-ka”; “to flash bright”, “sparkly, shiny”)


There’s a good chance you’ve heard this one before…. somewhere….

That’s right! This phrase is used by the most famous pokemon of them all, Pikachu!

ピカピカ means “to flash brightly” or “sparkly, shiny”. This can refer to the stars in the sky, lights in a club/concert, or something that is super-clean.


BONUS TRIVIA: ピカチュウ is a combination of the words 

ピカピカ(pi-ka-pi-ka): “flash, sparkle”

ねずみ (ne-zu-mi): “mouse” (when its kanji is used in compound words, its sound becomes “チュウ”.

Pikachu = flashing/sparkling mouse!


Later today, we’ll be updating this post with a very relevant Vine! ^_^

PRACTICE: Say ピカピカ in your best Pikachu impression, and post it on Vine! Tag us (JapaneseLingo) and use the hashtag #bestpikapika

JapaneseLingo.com is on Vine!

Check out our brand new Vine account: JapaneseLingo

We’ll be creating plenty of six second video lessons for you on Vine. Like this one:

If you’re an avid Viner, and you would like to get creative and make your own six second word of the day Vine for us, send us a message on Vine!

Maamaa – まあまあ

まあまあ (“ma-a-ma-a”; “so-so”)


If we don’t feel well, not well, or sick, we must feel, well, somewhere in between.

Back to our question: お元気[げんき]ですか?(“o-gen-ki de-su ka?”; “How are you?”)


私[わたし]はまあまあです。(“wa-ta-shi wa ma-a-ma-a de-su.”; “I am so-so.”)

This can be used to mean “so-so” for anything (if someone asks your opinion on something, for example, you can reply 「まあまあです。」if you think it’s just average.

PRACTICE: Use 「私はまあまあです。」 as a response to 「お元気ですか?」.

Nemui – 眠い[ねむい]

眠い[ねむい] (“ne-mu-i”; “tired”)


Another possible response to our previous question: お元気[げんき]ですか?(“o-gen-ki de-su ka?”; “How are you?”)


私[わたし]は眠い[ねむい]です。(“wa-ta-shi wa ne-mu-i de-su.”; “I am tired.”)

Then let out a big yawn (あくび), and they’ll really get the message!

PRACTICE: Use 「私は眠いです。」 as a response to 「お元気ですか?」.

Byouki – 病気[びょうき]

病気[びょうき] (“byo-u-ki”; “sick”)


Let’s take this word and use it to describe how we feel.

Here is a possible response to the previous question: お元気[げんき]ですか?(“o-gen-ki de-su ka?”; “How are you?”)


私[わたし]は病気[びょうき]です。(“wa-ta-shi wa byo-u-ki de-su.”; “I am sick.”)

While there are certainly more specific ways to describe what type of sickness you are suffering from, this is a good “all purpose” phrase to learn that will be well understood by native speakers. We’ll have more possible responses this week!

PRACTICE: Use 「私は病気です。」 as a response to 「お元気ですか?」.

Genki de wa arimasen. -元気[げんき]ではありません。

元気[げんき]ではありません。(“gen-ki de-wa-a-ri-ma-sen.”; “I’m not fine”)

As promised, this is the opposite of the previous post’s response to the question: お元気[げんき]ですか?(“o-gen-ki de-su ka?”; “How are you?”)

~です(de-su), as mentioned previously, is the standard polite way to end a sentence affirmatively (like a period you speak aloud).

~ではありません(de-wa-a-ri-ma-sen) is the standard polite way to make a sentence negative.

*NOTE* if you can read hiragana, you will notice that the second character は is pronounced as “wa” this time instead of “ha”, as mentioned in a previous post. We are using the は character as the particle indicating “is/are”, and for now, think of ありません(a-ri-ma-sen) as meaning “is not”.

An example:


(“wa-ta-shi wa John de-su”; “I am John.”)


(“wa-ta-shi wa John de-wa-a-ri-ma-sen”; “I am not John.”)

PRACTICE: Use ではありません。(de-wa-a-ri-ma-sen) as well as です。(de-su) to make positive and negative statements!

Click to listen highlighted text! Powered By GSpeech