Introduction to basic, Beginning Conversational Japanese (Lesson 2)

by Norio Hayakawa:


Subject particle wa     

(the wa, preceded by a pronoun or a noun, indicates the subject)



The polite form of the verb “to be” is  desu    (the final u sound in desu is often eliminated in colloquial Japanese conversation)

Watashi wa Frank Smith desu.    (I am Frank Smith.)

When you address another person by name, always add a  -san to that person’s name

Anata wa Frank Smith-san desu ka?    (Are you Frank Smith?)

Mary Sanchez-san wa Eigo no sensei desu.  (Mary Sanchez is an English teacher)



Nihon    (Japan)     Nihongo   (Japanese language)     Nihonjin  (Japanese person

Amerika   (the U.S.)      Eigo   (English)      Amerikajin    (an American person)

Furansu  (France)     Furansugo   (French language)    Furansujin   (French person)

Igirisu   (England)      Eigo  (English language)        Igirisujin   (British person)

Doitsu   (Germany)    Doitsugo   (German language)     Doitsujin  (German person)

Supein  (Spain)      Supeingo   (Spanish language)    Supeinjin  (Spanish person)

Itaria   (Italy)     Itariago   (Italian language)     Itariajin   (Italian person)

Chuugoku  (China)   Chuugokugo  (Chinese language)   Chuugokujin  (Chinese person)


Anata no tomodachi wa Doitsujin desu ka?   (Is your friend German?)

Hai, kare wa Doitsujin desu.      (Yes, he is a German.)

Kanojo wa Itariajin desu.       (She is an Italian.)

Tom Hanks-san wa haiyuu desu.     (Tom Hanks is an actor)

Watashitachi wa Nihongo no seito desu.   (We are students of the Japanese language)


The negative form of the verb “to be” (desu) in Japanese is  dewa arimasen

dewa arimasen  means   “is not, am not, are not”

Watashi wa Nihonjin dewa arimasen.      (I am not a Japanese)

Karetachi wa Furansujin dewa arimasen.   (They are not French)

Watashitachi wa Chuugokujin dewa arimasen.   (We are not Chinese)

Watashitachi wa Nihonjin desu.    (We are Japanese)

Kore wa tabemono dewa arimasen.       (This is not food)


Now let us learn some useful daily expressions.  These expressions simply have to be memorized.  We are not talking about sentence structure here.  These are just expressions.

Ohayou gozaimasu!       (Good morning)

Konnichiwa!        (Good day, good afternoon, hello)

Kombanwa!        (Good evening)

Oyasuminasai!    (Good night)

Ja mata!         (See you later)

Ja mata ashita!       (See you tomorrow)

Ittekimasu!         (I am going to go, i.e., usually said when one leaves the place, such as home, to go somewhere)

Itterasshai!         (Please go safely, i.e., usually said by the person who is addressing the other person who is leaving to go somewhere, usually from home)

Tadaima!       (I am back)

Okaerinasai!     (I am glad you are back)

Itadakimasu!      (ALWAYS said before eating anything, placing two hands together and bowing slightly – – it literally means “I am going to partake of this food which was provided by somebody, perhaps ultimately by God”)

Gochisousama!     (ALWAYS said after a person finishes eating – – it literally means “Thank you so much for the feast – – again, said with placing both hands together and bowing slightly)

Gochisousama deshita!       (same as above, but somewhat more complete)

Sumimasen!        (Excuse me, sorry)

Chotto matte kudasai!         (Please wait a minute)

That’s enough for Lesson 2.

Here is the review of Lesson 2 on YouTube (so you can hear the pronunciation):



E-mail =

Facebook =

Also please watch Norio Hayakawa’s YouTube Channel



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s