You’ve heard countless anime phrases in Japanese as an anime fan, but do you know what they actually mean? Read to find out here!
Without anime, I wouldn’t have learned the things I know today about Japanese culture and, most importantly, the Japanese language. I remember the times when I first started watching Naruto, my first anime ever, and after a short time, I was running like a ninja and saying “dattebayo” (even though I had no idea what it meant)when I was home alone.
As I kept watching more anime genres, I picked up many Japanese anime phrases like greetings, some adjectives and verbs, and daily phrases.
So this is how I started to learn Japanese; through watching anime. I know that most of you have a similar story about why you’re into the Japanese language.
In today’s blog post, we’ll look at the real-life Japanese phrases you can learn from anime. As an anime fan, I’m 100% sure you’ve heard all of these Japanese phrases in animes, but I’ll explain their meanings to you.
- Must-Know Anime Phrases In Japanese
- Other Common Anime Phrases
- Bad Anime Language You Shouldn’t Use In Real Life
- Start Learning Japanese With Ling!
Must-Know Anime Phrases In Japanese
Here are the most commonly used Japanese phrases with their explanations:
Meaning: What? Huh?
何 (Nani) means “what” in Japanese, and it’s one of the most common Japanese question words. No chance you haven’t heard “nani” in an anime where the character shockingly yells, “Nani?” It is more of an exclamative phrase rather than a real question.
Meaning: Never give up!
The main theme of every shonen anime is fighting and never giving up, as in Naruto, One Piece, and Attack on Titan. When you’re about to give up, remind yourself, あきらめないで!
ちょっとまって (Chotto matte)
Meaning: Wait a moment
This is another common Japanese phrase that you can hear in every anime. It is the informal version of the phrase “ちょっとまってください.”
Meaning: Thank goodness
Remember that you can translate this anime phrase differently, but the closest English equivalents are “Thank God” and “I’m glad.” Alternatively, you can say “よかったね～” which means “Good for you” in English.
Meaning: Roger, understood!
It is used to indicate that you understand something and you will make the person’s request. It can be used informally with your friends or family! It is an affirmation that means, “yes, got it!”
Meaning: Good luck!
This Japanese phrase frequently appears in animes. The verb 頑張る (ganbaru), meaning “to do one’s best,” is the root of the word がんばって (ganbatte). The phrase is used to motivate people to do something, and it also means “good luck.”
Although the Japanese language isn’t gendered, boys use a certain speaking preference, like Japanese first-person pronouns perceived as “masculine.” Boys mainly use すげえ, and it is super casual. The word stems from すごい, but instead of an ending that sounds like “-oi,” they drag the vowel into a long “-ee.”
Meaning: I can’t believe it!
You can express your state of shock by saying “信じられない” alone or add a よ particle at the end to emphasize your shock.
Meaning: Take care!
Simply put, 気を付けて (Kiotsukete) means “take care” or “be safe.” Since this uses the te-form, it is also a command or request. But in Japanese, these “commands” are not so strict. It’s like a friendly comment. To make it polite, add ください at the end.
Meaning: Long time no see!
久しぶり (hisashiburi) is a commonly used Japanese phrase in anime that means “long time no see” in English. There isn’t a set time span for using this phrase, as it’s highly subjective.
Use this with friends or family. Or, if you want to be polite, you can say お久しぶりです. Adding the お at the beginning and the です at the end makes it more formal!
Meaning: Heart thumping
This is a Japanese onomatopoeia that describes the sound of your heart thumping. In particular, it’s used when you are nervous or flustered during an interaction with a crush.
You may have heard this multiple times if you watch romantic-comedy anime. Japanese people love onomatopoeia and often use repetitive words such as doki-doki.
Other Common Anime Words And Phrases
Here is the list of Japanese words and expressions that every anime characters say.
- Aikawarazu (相変わらず) – As usual
- Akirameru (諦める) – To give up
- Bakemono (化物) – Monster
- Betsu Ni (別に) – It’s nothing
- Bijin (美人) – Beauty
- Chikara (力) – Strength
- Daijoubu (大丈夫) – Fine, okay
- Dakara (だから) – Therefore
- Hora (ほら) – Hey
- Hontou (本当) – Really?
- Itai (痛い) – Let’s go
- Kakkoii (カッコイイ) – Cool
- Kawaii (かわいい) – Cute
- Korosu (殺す) – To kill
- Maji (まじ) – Really?
- Masaka (まさか) – No way
- Minna (みんな) – Everybody
- Mochiron (もちろん) – Of course
- Naruhodo (なるほど) – I see
- Omoshiroi (面白い) – Interesting
- Onegaishimasu (お願いします) – Please
- Ryoukai (了解) – Roger
- Shinu (死ぬ) – To die
- Urusai (うるさい) – Noisy
- Yameru (やめる) – To stop
- Yare Yare (やれやれ) – Oh dear
- Yatta (やった) – Yes, I did it!
- Yokatta (よかった) – That’s great
- Zannen (残念) – Too bad for you
- Zettai (絶対) – Absolutely
Bad Anime Language You Shouldn’t Use In Real Life
As you know, the anime world is not always innocent. You watch countless anime fight scenes and hear many swear words, which you shouldn’t use in everyday life in Japan.
- Aho (あほ) – Moron
- Aitsu (あいつ) – That person (rude)
- Baka (バカ) – Idiot
- Fuzaken (ふざけん) – Don’t mess with me
- Hentai (変態) – Pervert
- Kisama (貴様) – You (rude)
- Kuso (くそ) – Shit
- Omae (お前) – You (very rude)
- Omae kankei nai (お前 かんけいない) – None of your business
- Temee (手前) – You (extremely rude)
Start Learning Japanese With Ling!
If you want to learn Japanese, among the 60+ languages offered in the app, the Ling App is here for you!
The Ling App provides tonnes of Japanese words and phrases you can learn at your own pace. Just grab your phone, tablet, or laptop right now and head to Google Play Store or Apple App Store to download it. Mini-games, puzzles, and AI chatbots to practice Japanese speaking skills are just some interactive activities inside the Ling App.
Many Japanese learners use Ling to improve their language skills, so why not join them? Download the Ling App, and get ready to speak Japanese soon!
Plus, don’t forget to visit our Japanese blog weekly to learn more about Japanese culture and language!
Until next time, じゃあまたね!