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Kawaii Lesson Episode 7 – How to say NO in Japanese

Have you been following Kawaii Lesson diligently and learning your Japanese?

You want to say no, am I right? But you don’t know how to say no in Japanese? Well let’s fix this!

Saying no in Japanese

Saying no in Japanese isn’t an easy thing to do, as you rarely ever use the real word for no, which literally would be “iie” (いいえ).

But let’s take a look how the girls from Kawaii Lesson explain this lesson:

The formal and informal ways of saying no in Japanese

Informal:

uun = ううん

dame = だめ

Formal:

iie = いいえ

ikemasen = いけません

Different ways of saying no in Japanese

As explained in the video, Japanese may go great lenghts to give an explanation or excuse, if they can’t do or don’t want do something. This is often hard to understand for people from very direct cultures, which are also called low context cultures. Simply said, it is better to lie to you with a bad excuse, why something can’t be done or isn’t possible, than just directly say no, because somebody doesn’t want to do something. This has a lot to do with saving face, which is best explained with the concepts of honne and tatemae, for example in this article (you should read this).

Between friends, things can be a bit more open and honest. If you are just talking about facts, “uun”, or rather “u-un”, the opposite of “un” (a way of saying yes in Japanese), can be used without problems. For example “Wasn’t it raining yesterday?” – “Uun, the sun was shining!”
You will probably never hear “uun” as a response to the question if someone wants to go to the cinema with you or do whatever activity with you. Whatever the reason is why they can’t or don’t want to, you will rather hear a story as a response than a simple “uun”.

The word “dame” is more used for direct communication between people who know each other well or if you are REALLY serious that you don’t want something to happen. A girl might shout out “DAME!” if a guy come inappropriately close to her, while she pushes him away. Or a guy might say “dame!!!” if his girlfriend suggests that they should go to the next Kyari Pamyu Pamyu concert in Yokohama.

kyari pamyu pamyu kawaii lesson
Not wanting to go to a Kyari concert as a guy is a really good reason to say no in Japanese.

So saying “uun” is the informal way of saying that something is in fact differently, while “dame” is more a reaction to a suggested action. This does not cover 100% of the use cases, but it gives you a good idea about how it is used.

The Japanese word “iie” might be the formal equivalent to “uun”, but you will hardly ever hear it. The most common use is if you are getting thanked for doing something and want to seem modest or humble.
Examples: “Your Japanese is really good!” – “iie! It’s not good at all” or “Thank you so much for teaching English to me!” – “iie! It was a pleasure.”

Ikemasen on the other hand, might be considered to be more or less directly comparable.

Now let’s try together:

きゃりーぱみゅぱみゅの コンサート に行こうか?

きゃりーぱみゅぱみゅ?? だめだよ!!!バカじゃねぇ?!

 

For more of Kawaii Lesson, check out their Facebook page and their separate social media:

Ami Haruna:
Twitter
Facebook

Tsubee:
Twitter
Facebo0k (acting)
Facebook (DJing)

Or just watch out for new episodes on Kimonogeisha.com!

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Kawaii Lesson Episode 6 – How to say “Yes” in Japanese

As you have been gathering quite the sentence repertoire, if you have been following Kawaii Lesson so far, it’s time to learn how to properly say YES in Japanese.

I mean, if you are offered some super delicious look sushi, it would be terrible to not be able to say that you actually want some, right?

So let’s give you the basics on how to say Yes in Japanese!

Informal:

un = うん

iiyo = いいよ = 良いよ

Formal:

hai = はい

iidesuyo = いいですよ = 良いですよ

 

Of course there are more ways to say Yes in Japanese, like saying “daijoubu” (だいじょうぶ = 大丈夫), which means “alright” or “it’s okay”. It’s also used to describe the state of something as okay or alright. It’s very versatile and should definitely be added to your vocabulary!

 

For more of Kawaii Lesson, check out their Facebook page and their separate social media:

Ami Haruna:
Twitter
Facebook

Tsubee:
Twitter
Facebo0k (acting)
Facebook (DJing)

Or just watch out for new episodes on Kimonogeisha.com!

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Kawaii Lesson Episode 5 – How to say “How have you been” in Japanese

In the last lesson from Kawaii Lesson, we learned how to say “How are you?” in Japanese. But what do you say, when you haven’t seen someone for a long time? “How have you been?” is the right answer in English, but what about Japanese?

So let’s see that written, what we learned today:

Informal:  Hisashiburi = ひさしぶり = 久しぶり

Formal: Ohisashiburi desu = おひさしぶりです = お久しぶりです

Instead of the question “How are you?” which is used in English, you should understand “hisashiburi” more as a way of saying “Haven’t seen you in a while!”, which will often be answered with “hisashiburi desu neeeee”, which translates loosely into “It’s true, we really haven’t seen each other for a while!”.

Adding the “o” at the beginning of genki is a typical form of creating more formality for a word or an often used sentence.

 

For more of Kawaii Lesson, check out their Facebook page and their separate social media:

Ami Haruna:
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Tsubee:
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Facebo0k (acting)
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Or just watch out for new episodes on Kimonogeisha.com!

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Kawaii Lesson 4 – How to say “How are you” in Japanese

What we learned so far from Kawaii Lesson:

How to say “Good Morning and Good Night” in Japanese

How to say “Good Afternoon and Good Evening” in Japanese

How to say “Hi and Hello” in Japanese

What we are going to add to our essentials today is: How to say “How are you” in Japanese.

So let’s see that written, what we learned today:

Informal: Genki? = げんき? = 元気?

Formal: Ogenki desu ka? = おげんきですか? = お元気ですか?

Both are the standard way of asking “How are you?” in Japanese. “Genki” itself just means something like “health”, “spirit” or “energy” and is mainly used in desribing one’s well-being.

Other uses are for example “Genki dashite!” which can be understood as “cheer up!” or “chin up!”.

Adding the “o” at the beginning of genki is a typical form of creating more formality for a word or an often used sentence.

 

For more of Kawaii Lesson, check out their Facebook page and their separate social media:

Ami Haruna:
Twitter
Facebook

Tsubee:
Twitter
Facebo0k (acting)
Facebook (DJing)

Or just watch out for new episodes on Kimonogeisha.com!

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Kawaii Lesson Episode 3 – How to say “Hi and Hello” in Japanese

 

After learning “Good Afternoon and Good Evening” together with Kawaii Lesson, we teach you something that you probably have to use everyday and maybe even heard before. But let’s take a look:

 

What did you learn today?

Hello = konnichi ha (wa) = こんにちは = 今日は

Hi (girls) = yahhoー = やっほー

Hi (guys) = yoー = よー
or              = ossu = おっす

If you want to find more about the ha/wa difference of konnichi ha, please take a look at the previous episode, where we explained this in detail.

Today we want to highlight the long vowel mark “ー”, which signals a long stretched sound. So, something that you would maybe write in English as “yoooo!” or “yowww” can be written with a vowel and “ー”.

 

For more of Kawaii Lesson, check out their Facebook page and their separate social media:

Ami Haruna:
Twitter
Facebook

Tsubee:
Twitter
Facebo0k (acting)
Facebook (DJing)

Or just watch out for new episodes on Kimonogeisha.com!

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Kawaii Lesson Episode 2 – How to say “Good Afternoon and Good Evening” in Japanese

After learning “Good Morning” and “Good Night” together with Kawaii Lesson, we move a step forward and teach you the basics of “Good Afternoon” and “Good Evening” in Japanese:

 

 

What you learned today is:

Good Afternoon= konnichi ha (wa) = こんにちは = 今日は

Good Evening = konban ha (wa) = こんばんは = 今晩は

An important point for today is the hiragana は – which is normally written and spoken as “ha”.

The exception is when it is used as a particle. Then it is spoken as “wa”, but still written as ha, as the real hiragana for the sound “wa” is わ.

In our example, it is used as an particle and attached to 今日, which literally means “this day”, and 今晩, which literally means “this evening”.

So if you are using konnichi ha or konban ha, you are basically saying “So, how about this day/evening, huh?”. But of course it’s just an expression and there is really no deeper meaning to it than good afternoon or good evening.

 

For more of Kawaii Lesson, check out their Facebook page and their separate social media:

Ami Haruna:
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Tsubee:
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Kawaii Lesson Episode 1 – How to say “Good Morning and Good Night” in Japanese

As with everything you do, you have to start with the basics for you go pro. It’s the same for learning Japanese!

Today, after introducing them properly in the their first video, Ami and Tsubee prepared for you how to say “Good Morning” and “Good Night” in Japanese:

 

What you learned today is:

Good Morning (casual way) = ohayou = おはよう

Good Morning (polite way) = ohayou gozaimasu = おはようございます

Note that although you see the “ou” at the end of ohayou, it’s spoken like a long O-sound. You can’t rally hear the U at the end. It’s the same with the famous “desu” (to be), which is only pronounced “des“. You can also see that I you are only given the hiragana-versions of these expressions as using the kanji is very uncommon. When the kanji are commong, we will provide them for you.

Good Night (casual way) = oyasumi = おやすみ = お休み

Good Night (polite way) = oyasuminasai = おやすみなさい = お休みなさい

Here we have given you the kanji as an addition. You might see them occasionally, although the hiragana-only version is much more common.

For more of Kawaii Lesson, check out their Facebook page and their separate social media:

Ami Haruna:
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Facebook

Tsubee:
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Facebo0k (acting)
Facebook (DJing)