3.0 Welcome to Japanese-Learning Communities (2)

Two People in Yukata
Figure 1: Women in Kimono Holding Cotton Candy

In this chapter, you will discover a wealth of expressions and grammar tools that will empower you to engage in captivating introductory conversations with fellow Japanese-language enthusiasts.

Prepare to take your connections within Japanese language-learning communities to the next level!


Goal Icon Learning goals

By the end of this chapter, you will be able to:

  • Grasp the basics of Japanese word order.
  • Gain confidence in using additional features of hiragana.
  • Apply the sentence pattern ‘X は (wa) Y です (desu)’ (X is Y) in questions and answers.
  • Apply the sentence pattern ‘X は (wa) Y が (ga) 好(す)き (suki) です (desu)’ (X likes Y) to describe what you or someone else likes.
  • Understand how the particles の (no) and も (mo) function and apply them in sentences effectively.
  • Read and count numbers from 0 to 10.
  • Use the counter 年生(ねんせい)(nensei: year level) with small numbers.


Japanese Romaji English Notes
まんが manga manga
日本語(にほんご) Nihongo Japanese language
クラブ (くらぶ) kurabu club
クラス (くらす) kurasu class
こちら kochira this In formal situations, the polite term こちら is used respectfully to refer to people, while これ (kore) is used for objects. Using これ for people can be impolite even in informal settings. For more information on these demonstrative pronouns, see Module 4.2.
専攻(せんこう) senkou
IT ai-tii Information Technology
メディア (めでぃあ) media (medhia)* media
* The spelling medhia in parentheses is used for inputting Japanese text with romaji on a keyboard.
好(す)き(な) suki(na) likeable
大(だい)好き(な) daisuki(na) very likeable
嫌(きら)い(な) kirai(na) dislikeable
大(だい)嫌い(な) daikirai(na) very dislikeable
ゼロ (ぜろ) or 零(れい)
zero or rei zero
一(いち) ichi one
二(に) ni two
三(さん) san three
四(よん, し or よ) yon, shi or yo four
五(ご) go five
六(ろく) roku six
七(なな or しち) nana or shichi seven
八(はち) hachi eight
九(きゅう or く) kyuu or ku
十(じゅう) juu ten

Expressions and phrases  

Japanese Romaji English Notes
…へ ようこそ … e youkoso
welcome to … The particle へ, which means ‘to’,  is pronounced e, not he. For additional details about this particle, please refer to Module 6.5.
いいえ iie
no Polite/formal; はい (hai), which is covered in Module 2.0, signifies ‘yes’ or ‘okay’. Conversely, the term for ‘no’ in Japanese is いいえ (iie). These basic words form the foundation for affirmative and negative responses in Japanese conversations.
そうですか sou desu ka I see/Is that so? Polite/formal

Key grammar points

Japanese Romaji English Notes
X は Y ですか X wa Y desu ka Is X Y?
X は Y が好きです X wa Y ga suki desu X likes Y
no of Possessive particle
mo too, as well Addition particle


Exercise 1

Lina invited Kevin to visit the Japanese Club held in the Manga Library at their university. Nervously, Kevin is exploring the club and getting to know other club members.

Speech Bubble Icon Model dialogue

Lina invited Kevin to visit the Japanese Club held in their university’s Manga Library. Nervously, Kevin is exploring the club and getting to know other club members.

Kevin: Hi … こんにちは … Hi … Konnichiwa …
Lina: あ、ケビン (けびん) さん!日本語(にほんご)クラブへようこそ! A, Kebin-san! Nihongo Kurabu e youkoso!
Kevin: Wow, すごいですね。あ、『ハイキュー (はいきゅう)!!』 。 Sugoi desu ne. A, * ‘Haikyuu!!  (the title of a Japanese manga series)
Lina: ケビンさんは『ハイキュー!!』が好(す)きですか。 Kebin-san wa, ‘Haikyuu!!’ ga suki desu ka.
Kevin: 大(だい)好きです! Daisuki desu!
Lina: 私(わたし)も好きです。えーと、こちらはなおさんです。なおさん、こちらは日本語のクラス (くらす) のケビンさんです。 Watashi mo suki desu. Eeto, kochira wa Nao-san desu. Nao-san, kochira wa Nihongo no kurasu no Kebin-san desu.
Nao: こんにちは。はじめまして。 Konnichiwa. Hajime mashite.
Kevin: はじめまして。ケビンです。よろしくお願(ねが)いします。 Hajime mashite. Kebin desu. Yoroshiku onegai shimasu.
Nao: なおです。ケビンさんは一年生(いちねんせい)ですか。 Nao desu. Kebin-san wa ichi nensei desu ka.
Kevin: あ、はい。専攻(せんこう)はITです。 A, hai. Senkou wa ai-tii desu. 
Nao:  私はメディア (めでぃあ) です。三年生(さんねんせい)です。
Watashi wa media desu. San nensei desu.
Kevin: あ、そうですか。よろしくお願いします! A, sou desu ka. Yoroshiku onegai shimasu!
Nao: よろしく! Yoroshiku!

English translation

Kevin: Hello …
Lina: Ah, Kevin! Welcome to (our) Japanese Club!
Kevin: Wow, (this is) great. Oh, Haikyu!!
Lina: Do you like Haikyu!!?
Kevin: (I) love it!
Lina: I like it, too. Umm, this is Nao. Nao, this is Kevin from (my) Japanese class.
Nao: Hello, nice to meet you.
Kevin: Nice to meet you, too. I’m Kevin. Please treat me kindly.
Nao: I’m Nao. Kevin, are you a first-year student?
Kevin: Yes. My major is IT.
Nao: I’m (majoring in) Media. (I’m) a third-year student.
Kevin: Ah, right. It’s nice to meet you.
Nao: Nice to meet you, too!


Exercise 2

Listen to the following audio files and repeat each Japanese phrase after. Each phrase is read twice, first at a slow pace and then at a natural pace.


Kevin: こんにちは…。

Lina: あ、ケビン (けびん) さん!日本語(にほんご)クラブ(くらぶ)へようこそ!

Kevin: すごいですね。あっ、『ハイキュー(はいきゅう)!!』。

Lina: ケビンさんは『ハイキュー!!』が好(す)きですか。

Kevin: 大(だい)好きです!

Lina: 私(わたし)も好きです。

Lina: えーと、こちらはなおさんです。なおさん、こちらは日本語のクラス(くらす)のケビンさんです。

Nao: こんにちは。はじめまして。

Kevin: はじめまして。ケビンです。よろしくお願(ねが)いします。

Nao: なおです。ケビンさんは一年生(いちねんせい)ですか。

Kevin: あ、はい。専攻(せんこう)はIT (あいてぃい) です。

Nao: 私はメディア (めでぃあ) です。三年生(さんねんせい)です。

Kevin: あ、そうですか。よろしくお願いします!

Nao: よろしく!

Lightbulb Icon Discussion points

Let’s reflect on these points and share our observations and thoughts.

  1. そうですね (sou desu ne) is what is known as あいづち (aizuchi), a short response used all the time in conversations to show you are engaged and you understand. Are you familiar with any other examples of あいづち? Feel free to share them!
  2. Lina used the word こちら (kochira) when introducing Kevin to Nao. Are you familiar with this word? If so, can you come up with some situations where you might be able to use it?
  3. Did you notice that Nao used the shortened version of よろしくお願いします (yoroshiku onegai shimasu)? Do you think it was appropriate in this situation? Why or why not?


Further resources

Short responses in Japanese, known as あいづち (aizuchi), are frequently used to demonstrate that you are listening attentively to the speaker.

If you would like to learn more,  the following resource created by Miku Real Japanese explores how あいづち is often used in both formal and informal situations.




1 “Women in Kimono Holding Cotton Candy” by Sataoshi Hirayama. Pexels. Licensed under Pexels licence.

2 Goal IconGoal Icon” (untitled) by faisalovers. Wikimedia Commons. Licensed under CC by 3.0.

3 Speech Bubble IconSpeech Bubble Icon” (untitled) by Geremy Good. Wikimedia Commons. Licensed under CC 0.

4 Lightbulb IconLightbulb Icon” (untitled) by Maxim Kulikov. Wikimedia Commons. Licensed under CC by 3.0.



Miku Real Japanese. 15 Most Useful Japanese Quick Responses! (あいづち). YouTube video, 5.53. October 20, 2020. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ai5fzxm36so.




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Japanese Introductory 1 Copyright © 2024 by Iori Hamada is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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