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🔊I Want to Tell You | 11 Basic Japanese Questions (First Meeting)| 基本的な質問 (初対面)|| Part 1 ||Kiki+Koko: Let’s NihonGO!! Japanese Language Learning Essentials

 皆様みんなさま、こんにちにゃあぁ!Welcome to Kiki+Koko: Let’s NihonGO!! Online! Over the past few lessons, you’ve been inundated with 疑問詞, gimonshi, otherwise known as question words! We provided you with the first basic ones, and though we provided sentences, we realise that before we go further, we should really focus on what we’ve introduced to you. Of course, you could trek off on your own and try to apply the words by looking at comparable sentences, replacing the words in the sentences we’ve given you, but then, what are we here for? We’re your guides to Japanese language and culture, Kiki+Koko! And, while you could wander around and eventually find your way, we’ve decided to make it even easier for you. We’re going to help you with some basic questions you may use or even hear! But, what good are questions without answers? That’s right! We’re going to provide a few ‘common’ answers along with the questions we present to you. (We say ‘common’ because we can’t assume the life you lead or the answers you need, but we can provide you with some useful ones!) For this, we’ll focus on some questions you may ask someone when you’re meeting them for the first time.

Before we jump into this, we definitely recommend you at least have a look at the previous lessons in order to become familiar with exactly how these 疑問詞, gimonshi, function. If you’ve read the first one concerning 「何」 , you’ll know they can be a bit complex when you break them apart and apply them to everyday situations. There are many different ways you can arrange the sentences for emphasis and just general speech patterns. But, in order to use these correctly, you’re going to want to have a basic grasp of  how sentences work in Japanese, particles, grammar, how to create a question sentence in Japanese, and some Japanese question words. No worries, though, friends, we have it all right here for you~! Just have a look at our ‘Essentials’ section which will be linked in the thumbnail below, along with the previous lessons from the ‘Ask Me Why’ series, also linked by thumbnail.

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Now, after you’ve had a quick look at those important pieces of Internet literature, we can move on without having to repeat too much of what we’ve already learnt, though of course, this is for practise as well.

Quick Introduction

Of course, these questions and answers will be meant for beginners, so we won’t delve too deeply into intense answers as of this moment, but you have to start somewhere!

Now, as we’ve talked about in previous lessons, Japanese language has a hierarchy of politeness. But, you don’t necessarily have to act as though you’re speaking with the Queen of England or the Emperor of Japan when you meet a stranger or a new friend for the first time. So, there are very colloquial ways to say these phrases, but we’re going to stick to a basic level of politeness, not so overly polite that you sound like a server at a restaurant, but not so casual that you sound rude. Just that even keel of politeness you’ll find in everyday Japanese speech.

Also, in Japanese, there is a special way to make ‘blanks’ in a sentence. Whenever you see two circles: 「○○」, they are meant to be a blank. That is where you can place your intended answer. Of course, just as in English, there are many ways to answer questions in a more complex way, but again, you have to start somewhere.

We’ll mark the question with a 「Q」and the possible answer with an 「A」AND we’ll even include an example of how to fill in the blank with the answer marked 「例」, rei, meaning example.

❕Important❕When you see a pronoun like ‘I’ or ‘you’ in parenthesis, that means you don’t necessarily have to use it. As we’ve mentioned in previous lessons, there are many cases where you can omit the subject if it is assumed.

Again, we really really recommend you take a look at the previous lessons before we jump into this, because otherwise, this will be filled with notes and we wouldn’t get anywhere very quickly. It took 2300 words to explain 「何」, we wouldn’t want to take 4600 explaining these sentences. But, without further ado, we should get started with your first meeting.
Let’s NihonGO!!

Basic Questions (First Meeting)
| 基本的な質問 (初対面)

Q: What is your name?

お名前は 何ですか。
おなまえは なんですか。
onamae wa nandesuka?

A: My name is ____.

私の 名前は ○○です。
わたしの なまえは ○○です。
watashi no namae wa ○○ desu.

A: I am ____.

○○です。
○○desu.

例: My name is QUIZBO™.

僕の 名前は クイズボです。
ぼくの なまえは くいずぼです。
boku no namae wa kuizubo desu.


Q: What language(s) can you speak?

(あなたは) 何語を 話せますか。
(あなたは) なにごを はなせますか。
(anata wa) nanigo wo hanasemasuka?

A: I can speak ____ and ____.

(私は)  ○○と ○○が 話せます。
(わたしは)○○と ○○が はなせます。
(watashi wa) ○○to ○○ga hanasemasu.

A: I speak ______.

(私は)  ○○を 話します。
(わたしは)○○を はなします。
(watashi wa) ○○wo hanashimasu.

例: I can speak English and Japanese

僕は 英語と 日本語が 話せます。
ぼくは えいごと にほんごが はなせます。
boku wa eigo to nihongo ga hanasemasu.


Q: Where do you live?

(あなたは) どこに 住んでいますか。
(あなたは) どこに すんでいますか。
(anata wa) doko ni sundeimasuka?

A: I live [in/at]______.

(私は)  ○○に 住んでいます。
(わたしは)○○に すんでいます。
(watashi wa) ○○ni sundeimasu.

A: I live [by/near]______.

(私は)  ○○の近くに 住んでいます。
(わたしは)○○のちかくに すんでいます。
(watashi wa) ○○no chikaku ni sundeimasu.

A: That’s a little… [Meaning: I’d rather not say]

それは ちょっと・・・
sore wa chotto…

例: I live on Planet Earth.

僕は 惑星地球上に 住んでいます。
ぼくは わくせいちきゅうじょうに すんでいます。
boku wa wakusei chikyuujou ni sundeimasu.


Q: Where are you from?

(あなたの) 出身は どこですか。
(あなたの) しゅっしんは どこですか。
(anata no) shusshin wa doko desuka?

A: I’m from______.

(私は)  ○○出身です。
(わたしは)○○しゅっしんです。
(watashi wa) ○○shusshin desu.

A:  ____.

○○です。
○○desu.

例: I come from another planet.

僕は 他の 惑星から 来ました。
ぼくは ほかの わくせいから きました。
boku wa hoka no wakusei kara kimashita.


Q: Do you keep a pet? What kind of pet?

(あなたは) ペットを 飼っていますか。どんなペットですか。
(あなたは) ぺっとを かっていますか。どんなぺっとですか。
(anata wa) petto wo katteimasuka? donna petto desuka?

A: No, I don’t keep a pet. How about you?

いいえ、(わたしは)ペットを飼っていません。あなたは?
いいえ、(わたしは ぺっとを かっていません。 あなたは?
iie, (watashi wa) petto wo patteimasen. anata wa?

A: Yes, I keep a(n) ____  .

はい、(私は)  ○○を 飼っています。
はい、(わたしは)○○を かっています。
hai, (watashi wa) ○○wo katteimasu.

A: Yes, I keep a(n) ____ and a(n) ____  .

はい、(私は)  ○○と○○を 飼っています。
はい、(わたしは)○○と ○○を かっています。
hai, (watashi wa) ○○to ○○wo katteimasu.


Q: What kind of hobbies do you have?

(あなたは) どんな 趣味が ありますか。
(あなたは) どんな しゅみが ありますか。
(anata wa) donna shumi ga arimasuka?

A: I don’t have a hobby. How about you?

趣味は ありません。あなたは?
しゅみは ありません。あなたは?
shumi wa arimasen. anata wa?

A: I like to [verb].

(私は)  [動詞]のが 好きです。
(わたしは)[どうし]のが 好きです。
(watashi wa) [verb]noga suki desu.

A: My hobby is [verb] .

(私の) 趣味は  [動詞]ことです。
(わたしの)しゅみは [どうし]ことです。
(watashi wa) shumi wa [verb] koto desu.

例: I like to teach Japanese online.

僕は オンラインで 日本を 教えるのが 好きです。
ぼくは おんらいんで にほんごを おしえるのが すきです。
boku wa onrain de nihongo wo oshieru no ga suki desu.


Q: What is your job?

(あなたの) 仕事は 何ですか。
(あなたの) しごとは なんですか。
(anata no) shigoto wa nandesuka?

A: I work [in/at]______.

(私は)  ○○で 働いています。
(わたしは)○○で はたらいています。
(watashi wa) ○○de hataraiteimasu.

A:  I’m a(n) ____.

(私は)  ○○です。
(わたしは)○○です。
(watashi wa) ○○desu.

A: That’s a little… [Meaning: I’d rather not say]

それは ちょっと・・・
sore wa chotto…

例: I am a quiz robot.

僕は クイズ・ロボットでです。
ぼくは くいず・ろぼっとです。
boku wa kuizu robotto desu.


Q: Which school do you attend?

(あなたは) どの学校に 通っていますか。
(あなたは) どのがっこうに かよっていますか。
(anata wa) dono gakkou ni kayotteimasuka?

A: I attend ______.

(私は)  ○○に 通っています。
(わたしは)○○に かよっています。
(watashi wa) ○○ni kayotteimasu.

A:  I don’t attend school.

(私は)  学校に 通っていません。
(わたしは)がっこうに かよっていません。
(watashi wa) gakkou ni kayotteimasen.

A: That’s a little… [Meaning: I’d rather not say]

それは ちょっと・・・
sore wa chotto…


Q: Which television shows do you watch?

どの テレビ番組を 見ますか。
どの てれび ばんぐみを みますか。
dono terebi bangumi wo mimasuka?

A: I watch ______.

(私は)  ○○を 見ます。
(わたしは)○○を みます。
(watashi wa) ○○wo mimasu.

A: My favourite television show is______.

私の 一番 好きな テレビ番組は  ○○です。
わたしの いちばん すきな てれびばんぐみは ○○です。
watashi no ichiban sukina terebi bangumi wa ○○desu.

A:  I don’t watch telly.

テレビを 見ません。
てれびを みません。
terebi wo mimasen.


Q: Who is your favourite YouTuber?

(あなたの) 一番 好きな ユーチューバーは 誰ですか。
(あなたの) いちばん すきな ゆーちゅーばーは だれですか。
(anata no) ichiban suki na yuuchuubaa wa dare desuka?

A: My favourite YouTuber is______.

(私の) 一番 好きな ユーチューバーは ○○ですか。
(わたしの) いちばん すきな ゆーちゅーばーは ○○ですか。
(watashi no) ichiban suki na yuuchuubaa wa ○○desuka?

A:  I like to watch  ____’s videos.

○○の 動画を 見るのが 好きです。
○○の どうがを みるのが すきです。
○○no douga wo miru no ga suki desu.

A:  I don’t have the internet.

(私は) インターネットに 繋がれません。
(わたしは) いんたーねっとに つながれません。
(watashi wa) intaanetto ni tsunagaremasen.


Q: What is your blood type/group?※

(あなたの) 血液型は 何型ですか。
(あなたの) けつえきがたは なにがたですか。
(anata no) ketsuekigata wa nanigata desuka?

A: My blood group is type ______.

私の血液型は ○○ 型です。
わたしの けつえきがたは ○○がたです。
watashi no ketsuekigata wa ○○gata desu.

A: I don’t know.

(私は)  知りません。
(わたしは)しりません。
(watashi wa) shirimasen.

例: I don’t have blood.

僕は 血液が ありません。
ぼくは けつえきが ありません。
boku wa ketsueki ga arimasen.


※Quick Culture Note

If you’ve watched any films from the seventies, or you’re on tumblr a lot, you might be familiar with the common question: ‘What’s your sign?’. Whether or not you’re into that sort of thing, it’s still interesting to note that in Japan, whilst you’ll see Chinese and Western astrological signs in newspapers, it’s common to see blood type personalities and forecasts. This is something quite interesting that we may delve further into in future lessons, as many people outside of Japan and Southeast Asian countries may not even know their blood type, or at least the connotation of each blood type, but there are stereotypes so strong about them that there are jobs that may discriminate candidates of a certain blood type. Of course, as a getting-to-know-you question in Japanese, it’s all in good fun, but beware the consequences 👻


 

With that, we find ourselves at the end of another hopefully helpful lesson! Throughout this, we hope that this accomplished a few things. The first being: practising Japanese question words; the second, introducing you to new and useful Japanese phrases; and third, giving you some new learning prompts! Many of these questions had answers with so many different possible answers. And, you may find yourself at a loss for words. But, never fear, as we won’t leave you without this vital vocabulary. We will continue building onto the question words introduced, but we will also provide for you something just as important as questions, which are answers~!

So, that being said, you have to start somewhere, and asking questions will get you far. And, if you’re asked a question, that you’re not comfortable answering, feel free to use the lovely 「それは ちょっと・・・」(sore wa chotto…) as a nice and vague way of passing up on a question. This is another word that we look forward to explaining in future that will certainly help you in your Japanese language life. But, maybe going through this was a bit difficult to suss out the pronunciations with the hiragana used. Well, we’ve got you covered! Just take a look at our Reading and Writing sections to revise / review / study. It will help your pronunciation, and it’s essential to learning any language. If you want to make sure your Japanese language survival kit is stocked with the latest tools, you can make sure you stay up to date by subscribing to the Electronic Mailing List of Tomorrow, today, found usually at the bottom of the site page or the sidebar on desktop. You’ll get the latest tools and resources to surviving in Japanese language in straight to your inbox. That’s articles, videos, podcasts, and more.

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