Basic Japanese Language Vocabulary with Audio Files

Listen to Japanese Pronunciation

When you are learning Japanese, it is essential to hear the words spoken. These audio words and phrases are grouped by topic and you can use them to learn to speak Japanese.

Hiragana Pronunciation with Audio Files

The following tables contains the 46 basic sounds found in Japanese. Click the link to listen the pronunciation of each hiragana character.

あ (a)い (i)う (u)え (e)お (o)
か (ka)き (ki)く (ku)け (ke)こ (ko)
さ (sa)し (shi)す (su)せ (se)そ (so)
た (ta)ち (chi)つ (tsu)て (te)と (to)
な (na)に (ni)ぬ (nu)ね (ne)の (no)
は (ha)ひ (hi)ふ (fu)へ (he)ほ (ho)
ま (ma)み (mi)む (mu)め (me)も (mo)
や (ya) ゆ (yu) よ (yo)
ら (ra)り (ri)る (ru)れ (re)ろ (ro)
わ (wa)   を (o)
ん (n)    

Katakana Pronunciation with Audio Files

 Here are the 46 basic Japanese sounds. Click the link to listen the pronunciation.

ア (a)イ (i)ウ (u)エ (e)オ (o)
カ (ka)キ (ki)ク (ku)ケ (ke)コ (ko)
サ (sa)シ (shi)ス (su)セ (se)ソ (so)
タ (ta)チ (chi)ツ (tsu)テ (te)ト (to)
ナ (na)ニ (ni)ヌ (nu)ネ (ne)ノ (no)
ハ (ha)ヒ (hi)フ (fu)ヘ (he)ホ (ho)
マ (ma)ミ (mi)ム (mu)メ (me)モ (mo)
ヤ (ya) ユ (yu) ヨ (yo)
ラ (ra)リ (ri)ル (ru)レ (re)ロ (ro)
ワ (wa)   ヲ (o)
ン (n)    

Verbs

Learning verbs when learning a new language is obviously very important. In the table below I have created a list of some of the most important verbs that someone new to Japanese should know.  If you are not familiar with Japanese verbs at all, follow this link to learn about verb groups and conjugations. If you would like to hear the pronunciation of each verb, click the link and small audio file will play for you.

Group 1 Verbs

Dictionary Form
(Basic Form)
EnglishFormal FormThe ~ te Form
aruku
歩く
to walkarukimasu
歩きます
aruite
歩いて
asobu
遊ぶ
to playasobimasu
遊びます
asonde
遊んで
au
会う
to meetaimasu
会います
atte
会って
hairu
入る
to enterhairimasu
入ります
haitte
入って
hajimaru
始まる
to beginhajimarimasu
始まります
hajimatte
始まって
iku
行く
to goikimasu
行きます
itte
行って
kaeru
帰る
to returnkaerimasu
帰ります
kaette
帰って
kakaru
かかる
to takekakarimasu
かかります
kakatte
かかって
kaku
書く
to writekakimasu
書きます
kaite
書いて
kau
買う
to buykaimasu
買います
katte
買って
kiku
聞く
to listenkikimasu
聞きます
kiite
聞いて
matsu
待つ
to waitmachimasu
待ちます
matte
待って
motsu
持つ
to havemochimasu
持ちます
motte
持って
narau
習う
to learnnaraimasu
習います
naratte
習って
nomu
飲む
to drinknomimasu
飲みます
nonde
飲んで
okuru
送る
to sendokurimasu
送ります
okutte
送って
omou
思う
to thinkomoimasu
思います
omotte
思って
oyogu
泳ぐ
to swimoyogimasu
泳ぎます
oyoide
泳いで
shiru
知る
to knowshirimasu
知ります
shitte
知って
suwaru
座る
to sitsuwarimasu
座ります
suwatte
座って
tatsu
立つ
to standtachimasu
立ちます
tatte
立って
tomaru
止まる
to stoptomarimasu
止まります
tomatte
止まって
tsuku
着く
to arrivetsukimasu
着きます
tsuite
着いて
uru
売る
to sellurimasu
売ります
utte
売って
utau
歌う
to singutaimasu
歌います
utatte
歌って
wakaru
分かる
to understandwakarimasu
分かります
wakatte
分かって
warau
笑う
to laughwaraimasu
笑います
waratte
笑って
yomu
読む
to readyomimasu
読みます
yonde
読んで

Group 2 Verbs

kangaeru
考える
to thinkkangaemasu
考えます
kangaete
考えて
miru
見る
to seemimasu
見ます
mite
見て
neru
寝る
to sleepnemasu
寝ます
nete
寝て
oshieru
教える
to teachoshiemasu
教えます
oshiete
教えて
taberu
食べる
to eattabemasu
食べます
tabete
食べて

Group 3 Verbs

kuru
来る

to come

kimasu
来ます

kite
来て

suru
する

to do

shimasu
します

shite
して

At the Restaurant

Click the link to hear the pronunciation.

 

ueitoresu
ウェイトレス
waitress
Irasshaimase.
いらっしゃいませ。
Welcome to our store. (Used as a greeting to customers in stores.)
nanmei sama
何名さま
how many people (It is very polite way of saying "how many people". "Nannin" is less formal.)
futari
二人
two people
kochira
こちら
this way
Sumimasen.
すみません。
Excuse me.
menyuu
メニュー
menu
Onegaishimasu.
お願いします。
Please do me a favor. (A convenient phrase used when making a request.)
Shou shou 
omachi kudasai
.
少々お待ちください。
Please wait a moment. (formal expression)
Douzo.
どうぞ。
Here you are.
Doumo.
どうも。
Thanks.
go-chuumon
ご注文
order
boku
I (informal, it is used by men only)
sushi no moriawase
すしの盛り合わせ
assorted sushi
hitotsu
ひとつ
one (Native Japanese number)
o-nomimono
お飲み物
beverage
Ikaga desu ka.
いかがですか。
Would you like ~?
biiru
ビール
beer
morau
もらう
to receive
Kashikomarimashita.
かしこまりました。
Certainly. (Literally means, "I understand.")
nanika
何か
anything
Iie, kekkou desu.
いいえ、結構です。
No, thank you.

Rooms and Furnishings

Click the link to hear the pronunciation. 

heya
部屋
room
ima
居間
living room
daidokoro
台所
kitchen
shinshitsu
寝室
bedroom
toire
トイレ
bathroom
genkan
玄関
entrance
niwa
garden
kabe
wall
tenjou
天井
ceiling
yaneura
屋根裏
attic
yuka
floor
mado
window

Furniture

kagu
家具
furniture
tsukue
desk
hondana
本棚
book shelf
isu
いす
chair
tansu
たんす
chest of drawers
beddo
ベッド
bed
todana
戸棚
cupboard

Appliances

reizouko
冷蔵庫
refrigerator
reitouko
冷凍庫
freezer
sentakuki
洗濯機
washer
kansouki
乾燥機
dryer
oobun
オーブン
oven
denshi renji
電子レンジ
microwave
suihanki
炊飯器
rice cooker
soujiki
掃除機
vacuum cleaner
terebi
テレビ
TV

More Audio Phrases and Words by Topic

Animals: From bird to zebra, here's the menagerie.

Body: These words are especially useful if you need medical help.

Calendar: Months, days of the week, and seasons.

Colors: All colors are treated as nouns. Listen to the rainbow.

Dates: These follow a basic rule of the number plus nichi.

Family: Learn how to talk about your family and somebody else's family.

Foods: Basics for food, meals, and phrases related to eating.

Greetings: The basic phrases you will need.

Introducing People: Learn how to introduce people and hear the vocabulary and expressions.

Location: Don't wander about lost.

You need these phrases to get directions.

Numbers: How to count in Japanese.

On the Phone: How to speak a phone number, plus phrases you will need for a phone call in Japanese.

Tea: How to order tea and how to pronounce different types of tea.

Time: How to express the time of day and ask and answer questions about time.

Travel: Words and expressions you'll need when you're on the move.

Useful Expressions: Simple yes, no, thanks, and other basics.

Weather: How to talk about what it's doing outside.

Adjectives: from near to far, clean to dirty, you'll want to know these modifiers.

Adverbs: From always to never, together to separately.