Master the Phrase: How to Say ‘Cheap’ in Japanese

Are you planning a trip to Japan or interested in learning the Japanese language? One essential word you should learn is ‘cheap.’ Knowing how to say ‘cheap’ in Japanese can come in handy in various situations, especially when it comes to bargaining for prices or finding affordable options.

In this article, we’ll explore different ways to express ‘cheap’ in Japanese, including the Japanese word for ‘cheap,’ and other related phrases. By the end of this article, you’ll be able to confidently use these phrases and express affordability in Japanese.

So, let’s dive in and start mastering the phrase, ‘how to say cheap in Japanese.’

Understanding the Concept of ‘Cheap’ in Japanese

When it comes to communication in a foreign language, understanding the nuances and cultural context is crucial. This is especially true when it comes to expressing the concept of ‘cheap’ in Japanese. While there are translations of the word ‘cheap’ in Japanese, it’s important to understand the cultural perspective and usage behind the different words and phrases.

In Japanese, there are various words and expressions that can convey the idea of something being affordable or low-cost. One common word used in this context is ‘yasui’ (安い), which can mean ‘inexpensive,’ ‘affordable,’ or ‘cheap’ depending on the situation.

Japanese Word Meaning
Yasui (安い) Inexpensive, Affordable, Cheap
Takai (高い) Expensive
Futsuuryou (普通料) Regular Price

However, there are also other words and expressions that can be used depending on the situation. For example, the phrase ‘yachiyo-no-kodawari’ (八千代のこだわり) can be used to describe a frugal and budget-conscious lifestyle.

It’s worth noting that while ‘cheap’ may have negative connotations in English, this is not necessarily the case in Japanese. The concept of finding good deals and being thrifty is highly valued in Japanese culture, so using words like ‘yasui’ can be seen as a positive thing.

In conclusion, understanding the Japanese perspective on the concept of ‘cheap’ is important for effective communication in real-life situations or while traveling to Japan. By learning the different words and phrases used to express affordability, you can navigate conversations about prices and bargains with ease.

How to Say ‘Cheap’ in Japanese: Basic Phrases

Learning how to say ‘cheap’ in Japanese can be a useful language skill to have, especially when traveling to Japan or communicating with native speakers. Here are some basic phrases and expressions you can use:

Phrase Pronunciation Translation
yasui yah-soo-ee cheap, inexpensive
yakudachi yah-koo-dah-chee a bargain, a good deal
takai tah-kah-ee expensive

When using these phrases, it’s important to pay attention to your tone and context. In Japanese culture, it may be considered impolite to directly say something is ‘cheap’ or express a strong desire for a bargain. Instead, it’s common to use phrases that suggest affordability or a good deal, such as yakudachi.

Practice pronouncing these phrases to build your confidence in using them in real-life situations.

Popular Words for ‘Cheap’ in Japanese

Learning the right Japanese words is essential to expressing your thoughts fluently. To master the art of communicating affordability in Japanese, you need to familiarize yourself with popular words used for ‘cheap’ or related phrases. Let’s look at some of the most common ones:

Japanese Word/Phrase Pronunciation Meaning
Yasui yah-sue-ee inexpensive, cheap, reasonably priced
Saifu sigh-foo wallet-friendly, reasonable
Warakute wah-ruh-koo-teh cheap, shoddy, inferior
Asakede ah-sah-keh-deh cheap, low-priced, low-quality
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These words and phrases have different nuances, so it’s important to consider the context in which you’re using them. For instance, yasui and saifu are generally positive terms used to describe a good deal, while warakute and asakede may have negative connotations of poor quality or being too cheap.

Moreover, there are variations of these words that can add more expression to your sentences. For example, instead of saying yasui, you can use the phrase yasuku natte iru, which means ‘becoming cheaper.’

By using these words and phrases, you can effectively convey your message about affordability and negotiate prices like a pro in Japan.

How to Write ‘Cheap’ in Japanese

Writing in Japanese can be challenging, especially if you are not familiar with the writing systems. To write ‘cheap’ in Japanese, you can use kanji, hiragana, or katakana, depending on the context.

Writing System Characters Pronunciation
Kanji 安い yasui
Hiragana やすい yasui
Katakana ヤスイ yasui

As you can see, the kanji for ‘cheap’ is 安い, which is pronounced as ‘yasui.’ This is the most common and widely used way to write and say ‘cheap’ in Japanese.

If you are not familiar with kanji, you can use hiragana or katakana. Hiragana is the native Japanese writing system and is used for writing “grammar words” such as particles and verb endings. Katakana is used for writing loanwords and foreign words.

To write ‘cheap’ in hiragana, you can use the characters やすい, which is pronounced as ‘yasui.’ This is the same pronunciation as the kanji version. If you want to write ‘cheap’ in katakana, you can use the characters ヤスイ, which is also pronounced as ‘yasui.’

When writing in Japanese, it is important to pay attention to stroke order and direction. This can affect the readability and accuracy of your writing. You can find stroke order diagrams and practice sheets online to help you learn how to write in Japanese correctly.

Using ‘Cheap’ in Practical Situations

Now that you have learned various ways to express ‘cheap’ in Japanese, it’s time to put your knowledge into practice. Here are a few practical situations where using the word ‘cheap’ or related expressions can come in handy:

Situation Expression to Use
Shopping for souvenirs このお土産は安いですか?(Kono omiyage wa yasui desu ka?) – Is this souvenir cheap?
Looking for budget accommodations 安宿をお探しですか?(Yasuyado wo o sagashi desu ka?) – Are you looking for a cheap accommodation?
Negotiating prices もう少し安くなりませんか?(Mou sukoshi yasuku narimasen ka?) – Can you lower the price a bit more?

Remember to use polite language and consider the context when using these expressions.

By using these phrases, you can communicate effectively with locals and make the most of your travel experience in Japan.

Other Related Terms and Expressions

Expanding your vocabulary beyond just the word ‘cheap’ can be helpful in expressing different nuances of affordability. Here are some additional Japanese terms and phrases related to the concept of inexpensive:

Japanese Term Meaning
安い Yasui – economical; cheap; reasonable; inexpensive
手ごろな Tegorona – reasonably priced; affordable
お得 Otoku – advantageous; good value for money; profitable; worthwhile

In addition, you can also use antonyms of ‘cheap’ to describe the opposite of a low price:

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Antonyms of ‘Cheap’ Meaning
高い Takai – expensive; high-priced
豪華な Goukana – luxurious; elegant
高級品 Koukyuhin – luxury goods

Adding these terms to your Japanese vocabulary can help you express yourself more accurately and effectively when discussing prices and affordability in Japan.

Recap and Conclusion

Congratulations! You have now learned how to say ‘cheap’ in Japanese and various related terms and expressions. This knowledge will be invaluable when you are traveling in Japan or communicating with Japanese people about prices and affordability.

Remember to practice using these phrases and expressions in context to enhance your language skills. By mastering the art of saying ‘cheap’ in Japanese, you will be able to navigate real-life situations with ease.

With the help of this article, you now know the basic phrases and pronunciations for ‘cheap’ in Japanese, as well as the popular words and related terms. You have also learned how to write ‘cheap’ in Japanese using different writing systems.

Additional Tips for Effective Communication

When using the phrases and expressions learned in this article, it’s essential to keep cultural nuances in mind. Japanese people place high importance on politeness and respect, so avoid using overly direct or rude language.

Additionally, always double-check prices and bargains before making a purchase, as some Japanese sellers might not be familiar with the Western concept of bargaining.

Now that you have all the necessary tools, it’s time to put them to use in practical situations. Whether you are negotiating prices for souvenirs or looking for an affordable meal, you can now confidently speak the language of ‘cheap’ in Japanese.

Thank you for reading, and we hope this article has been helpful in your Japanese language journey. Keep exploring and expanding your language skills!


Q: What does this article cover?

A: This article covers various aspects of how to say ‘cheap’ in Japanese, including an introduction to the topic, understanding the concept of ‘cheap’ in Japanese, basic phrases, popular words, writing ‘cheap’ in Japanese, using it in practical situations, other related terms and expressions, and a recap and conclusion.

Q: Why is it important to learn how to say ‘cheap’ in Japanese?

A: Learning how to say ‘cheap’ in Japanese is important for effective communication in real-life situations or while traveling in Japan. It allows you to discuss prices, bargains, and affordability, enhancing your overall language skills and cultural understanding.

Q: How can I use ‘cheap’ in practical situations?

A: This article provides practical examples and scenarios where using the word ‘cheap’ or related expressions in Japanese can be useful. It offers guidance on navigating conversations about prices, bargains, and affordability while in Japan.

Q: What writing systems are covered for ‘cheap’ in Japanese?

A: The article guides readers on how to write the word ‘cheap’ in Japanese using different writing systems, including kanji, hiragana, and katakana. It provides step-by-step instructions on forming the characters for ‘cheap’ in each system.

Q: Are there other related terms and expressions?

A: Yes, the article introduces readers to other related terms and expressions that are relevant to the concept of ‘cheap’ in Japanese. It covers synonyms, antonyms, and additional phrases that can further describe affordability.

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