Learn How to Say I’m Hungry in Japanese – Quick & Easy Guide

Whether you’re planning a trip to Japan or simply want to expand your language skills, learning how to say “I’m hungry” in Japanese is a useful phrase to know. In this guide, we will provide you with a quick and easy overview of the Japanese translation for “I’m hungry” and related phrases to express hunger.

Expressing hunger in Japanese is an important part of daily communication, especially when it comes to ordering food or making conversation with locals. With the right vocabulary and expressions, you can confidently convey your hunger and needs in Japanese.

Read on to discover the basics of saying “I’m hungry” in Japanese and master the essential vocabulary and phrases to use in different situations.

Understanding Basic Japanese Expressions for Hunger

When learning a new language, it’s essential to understand basic expressions for everyday situations. This is especially true when it comes to expressing hunger in Japanese. Knowing how to say “I’m hungry” or other related phrases will allow you to communicate your needs and wants in Japan. Here are some ways to express hunger in Japanese:

Phrase Translation
Onaka ga suita I’m hungry
Onaka wo sukuu To satisfy your hunger
Onaka ippai I’m full
Gochisousama deshita Thank you for the meal

The first phrase, “Onaka ga suita,” is the most common way to say “I’m hungry” in Japanese. It literally translates to “my stomach is empty.” The second expression, “Onaka wo sukuu,” means “to satisfy your hunger.” This phrase is often used when deciding what to eat or when ordering food at a restaurant.

If you’re full or finished eating, you can use the expression “Onaka ippai,” which means “my stomach is full.” Finally, after finishing a meal, it’s polite to say “Gochisousama deshita,” which translates to “thank you for the meal.”

Now that you understand some basic expressions related to hunger, it’s important to practice using them in context. In the next section, we will explore the specific phrase for saying “I’m hungry” in Japanese and related expressions.

Learning the Phrase for “I’m Hungry” in Japanese

Now that you understand the basic Japanese expressions for hunger, let’s take a closer look at how to say “I’m hungry” in Japanese. The Japanese phrase for “I’m hungry” is 「お腹が空いた」 (onaka ga suita) or 「腹ペコです」 (hara peko desu), which literally translates to “my stomach is empty” and “I’m starving,” respectively.

It’s important to note that the Japanese language has different levels of politeness and formality, which can affect how you express hunger. For example, if you’re speaking with friends or family, you might use the more casual phrase 「お腹すいた」 (onaka suita) instead of 「お腹が空いた」.

Additionally, there are several related expressions that you can use to convey your hunger more effectively. For instance, if you’re feeling extremely hungry, you might say 「お腹ペコペコです」(onaka pekopeko desu) or 「お腹ペッコペコです」(onaka pekkopekko desu), both of which mean “my stomach is growling.”

Keep in mind that the Japanese language places a high value on harmony and social etiquette. As such, it’s common to use polite language when speaking with strangers or in more formal situations. In this context, you might use the phrase 「お腹がすいています」(onaka ga suiteimasu) to express your hunger.

By memorizing these phrases and expressions, you’ll be better equipped to communicate your hunger in Japanese, regardless of the situation or context.

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Useful Vocabulary for Expressing Hunger in Japanese

Expanding your Japanese vocabulary is crucial to effectively communicate your hunger in different settings. Below are some useful Japanese words and phrases for expressing hunger:

Japanese Romaji English Translation
空腹(くうふく) Kuufuku Hunger
お腹が減った(おなかがへった) Onaka ga heta I’m hungry
がっつり食べたい(がっつりたべたい) Gattsuri tabetai I want to eat a lot
お腹ペコペコ(おなかぺこぺこ) Onaka pekopeko I’m famished
食欲がある(しょくよくがある) Shokuyoku ga aru I have an appetite

These words and phrases, combined with the polite and casual forms taught in earlier sections, will enable you to effectively express your hunger in various social and cultural contexts. Practice using these words in your daily conversations to enhance your Japanese vocabulary and speaking skills.

Polite and Casual Forms of Expressing Hunger

It’s important to understand the different levels of politeness and formality when expressing hunger in Japanese. The polite form is often used in formal situations, such as when speaking with a boss or someone older. The casual form is used with friends, family, or in informal situations.

Polite Form

The polite form for “I’m hungry” is “Onaka ga sukimashita” (お腹が空きました). This phrase is appropriate when speaking to someone you don’t know well or in a formal setting. It’s important to use honorific language when speaking to someone of higher status, such as using “go” (ご) or “o” (お) before the word “stomach”. So, the complete phrase would be “Gochuumon no o-naka ga sukimashita” (ご注文のお腹が空きました), which means “the honorable stomach that ordered the food is now empty”.

Other polite expressions for hunger include:

Japanese Translation
Omeshiagari ni narimashita I’m starting to feel hungry
Itadakimasu! Literally means “I receive” and is said before eating to express gratitude for the food

Casual Form

The casual form for “I’m hungry” is “Onaka ga hetta” (お腹が減った). This phrase is appropriate when speaking with friends or family in an informal setting. You can also use the shorter version “Onaka hetta” (お腹減った).

Other casual expressions for hunger include:

Japanese Translation
Pekopeko Onomatopoeic expression for a stomach growling
Hara hanga Shortened version of “Hara ga hettanda” which means “I’m hungry”

Now that you know the different forms of expressing hunger in Japanese, you can choose the appropriate form depending on the situation and the person you’re speaking with.

Cultural Considerations When Talking About Hunger in Japanese

When expressing hunger in Japanese, it is important to consider the cultural context. In Japan, food is seen as a form of hospitality and respect for others. Therefore, it is considered impolite to loudly proclaim your hunger in public or especially in front of others who may not have food.

Instead, it is customary to express your hunger more subtly, such as by stating that you would like to “have a bite” or “eat a little something.” This shows respect for the importance of food in Japanese culture and avoids any implication of greed or gluttony.

Additionally, it is important to pay attention to the level of formality when expressing hunger. In casual situations, it is acceptable to use more informal language when talking about hunger, but in formal situations or with people of higher status, it is important to use more polite language and expressions.

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Japanese Expressions for Feeling Hungry

Here are some common Japanese expressions for feeling hungry:

Japanese Romaji English
お腹がすきました Onaka ga sukimashita I’m hungry
食欲がある Shokuyoku ga aru I have an appetite
お腹が減りました Onaka ga herimashita I’m getting hungry
食い気がする Kuiki ga suru I feel like eating

Japanese Phrase for “I’m Hungry”

The most common phrase for saying “I’m hungry” in Japanese is “お腹がすきました” (Onaka ga sukimashita). This is a polite and formal expression that can be used in most situations.

In more casual situations, you can use the phrase “腹ペコ” (harapeko), which is a slang expression meaning “starving” or “famished.” However, this expression is best used with friends or in informal settings.

Practice Exercises to Master Saying “I’m Hungry” in Japanese

Now that you have learned the basic Japanese expressions for hunger and the specific phrase for saying “I’m hungry,” it’s time to practice! Use the following exercises to reinforce your understanding of expressing hunger in Japanese:

Exercise Instructions
1 Write the Japanese translation for “I’m hungry” five times in a row.
2 Use the Japanese vocabulary for expressing hunger to create five unique sentences.
3 Practice different levels of politeness and formality when expressing hunger in Japanese by using both the casual and polite forms of “I’m hungry” in a conversation with a friend.

Keep practicing until it becomes natural for you to express hunger in Japanese. Remember, practice makes perfect!


Congratulations! You’ve learned how to say “I’m hungry” in Japanese. By understanding the basic expressions and specific phrases for expressing hunger, as well as utilizing useful vocabulary and understanding cultural considerations, you are well on your way to mastering the Japanese language.

Remember to practice, practice, practice! The more you use these phrases and expressions, the more natural they will become for you. Try out the practice exercises provided in this guide to reinforce your understanding of expressing hunger in Japanese.

Keep Learning Japanese!

If you’re interested in learning more Japanese phrases and expressions, there are many resources available online and in language schools to help you become fluent in the language.

Keep up the great work and enjoy exploring the rich culture and language of Japan!


Q: How do I say “I’m hungry” in Japanese?

A: The phrase for “I’m hungry” in Japanese is “Onaka ga suita” or “お腹がすいた” in Hiragana.

Q: What are some other ways to express hunger in Japanese?

A: In addition to saying “I’m hungry,” you can also use expressions like “Onaka o suku” (お腹を空く) which means “to get hungry” or “Onaka ga peko peko” (お腹がぺこぺこ) which means “to be starving.”

Q: Are there any specific cultural considerations when talking about hunger in Japanese?

A: Yes, in Japanese culture, it is considered impolite to openly express hunger or eat in public. It is important to be mindful of these cultural norms when discussing hunger.

Q: Can you provide some practice exercises to help me master saying “I’m hungry” in Japanese?

A: Sure! Here’s a practice exercise: Try using the phrase “Onaka ga suita” in a sentence to tell someone that you’re hungry. For example, you can say “Onaka ga suita. Tabetai!” which means “I’m hungry. I want to eat!”

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