Master “How to Say What is it in Japanese” – Quick and Simple Guide

Welcome to this quick and simple guide on how to say “What is it?” in Japanese. It’s no secret that learning a new language can be daunting, but having basic language skills can go a long way, whether it’s for personal or professional reasons. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the basics of Japanese phrases and expressions used to inquire about unknown objects or things.

Learning how to say “What is it?” in Japanese can open up a whole new world of communication, and with a bit of practice, you’ll be able to navigate everyday situations with ease. In this guide, we’ll cover a range of phrases and expressions that will help you express yourself accurately and respectfully.

So, whether you’re planning a trip to Japan, or simply interested in learning a new language, let’s get started. By the end of this guide, you’ll be equipped with the knowledge and vocabulary to confidently inquire “What is it?” in Japanese.

Let’s dive in!

Understanding the Basics of Japanese Phrases

If you are interested in learning Japanese, it’s essential to understand the basics of the language. This section will cover some common Japanese phrases and words that can be used to ask “What is it?” in Japanese.

The Japanese term for “what” is “nan.” To ask “What is it?” in Japanese, you can use the following phrases:

Japanese Phrase Pronunciation English Translation
“Nan desu ka?” NAHN deh-soo kah? “What is it?” (polite form)
“Nan da?” NAHN dah? “What is it?” (casual form)

It’s important to note that Japanese has different levels of politeness. The phrases above are the most common ways to ask “What is it?” in Japanese, but they may not always be appropriate depending on the situation.

Common Japanese Words for “What is it?”

In addition to the phrases above, there are also a few common Japanese words you can use to ask “What is it?”

Japanese Word Pronunciation English Translation
“Sore wa” SOH-reh wah “What is that?”
“Kore wa” KOH-reh wah “What is this?”

These words are useful in situations where you are pointing to a specific object or item.

Remember that practice makes perfect when it comes to learning a new language. Take the time to practice these basic phrases and words and incorporate them into your everyday conversations to improve your language skills.

Polite Ways to Inquire “What is it?” in Japanese

If you want to ask “What is it?” politely in Japanese, there are several ways to go about it. Japanese culture places a high value on politeness, so it’s important to use appropriate phrases and expressions when seeking information.

One way to ask “What is it?” politely in Japanese is to use the phrase “nan desu ka?” This is a formal and polite way to inquire about something unknown. The phrase can be broken down into three parts: “nan” means “what,” “desu” is the polite copula that indicates the sentence subject, and “ka” is a question marker.

Another way to ask “What is it?” politely is to use the phrase “sono oto wa nan desu ka?” This translates to “What is that sound?” and is often used when asking about a specific sound or noise.

It’s important to note that the level of politeness of your expression may change depending on the context and the person you are speaking to. For example, if you are speaking to someone older or of higher social status, you may want to use an even more polite expression.

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When asking “What is it?” in Japanese, it’s also good to be mindful of your tone of voice. Using a polite tone can go a long way in showing respect and establishing good communication with the person you are speaking to.

Translations of “What is it?” in Japanese

Here are some Japanese phrases that can be used to ask “What is it?” in different contexts:

Phrase Context
“Nani desu ka?” Formal or polite settings
“Sono oto wa nan desu ka?” Asking about a specific sound or noise
“Kore wa nan desu ka?” Asking about an object or thing close to you
“Are wa nan desu ka?” Asking about an object or thing far from you

By learning and using these different expressions, you can effectively inquire “What is it?” in various situations and contexts.

Common Japanese Expressions for Asking About Unknown Objects

When you want to ask “What is it?” in Japanese, there are several expressions you can use depending on the situation. Here are some common Japanese expressions for asking about unknown objects:

Expression Translation Usage
なにこれ? (nani kore?) What’s this? Used when pointing at something to ask what it is.
これ何? (kore nani?) What is this? A more direct way to ask what something is.
それは何ですか? (sore wa nan desu ka?) What is that? Used when asking about something that is not within your immediate vicinity.
あれは何ですか? (are wa nan desu ka?) What is that over there? Used when asking about something that is farther away.
どういう意味ですか? (dou iu imi desu ka?) What does it mean? Used when you don’t understand something or need clarification on the meaning.

By using these expressions, you can effectively communicate your curiosity and desire for more information in Japanese. Practice using them in different contexts to become more comfortable with the language.

Using “Nani” to Ask “What is it?” in Japanese

If you’re wondering how to say “what is it?” in Japanese, the word “nani” is a great place to start. This simple word can be used to ask about anything you’re curious about, whether it’s a new food you’re trying or a word you don’t understand.

One of the great things about “nani” is that it’s very versatile. It can be used in a variety of contexts and situations. For example, you can use “nani” to ask:

English Japanese Pronunciation
What is this? これは何ですか? kore wa nan desu ka?
What is that? あれは何ですか? are wa nan desu ka?
What is your name? あなたの名前は何ですか? anata no namae wa nan desu ka?

As you can see, “nani” can be used to ask a wide range of questions. And because it’s such a common and useful word, it’s one of the first things many people learn when studying Japanese.

However, it’s important to remember that the tone and context in which you use “nani” can affect how polite or casual your question sounds. If you want to be more formal or respectful, there are other phrases and expressions you can use instead.

In the next section, we’ll go over some of these more polite ways to ask “what is it?” in Japanese.

Essential Japanese Vocabulary for Asking “What is it?”

If you’re interested in expanding your Japanese language skills, understanding how to ask “What is it?” is a great place to start. Here’s a list of essential Japanese vocabulary related to asking about unknown objects:

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Japanese Phonetic English Translation
何 (nani) nah-nee what
それは何ですか (sore wa nan desu ka) soh-reh wah nah-n deh-soo kah what is that?
これは何ですか (kore wa nan desu ka) koh-reh wah nah-n deh-soo kah what is this?
何というものですか (nan to iu mono desu ka) nahn toh ee-oo moh-no deh-soo kah what do you call this?

Practice these phrases and ask “What is it?” with confidence.

Practice Makes Perfect – Using “What is it?” in Conversations

Now that you have learned the basics of asking “What is it?” in Japanese, it’s time to put your knowledge to the test. The best way to improve your language skills is through practice, so try using the phrases and expressions you learned in real-life conversations.

Start by finding a Japanese-speaking friend or language partner who can help you practice. You can also use language exchange apps or websites to connect with native speakers.

Conversation Example 1:

Person A: これは何ですか?(Kore wa nan desu ka?)

Person B: それはペンです。(Sore wa pen desu.)

In this conversation, Person A is asking “What is this?” and Person B is responding with “It’s a pen.” Practice this conversation with a partner until it feels natural.

Conversation Example 2:

Person A: あの建物は何ですか?(Ano tatemono wa nan desu ka?)

Person B: それは博物館です。(Sore wa hakubutsukan desu.)

In this conversation, Person A is asking “What is that building?” and Person B is responding with “It’s a museum.” This conversation is useful for learning how to ask about unknown objects in Japanese.

Remember to use polite language when speaking with others, especially if they are older or in a professional setting. Using the appropriate expressions can also show your respect and interest in the language and culture.

Practice regularly and don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Learning a language takes time and effort, but with enough practice, you will improve your language skills and be able to confidently ask “What is it?” in Japanese.

FAQ

Q: How do I say “What is it?” in Japanese?

A: To say “What is it?” in Japanese, you can use the phrase “Nani desu ka?”

Q: What are some polite ways to inquire “What is it?” in Japanese?

A: Some polite ways to ask “What is it?” in Japanese include using phrases like “Sumimasen, sore wa nan desu ka?” or “Oshiete kudasai, sore wa nan desu ka?”

Q: Are there any common Japanese expressions for asking about unknown objects?

A: Yes, there are common expressions like “Kore wa nan desu ka?” (What is this?) or “Sore wa nan desu ka?” (What is that?) that can be used to ask about unknown objects in Japanese.

Q: Can I use the word “nani” to ask “What is it?” in Japanese?

A: Yes, the word “nani” can be used to ask “What is it?” in Japanese. It is a versatile word that can be used in various contexts.

Q: What are some essential Japanese vocabulary words for asking “What is it?”

A: Some essential Japanese vocabulary words related to asking “What is it?” include “kore” (this), “sore” (that), “nan desu ka?” (what is it?), and “oshiete kudasai” (please tell me).

Q: How can I practice using “What is it?” in Japanese conversations?

A: To practice using “What is it?” in Japanese conversations, you can engage in role-playing exercises or have conversations with language partners or tutors. This will help you gain confidence and improve your communication skills.

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