Home Japanese Language 24 Japanese Slang Phrases You Ought to Know to Sound Like a Native

24 Japanese Slang Phrases You Ought to Know to Sound Like a Native

24 Japanese Slang Phrases You Ought to Know to Sound Like a Native


japanese slang

Wanna simply let unfastened, chill out and actually have enjoyable with the Japanese language for as soon as?

To do that, you’ll have to know what the children are saying nowadays and what Japanese seems like on the streets.

Should you’ve already realized how one can infer topics, then now could be the time to stage up your informal talking expertise by slang!

Your Japanese language expertise will enhance total, and you’ll find yourself sounding way more pure.


Prime 24 Japanese Slang Phrases

1. おっす! (What’s up?)

Wish to shock your Japanese pals? Simply say おっす to them subsequent time you meet. おっす was once a navy greeting and was thought of extremely formal. It’s nonetheless generally used amongst martial artists.

These days it means “what’s up?” amongst younger individuals. Not that many individuals truly use it, so it may be thought of sort of quirky—however that’s all proper in the event you’re already standing out as a foreigner.

For a extra conservative strategy strive こんちはー, a shortened type of こんにちは, which suggests “good day” / “hiya.”

2. よー! (Hey!)

That is the same old approach of claiming “hey!” as a pleasant greeting.

You may as well use おい!, which sounds just like the British oi! and has the very same that means. It’s not very well mannered, so I don’t advocate utilizing it with strangers.

Should you’re saying “hello” to some shut pals and also you need appear cool, then use よー、お前ら!(よー、おまえら!— Hey, guys!) That is half greeting, half pleasant insult. It’s extra like saying “‘sup dorkface,” which could be a pleasant greeting if spoken to an in depth pal, however a bit an excessive amount of with anybody else.

As a aspect word, the non-public pronoun お前 (おまえ) is conventionally reserved for enemies. It’s extraordinarily rude besides when utilized by shut pals.

3. 調子どう? (ちょうしどう?— How’s It Hanging?)

This merely means “How’s it hanging?” Subsequent time you’re at a social gathering with pals, simply ask everybody this query! And be ready for a wide range of responses.

You may as well use おげんこ?, which is a shortened model of お元気ですか ?(おげんきですか?), Japanese for “how are you?”

4. 相変わらずだよ (あいかわらずだよ — Similar as At all times, Man)

This isn’t that generally used, since Tokyo individuals are extra more likely to simply say まあまあだよ that means “so so.”

So far as 相変わらずだよ goes, the ending particle, よ, of that sentence asserts a form of confidence in the identical approach that the English phrase “man” does when used as slang.

5. ごめんちゃい / ごめんくさい / めんごめんご (Slangy Apologies)

These are all slangy types of ごめんなさい (I’m sorry). Actually, if you wish to apologize correctly then it is best to say ごめんなさい, but when what you probably did wasn’t that severe—or if you wish to sound cute—then the slangier types will work.

ごめんちゃい and ごめんくさい are form of enjoyable and light-hearted.

めんごめんご will make most individuals cringe once they hear it. They may simply forgive you out of embarrassment.

In fact, there’s additionally a “cool man” option to apologize. Simply say わりいーね, which suggests “my dangerous.”

6. またねー! (Later!)

There are just a few choices right here.

またねー and じゃーね are the most typical methods of claiming “goodbye.”

あばよ is how a troublesome man says “later.” The よ suffix mainly means, “I’m sure,” displaying your full confidence in a future assembly. It’s a bit foolish, although, so that you will not be taken to significantly in the event you use this phrase.

7. 一足す一は? (いちたすいちは?— Say Cheese)

一足す一は? means “one plus one is?” and the reply, in Japanese, is 二 (に). As in にー, which is what you say when somebody takes a photograph of you.

“Cheese” works as nicely, however you must voice it with Japanese intonation, チーズ (ちーず).

8. 君は本当にいいヤツだな (きみは ほんとうに いいやつだな — You’re a Actual Stable Man)

Whenever you’re having an evening out in Shinjuku, there may come a degree whenever you handle to interrupt the ice with one of many many salarymen at a bar. The extra they drink, the extra they speak in confidence to you and begin rambling about their lives, the state of society and what have you ever.

In some unspecified time in the future they might say 君は本当にいいヤツだな, mainly simply calling you an actual good man.

9. お前はイケメンだ (おまえは いけめんだ — You Darn Prettyboy)

お前はイケメンだ (おまえは いけめん だ) is one thing it is best to use between pals solely. Once more, the pronoun お前 (おまえ) is usually thought of offensive, however shut pals might use it to handle one another in a light-hearted method.

So, you should use this to convey light-hearted jealousy by mentioning the prettyboy (イケメン) in your group of pals.

10. 一杯どう? (いっぱい どう? — How A couple of Drink?)

Saying 一杯どう? is a pleasant approach of providing a drink. Straightforward sufficient to recollect as nicely, proper?

If you wish to observe it up with one other drink afterwards, it’s もう一杯どう? (もう いっぱい どう? — yet another drink?).

11. 山手線ゲーム、しようぜ! (やまのてせんげーむ、しようぜ!— Let’s Play Yamanote Line!)

The Yamanote line in Tokyo goes in a circle across the metropolis middle. The Yamanote Line sport is a well-liked ingesting sport through which a gaggle of pals go round in a circle on the practice. They clap in tune and say the names of stations on the Yamanote line aloud.

Should you can’t consider one thing to say, or in the event you repeat one thing that’s already been stated, you lose and should drink.

Apart from the practice stations, the sport could be tailored to make use of any theme, like “colours,” “cute issues,” “anime titles” or every other theme.

Listed below are the ladies from ECYJapan taking part in the sport on your amusement:

12. 今夜は家でゴロゴロしてるよ (こんやは いえで ごろごろしてるよ — Tonight I’m Simply Gonna Area Out at Dwelling)

Right here we see an instance the place onomatopoeia—i.e. phrases that specific an motion or that means by their sound—is utilized in slang. In Japanese ゴロゴロ means “rolling” and “turning.”

In any case, 今夜は家でゴロゴロしてるよ interprets to one thing like “I’ll be rolling at house,” whereas the that means is extra precisely translated to “I’m going to area out at house.” It’s an amazing response to have available if somebody invitations you to take a spin on the Yamanote line.

13. お腹減ったなー (おなかへったなー — I’m Hungry)

お腹減ったなー means my abdomen is empty—it’s like saying, “I’m famished.”

お腹がゴロゴロ言ってる (おなかが ごろごろいってる) means “my abdomen is growling.” The onomatopoeia ゴロゴロ this time means “grumbling.”

There’s a brutish approach of claiming abdomen, which is just 腹 (はら). Saying 腹減った (はらへった) , you sound like an anime character asking for meals.

14. ヤバい (やばい — Depraved)

The phrase ヤバい was used for harmful conditions: When somebody’s at risk or in a foul state of affairs, they’ll use the phrase ヤバい. Nevertheless, younger individuals have began to make use of the time period to imply “uncool” or something unfavourable.

In a reverse-Uno twist, the phrase is now getting used for optimistic issues, as nicely. So basically, ヤバい is an adjective that can be utilized to imply one thing good or dangerous relying on the context.

In English, the phrase ヤバい would most likely be just like the phrase “depraved,” through which “depraved” could be have each optimistic and unfavourable connotations.

15. 微妙 (びみょう — Bizarre)

The phrase 微妙 is at present used to precise an unclear assertion with a unfavourable connotation.

In Japan, you need to keep away from sounding too harsh. You don’t need to straight say one thing very unfavourable. That’s why you employ the time period 微妙 to go away some uncertainty. In English, the phrase 微妙 could be just like the phrase “bizarre,” however with a extra unfavourable contact to it.

16. (ちょう)  /  めっちゃ (Completely / Tremendous)

These two phrases have very related meanings:  超 and めっちゃ are interchangeable they usually each imply “very.”

Formally in Japanese, you’d use the phrase とても or in some circumstances すごい. Nevertheless, with slang, you should use these two phrases. In English, these phrases are just like the phrases “completely,” “tremendous” and “so.”

17. マジで (まじで — Severely)

The phrase マジ comes from the phrase 真面目 (まじめ), which suggests “severe.” In English, you’d use this phrase as “significantly” or “actually.”

You need to use マジ or マジで. Each マジ and マジで are used when it’s adopted by a few extra phrases, and whenever you simply need to say “significantly, man!?”

18. ハンパない (はんぱない — Outrageous)

ハンパない is used to explain one thing as extraordinary, excessive or outrageous, although it’s usually meant in a optimistic approach.

This phrase is definitely similar to the phrase ヤバい, and you should use the 2 interchangeably.

19. ノリノリ (のりのり — Simply Hyped Up / The Lifetime of the Get together)

ノリノリ initially comes from the phrase 乗る(のる), which suggests to journey or get on (some form of automobile). This verb quickly remodeled its that means to becoming a member of or going together with another person’s completely happy temper, jokes or occasion mode.

This time period is used usually in concert events or discos the place the DJ participant screams “乗ってる?(のってる?)” which suggests “are you having enjoyable?” ノリノリ is the adjective type of のる.

Should you describe somebody as ノリノリ, it signifies that she or he can get puffed up simply and can associate with the excited environment. In English, it’s the alternative of a party-pooper—it’s somebody who’s the Lifetime of the Get together.

*Notice: don’t mistake this phrase with the phrase for seaweed!

20. オシャンティー (おしゃんてぃー — Glamorous)

オシャンティー comes from the phrase おしゃれ, which suggests “trendy.” It was broadly popularized by the well-known feminine idol group AKB48, the place they defined of their blogs that they stylized the phrase おしゃれ and made it オシャンティー.

In English, this phrase is sort of just like the slang phrase “glam,” which is in need of glamorous.

21. グロい (ぐろい — Horrific, Gory or Repulsive)

This slang time period comes from the phrase grotesque. Identical to what the phrase refers to, it’s normally used to explain one thing associated to horror. It may well imply one thing is repulsive, scary or gory.

22. チャラい (ちゃらい — Shallow and Flirtatious)

チャラい is an adjective to explain an individual as shallow and flirtatious. It normally refers to males who continually attempt to choose up ladies.

The phrase has a number of totally different types.

One of many types is チャラ男 (ちゃらお) which suggests the identical as チャラい, however restricted to solely boys. The opposite type  is チャラチャラ (ちゃらちゃら), which comes from the sound that equipment make—mainly, the bling.

23. 重い (おもい — Somebody Additional / An Uncomfortable Scenario) 

This actually means “heavy” and can be utilized in two alternative ways.

The primary approach is to explain an individual in a relationship. It’s a unfavourable phrase and connotes that this individual is just “an excessive amount of”—whether or not which means s/he’s continually complaining, demanding, anticipating an excessive amount of or is obsessive.

Their actions are overwhelming and in the end push their companions away. Think about the individual hugging the associate’s leg and turning into a heavy load.

The second approach to make use of 重い is whenever you describe one thing (a state of affairs, feeling, phrases) as severe, uncomfortable or miserable.

24. 日本人はオモロいよね (にほんじんはおもろいよね — Japanese People Are Enjoyable)

The phrase オモロい (おもろい) is a shortened type of 面白い (おもしろい). It may be taken to imply fascinating, enjoyable or cool, relying on the context.

At any time when your Japanese pals are doing one thing uncommon, you may say 日本人はオモロいよね.

How Japanese Slang Phrases Are Used

Positive, a whole lot of significance is positioned on being well mannered in Japanese—however Japanese individuals use slang on a regular basis!


Nicely, as a matter of reality, Japanese slang is essential to understanding the language and tradition. Slang is what you employ to let others know that you simply contemplate them near you. Slang is sort of a secret you may share with family and friends members who’ve your belief.

That’s why slang is normally most well-liked whenever you’re not at work. As with many issues within the Japanese language, the suitable timing and utilization of slang is determined by who you might be and the present circumstances. It’s an in-depth matter through which all the things you say could be assorted endlessly.

The Japanese slang vocabulary grows and takes on new nuances for each technology.

Certainly, although older generations use slang as nicely, they sound utterly totally different to younger individuals.

Some expressions you simply should know, however a whole lot of the time you may infer what individuals are saying by listening fastidiously.


A program like FluentU may also provide you with a leg up with regards to slang and pure speech. The FluentU program makes use of genuine Japanese movies like film clips, music movies, commercials and vlogs (amongst extra) to introduce you to the language in a pure approach.

FluentU additionally has interactive subtitles that use context to offer you the proper definition of any phrase as you’re watching a video. Which means that you’ll be capable of see when a phrase is getting used as slang. Simply hover your mouse over, click on or faucet on a phrase within the subtitles to see its that means.

FluentU Adjective Clip

FluentU additionally permits you to add phrases to your flashcards, which you’ll later examine with customized quizzes. Plus, you may entry the FluentU program in your browser or utilizing the iOS or Android apps.

For additional studying, I’d recommend the ebook “Soiled Japanese” (NSFW) by Matt Fargo.

Why You Have to Take a Break from Formal Japanese

Formal Japanese could make you sound bizarre and misplaced when used within the improper contexts.

As you study Japanese, you’ll study to make use of correct grammar and to incorporate the best particles in the best locations. That is necessary as a result of it provides you a correct understanding of the language, and this data is what it is best to base your Japanese language proficiency on.

To not point out, that is additionally what your language proficiency will probably be evaluated on whenever you take extra official assessments.

Nevertheless, in the event you’ve ever truly lived in Japan, you’ll know that most individuals don’t converse fairly so correctly of their day by day lives. Talking full, grammatically appropriate sentences with a lot of particles is simply too bothersome and inconvenient. You’ll should pronounce extra syllables than actually essential to get your message throughout.

What’s appropriate utilization of language, anyway?

It’s considerably ironic that learners of the Japanese language generally go to nice lengths to talk appropriately by fastidiously selecting the best particles, when it’s usually extra appropriate to simply depart them out.

And, sure, I do imply appropriate.

Should you’re actually severe about studying Japanese, you then also needs to study informal Japanese.

It’s like the way you by no means truly ask your folks in English “Would you wish to go to look at a film?” You say “Wanna see a film?” For day-to-day conversations, most native English audio system know that the latter is extra appropriate, though that sentence doesn’t also have a topic!

The best way Japanese individuals use Japanese is certainly probably the most appropriate approach and, belief me, they use slang loads! By making an attempt to construction your sentences neatly and going out of your option to be grammatically proper, you may truly be standing out.

A Basic Phrase of Recommendation

Whenever you need to sound informal in Japanese it is best to actually simply attempt to miss among the pointless particles. Usually, you’ll be unsure as as to whether to make use of は or が, when in truth probably the most pure selection is simply to go away them each out. In order that’s a cool little trick you should use to show your uncertainty in Japanese into confidence (however significantly, study the particles.)

Some particles like ね and よ add taste to a whole sentence. These are extremely necessary in slang.

Usually, when older males from the Kanto area converse, you’ll hear sentences ending in だよ. It’s too exhaustive a subject to offer a full account of right here, however lookup a few of these particles and see what they do. Usually, being slangy entails simply including one thing like よ to the top of your sentence.

Now that how one can sound extra pure in Japanese, go and follow with some Japanese pals. Take note of how they converse Japanese and be looking out for brand new Japanese slang!