FanFic Writers' Japanese Dictionary

Version 1.2
Assembled and edited by Bart J. Rubber


The following FFWJD contains a number of Japanese words and phrases with their English translations. I tried my best to make these as reliable as possible, providing all the basic meanings and translations I could find. Still I'm no God (though I'd like to be one sometimes... :) and I learned Japanese long time ago so I can't really asure correctness of every single case.
I don't give the rules of Japanese pronounciation and transcription - there are coutless documents that do it better than I ever would. Also, one may argue about the transcription of some words... Well, there are basicly couple ways of doing it - I've personally seen one word transcribed in four ways - all of them correct. I suppose the case is similar to American slang - there's no fixed transcription... Hope anyway this will be underestandable! This problem is partly because of the difference in the way of writing the sound.
The main part of this document are words and ocasionally phrases. There's also appendix that gives some Japanese proverbs (S.T. thumbs up!) and one more about the honorificators (name suffixes).
If you think you can provide any feedback - let me know. This project is open for amendements and development. Just contact me by e-mail:


Disclaimer: the following document was based on work of many people, especially White Cat, David A. Miller, Steven Tsai and Gilbert NG. I organised it, edited and amended where I found it necessary, also adding more words and phrases. If you wish to use this document on any FTP, WWW, CD or else simply contact me by e-mail to get my permission.

A B C D E F G H I J K M N O P R S T U W Y Z | Proverbs | Numbers | Suffixes


abunee (also: abunai) - danger, as a phrase: "Watch out!"
ai - love
ai shiteru - "I love you" (this is the strongest way to express this feeling and is only used by people really commited to each other)
akai - red
akumu - nightmare
anata - you (formal), also: dear, when used by wife to husband, lit.: precious one
aniki - older brother (more affectionate version and in fact I've never actually seen it used...)
anmitsu - fruit with brown sugar, boiled red beans and soft-mochi; sometimes referred to as "Japanese sweet"
ano - sound of hesitation before a question is asked
aoi - blue
ara - sound of mild surprise, used mostly by women
arigato - "Thanks", see also: domo arigato gozaimasu
ashita - tommorow
awa odori - "Bubble Dance", main erotic technique in Soaplands, combination of bath houses and prostitution centres


babaa - old women (derrogatory term)
baka - fool
baka yaro - stupid jerk, also spelled: bakyarou
bishojo - beautiful girl
bishonen - beautiful boy
boku - one of the men's "I" (supposedly more formal)
bon - Festival of the Dearly Departed
bonito - dry fish
bun - nonsense syllable used by young girls to express denial


che - mild expression of disappointment/irritation
chigau - disapproval, denial, as a phrase: "Wrong!"
chikusho - lit.: beast, as a phrase: "Damn it!", "Fuck!"
cho-no-ryoku-sha - ESPer, lit.: "person with special powers"
chotto - lit.: a small amount, see also: chotto matte
chotto matte - "Wait a moment!"


dachinko - friends, see also: tomodachi
daijobu desu ka / daijobu ka - "Are you all right?"
daikyo - Japanese longbow
daimyo - feudal master, overlord, lit.: "Great Name"
dake - only
dame / damare - "Stop!", as a phrase: "It's not good!", also possible: dame yo!
demo - but, however
densetsu - legend or fantasy
dewa matta - "I'll be seing you!"
do - road, also: a way of life
do itashimashite - "You're welcome" (in reply to "Thank you")
do-kin - sound of shock or surprise
dokeshi - clown
doko desu ka - "Where are you?"
domo - indeed
domo arigato gozaimasu - "Thank you very much", also: arigato
dorei - slave
doshita no - "What's wrong?"


ecci - (orig. sick) erotic, perverted, also spelled: etchi, see also: hentai
Edo - previous name of Tokio (not used for quite a time now)
egao - smile
eigo-ya - derogatory term for "English speaker"


fugu - dish made of extremely poisonous fish
furo - hot bath, used also for relaxation
fushigi - magical, mysterious, strange
futago - twins
futon - matress


gaijin - a stranger
gakko - school, university
gakusei - student
gambatte - term of encouragement like "C'mon!", "Go!"
geisha - practitioners of arts and entertainment with erotic reputation
genkan - the place in Japanese house where you leave your shoes
genki o dashite - "Cheer up!"
genki desu ka - "How are you?", usually: o-genki desu ka
gin - silver
gochiso-sama deshita - way of thanking for the meal
gomen - "I'm sorry", more formal version 'gomen nasai' means "Please, forgive me"
gomen kudasai - "Is anyone home?"
gon - the sound of astonishement (in manga the sound of a stone falling on sbd's head)


hai - "Yes", "That's right"
hajime - start, beginning
hajimemashite - "I'm very glad I could meet you" (said when we meet sbd for the first time"
hakama - traditional Shinto priestess garb
hanashite - "Let go of me!", also possible: hanasee
hanko - seal/stamp used after a person's name on legally binding documents
hato - man, human
hatsumoude - the first act of worship during the New Year at a Shintou shrine or Buddhist temple
hayaku - early, quckly, as a phrase: "Hurry up!"
hanayomeisho - Japanese bridal costume
hentai - pervert, see also: ecci
hi - fire
hidoi - mean, cruel
hikari - light
hisashiburi - "Long time no see", also possible: ohisashiburi
honne - substance, matter
honou - flame, flames
honto - "Are you serious?"
hoshi - star, stars


iku zo - "Let's go!" (informal)
imoto - little sister (suffixes -chan and -san may be added)
iinazuke - fiancee
irrashai / irrashaimase - "Welcome" (to someone entering a public place like restaurant, office or so)
ite - "Ow!", also possible: itai
itooshi - beloved


ja - well (like in: "well, now we know...")
ja ne - "See you later!" (informal)
jijii - old men (derogatory term)
jinja - shrine
juku - cram school that helps students pass the college entrance exams


kaeru - toad
kagami - mirror
kagayaku - glittering, sparkling
kaiseki - one of the three basic styles of traditional Japanese cooking - meals are presented with exquisite arrangements, with appearance, color and texture carefully chosen
kami - god, paper (surprising, but that's right)
kampai - a toast salute
kanashimi - sadness, sorrow, grief
kanji - Chinese writing symbols adopted for Japanese
kanrinin - house manager
kantoku - coach
karaage - fried chicken usually served in small pieces
katana - long Japanese sword
kawaii - cute, nice, sweet (ain't that obvoius?)
kawaii ku nai - uncute, also spelled: kawaikunee
kawaiiso - poor, unfortunate
kimagure - whimsical, capricious
kimi - you (informal and used by men mostly)
kimono - traditional Japanese clothing
kin - gold
ki o tsukete - "Take care!"
kirei - beautiful, pretty
kirigirisu - grasshopper
kisama - very rough version of "you" (supposedly it may also mean "bastard")
kissaten - small cafe that serves coffee, tea and light refreshments; kissatens often have Chinese or French names
kitto - absolutely, for sure, also: perfectly
kitsune - fox
koban - small police outpost or police box
kohai - younger friend at school or at work
kodomo - child, see also: suffix -ko
koe - voice
koi - love, golden carp (yes! :)
koibito - girlfriend, boyfriend, lover
kojiki - the oldest written history of Japan
kokoro - heart
komatta - trouble
komban wa - "Good evening!"
konnichi wa - "Hello!", "Good day!"
korose - kill, omae o korosu - "I'll kill you!"
kotatsu - a low, Japanese table with heater underneath
kurae - a word shouted before an attack, translated often as "Take this!"
kudasai - please (only can be used in a full sentence)
kuma - bear
kuso - as a phrase: "Shit!", "Damn it!"
kyaa - nonsense scream used by girls
kyodai - brother
kyukin - wages


madoka - a name, the character used to describe 1 yen coin, a small fish & couple other
machinasai - "Stop!"
maguro - tuna
make ja nai - "Don't loose!", see also: gambatte
mamagon - lit.: Dragon Mother, expression used to describe women who pressure their children to study constantly
masaka - "Can't be...", "No way!"
matte na - "See you later!" (informal)
matte - "Wait!", see also: chotto matte
mazui - lit.: inadvisable, of bad taste, as a phrase: "Not good"
megami - goddess
meijin - master
meotojawan - a set of cup for him and her
midori - green
miko - priestess, shrine maiden
minna - everyone (suffixes may be added)
miso - soup of fermented soybinand fish
mizu - water
mochi - rice cake
mou - nonsense syllable of exclamation/astonishment used by girls
muko-yoshi - a son-in-law adopted by the bride's fathre, who takes the name of his new family


namida - tears
nanda - "What?", also possible: nani
nani ten no - "What did you say?"
natsu - summer
natsu yasumi - summer vacation
naze da - "Why?"
ne - used as question tag in sentences (like "isn't that right?", "isn't it?")
neko - cat
ningen - human
ninmu - mission
no - possesive (English "'s" or "of")
nori - dried seaweed (a dish)


oakerinasai - "I'm back!", "I'm home!"
obaasan/obaachan - gramdmother/granny ("o" may be ommited")
obaba - derogative term for old women, old witch
obasan - aunt ("o" may be ommited")
obi - the sash to fasten kimono
ogenki desu ka - "How are you?"
ohayo - "Morning!" (more formal: ohayo gazaimasu
oi - hey
ojisan - uncle ("o" may be ommited")
ojo-sama - way of adressing a very respective, high ranking lady
ojosan/ojochan - miss, a rich girl
okaasan/okaachan - mother/mom ("o" may be ommited")
okama - homosexual, crossdresser
okawari - response for a refill or another portion of food
okonomiyaki - sort of filled pancake
oku-sam - madame
okyaku-sama - honored customer
omachido-sama deshita - "Thank you for waiting", used by waitresses when serving the meal
omae - "you" used for someone really close, otherwise it has slightly agressive meaning
omake - a little extra some merchants include in a deal
omiai - a meeting, introducing the participants of an arranged marriage
omisoka - New Year's Eve
oneechan - older sister
onegai shimasu - please (used as a stand-alone phrase, unlike kudasai
oni - devil, monster
onigiri - riceball with salted salmon, or pickled plum in the middle
oniichan - older brother
onna - women
onnanoko - girl
onna-tarashi - womenizer, ladies' mad
onore - "You bastard!"
ore - rough version of male "I"
oshiire - special cupboard used to hold a folded futon during the day
osuwari - "Sit!"
otanjobu - "Happy Birthday!", also possible: otanjobu omedeto gozaimasu
otanoshimi kudasai - "Please enjoy!"
otemba - tomboy
otoko - man
otokonoko - boy
otosan/otochan - father/dad ("o" may be ommited")
otoshidama - a New Years gift of cash made by parents or grandparents to their offspring
owari - "That's all, folks!"
oyasumi - "Bye now!",
oyasumi nasai - "Good night!"
oyaji - pops (used only by men, highly informal)




rekishi - history
ronin - a masterless samurai, also: a student that can't pass ;)


saa - "I don't know..."
saitei-dayo - lit.: "You're the worst!", it's really a strong offence in Japanese
sake - strong Japanese wine made from rice, may be served cold or warm
sappari wakarana - "I don't understand it all"
sashimi - raw fish
sayonara - "Good bye!" (formal one)
sembei - rice crackers with seaweed
sempai - way to adress a senior grade student by younger colleague
sensei - teacher
shiatsu - Japanese therapeutic massage
shiawase - happiness
shigata ga nai - "It can't be helped"
shimatta - "Shit!"
shine - "Die!"
shinjinai - "Unbelievable!"
shinto - traditional Japanese religion
shiro - white
shiromoku - white kimono worn by a bride
shochuu - strong alcohol made from rice
shogatsu - New Year vacation
shoji - sliding screen made of wood and paper
shojo - girl
shonen - boy
soba - buckwheat noodles
sona - "Oh, no!" (may be used in conjuction with other words - the meaning changes then)
sora - sky
soroban - abakus
soka - "Is that so?", "I see..."
sugoi - "Wow!"
suimono - clear soup
sukeban - girl gangster
sukebe - lech
suki - love, like
sumimasen - excuse me
sumo - traditional Japanese wrestling
sushi - vinegared rice


tabun - perhaps
tai - a species of sea fish
taicho - captain
tako - octopus
takoyaki - breaded octopus on a stick
tamago - egg
tamagoyaki - Japanese egg omelette
tanuki - racoon
tatamae - form
tatami - straw mat put on the floor
temee - "You rotten bastard!"
tempura - fish and vegetables deep fried in a flour-and-water batter
tenshi - angel
to ittara - if you say so
tomodachi - friend, see also: dachinko
tsuki - moon


unagi - eel
unmei - fate, destiny
uta - poem, song
urusai - annoying, as a phrase: "Shut up!"
uso - lie, as a phrase: "It's a lie!", "You're kidding!", "No way!"


wakatta - of course
watashi - I, me
wo ai ni - "I love you"


yabai - "Oh, shoot!"
yadaa - "It's awful!"
yakimono - grilled food
yakitori - barbecued chicken and vegetables
yakuza - crime organisation in Japan
yamette/yamero - "Stop!"
yaoi - relationship (of the kind we see in anime/manga ;)
yari - Japanese straight spear
yaro - bastard, idiot, see also: baka yaro
yasashisa - kindness/gentleness
yatta - "Hurrey!"
yurusenai - "I won't forgive that!"
yo - added to a phrase, it adds emphasis
yochimu - premonition dream
yoika - "Listen!" (very informal)
yoroshiku - "Nice to meet you!"
yoshi - okay, all right
yokai - a supernatural being
yukata - a light. summer kimono
yuki - snow
yukimi - Snow viewing: The custom of gathering to partake of food and sake while viewing a snow-covered landscape. Records of such events appear in chronicles of the Nara period (710-794). In the Heian period (794-1185), aristocrats held gatherings or accompanied imperial excursions to view the snow. By the Edo period (1600-1868), the custom had spread to the common people
yuuki - courage


zettai - absolutely
zori - traditional Japanese wooden sandals
zutto - always, forever


Akujo no fuka-nasake - Ugly women are more passionate
Hito wa mikake ni yoranu mono - People are not what they appear to be
Kiite gokuraku mite jigoku - Imagination goes a long way, also translated: Sounds like paradise, but hell when you see it
Musume o miru yori, haha o miyo - Look at the mother instead of the daughter
Nyobo to tatami wa atarashi ho ga yoi - Wives and tatami are better when new
Sake wa honshin o arawasu - People reveal their true selves when drunk
Shojiki mo baka no uchi - Being too honest can be foolish


rei - zero
ichi - one
ni - two
san - three
shi - four
yon - four(more formal)
go - five
ro ku - six
shi chi - seven
na na - seven
hachi - eight
kyuu - nine
juu - ten


-chan - usually used for young girls, beloved persons and pets
-jin - a sign, "o'clock" or a man, one who takes some activity or presents some features (see: gaijin)
-kan - suffix used with names of boarding houses (like Ikkoku-kan or Yujou-kan)
-ko - child, also a lake
-kun - usually between men, to someone of the same social status, also towards a child
-sama - lord, lady, to someone we deeply respect, gods, emperor
-san - to someone older, respectable or not well know, also applies for not married women and girls
-tachi - gives plural meaning

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