Sometimes it can be really hard to find the Japanese words and phrases that you’re looking for. That’s why today I’d like to do a special lesson and talk about Japanese phrases for flight attendants.
Yeah you heard me! Today I’m going to be going over some useful sentences that you, as a flight attendant, can use to communicate with your Japanese passengers in their own language.
There are two things that most people probably don’t know. The first is that there are an estimated 1.5 million Japanese people who travel abroad each month! And the second is that there are about 98,700 people employed as a flight attendant.
That means there are countless opportunities to use the phrases and words you’re about to learn today. I hope you enjoy!
Pronouncing Japanese Words Correctly
If your native language is English, then you’ll probably be able to pronounce these words and phrases fairly easily since there are a lot of common sounds between the two languages.
It’s beyond the scope of this article to go into depth on the Japanese sounds, but if that’s something that’s really important to you, then I would encourage you to check out the free course I created that teaches this exact thing. Here’s the link now:
- Free course: Mastering the Sounds of Japanese!
That course has almost 30 lessons in it, so if you’re pressed for time, then here it a crash course on Japanese pronunciation.
Japanese has five vowel sounds:
- “a” as in father
- “i” as in seek
- “u” as in who
- “e” as in red
- “o” as in snow
Be sure to keep all vowels pure. They don’t change into diphthongs like we do in English.
For example, in English the word “snow,” it has an “ou” sound in it, since the vowel starts on the “o” sound, but then ends on the “u” sound. In Japanese, it would stay on the “o” sound the whole time.
When it comes to the length of a vowel, if you see a line above a vowel (ā, ē, ī, ō, ū) then it means you hold that vowel for an additional beat, but keep the sound of it the same (keep it pure).
When it comes to consonants, pronounce them the same as we do in English, except for the “r” which sounds like the flapped-r in Spanish. You just quickly touch the tip of your tongue to the roof of your mouth before moving onto the vowel sound.
If you see two of the same consonants together, like in the word “matte” then you hold one beat of silence within the double consonant. So let’s say that “matte” has three beats to it. You would say “mat-…-te” with the “…” representing silence.
The final thing to know is that all Japanese syllables receive equal stress when speaking. Let me show what I mean by comparing an English word and a Japanese word.
The English word “America” has the second syllable stressed so that it sounds like America. But in Japanese the word 「アメリカ」 (amerika) has an equal emphasis on each part.
It sounds like a-me-ri-ka in Japanese. But in English it’s America.
That explanation ought to get you going. It’s not perfect, but will allow you to speak this week and be understood by natives.
15 Japanese Phases for Airline Employees
The basic format for these phrases will be the English phrase first, followed by the Japanese phrase written in Japanese. I realize that most people can’t read all of the different Japanese characters, so below that I will include the rominized letters of the phrases.
The thing to keep in mind when using the roman letters for the Japanese words is to follow the pronunciation rules that I’ve listed above, and try not to fall back on your natural English pronunciations.
But even if you do speak with an accent, the chances are pretty good that you’ll still be understood.
- Welcome aboard!
- Would you like something to drink?
o nomimono wa?
- Would you like a water, juice, or something?
Muzi ya jūsu nado wa ikaga desu ka?
- Would you like to put your bag in the overhead?
Baggu o nimotsu dana ni haire raremasu ka?
- Here is a pillow and a blanket (for you).
Makura to mōfu o dōzo.
- May I hang your coat?
Kōto o okake shimashou ka?
- Here is your coat.
O kyaku sama no kōto o dōzo.
- Please fasten your seatbelt.
Shīto beruto o shikkari oshime kudasai.
- Please, have a seat. / Please, take your seats.
- Care for a hot towel?
Oshibori wa ikaga desu ka?
- Can I get you anything else?
Hoka ni nanika irimasu ka?
- Are you feeling all right?
Guai wa yoku narimashita ka?
- Would you like “X”?
“X” wa ikaga desu ka?
- Good bye!
- Thank you (for flying with us)!
Going Above and Beyond
This lesson won’t make you fluent in Japanese by any means. And it also won’t really allow you to have a full-blown conversation in Japanese either.
But what it will do is allow you to connect with your Japanese passengers and serve them in their native language.
There is just something special about people going out of their way to talk to you in your own language, so I know you’ll make a positive impression on them, even if you make a few mistakes while doing so.
So be confident and try out some of these phrases the next time you have the opportunity to!
What Other Phrases Would You Like to Know?
This list is just a compilation of words and phrases that I thought would be useful for communicating with Japanese passengers. But I’m sure that in the day to day lives of airline employees, there are many other things that are said every day.
If you know of some specific words or phrases that you would like to know in Japanese, that I don’t have listed above, then please feel free to let me know what they are by leaving a comment down below.
I’ll do what I can to add it to the list and give you the Japanese equivalent so that you can begin to use it right away!
Further Resources for Learning Japanese: