There are a pile of useful words in Japanese that are not immediately taught.  They are either vernacular slang, heavily used, and aren’t deemed important for a beginner to know.  But if you know these few words, you’ll be able to make quite a bit more sense of Japanese media.  Of course, this is no substitution for learning Japanese grammar and vocabulary, but it’s confusing why these words always seem to be left until later.  As this site is intended only to be an information collating site and not a teaching site, we’ll just give a few word description of the word and point to its dictionary entry.

These words are chosen both for their ubiquity, and their general lack of being immediately taught.  Others will be added.


This word is pronounced “daijoubu”, and means, based on context, “I’m OK” or “Are you ok?”.


This word is pronounced “yappari” and has a few different meanings, but mostly means “as expected”.


This word is pronounced “ippai”, and while it has many meanings, is generally used to mean something like “a lot”.


This word is prounounced “ganbaru”, and is usually used in its conjugated forms “ganbarou”, “ganbatte”, or “ganbarimasu”.  It means something like “Try one’s best”, but with a bit of an imperative.  The author thinks one possible way of translating it could be “succeed, or die trying” but that’s a bit dramatic.

Please feel free to comment with additional words you think should be added.  They may or may not be added to the page, but even the comments will be helpful.

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