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"What do you like?" in Japanese

Before you read the explanation below, play the game a few times. Learning by making mistakes is the easiest way to make the Japanese your own!

If you spend any time in Japan people will very often ask you to places. They'll probably want to give you the best experience possible, so will often ask "What .... do you like?" for example, "What food do you like?" or "What movies do you like?". Usually in English we'd say "What's your favourite...?" but in Japanese you can usually have several answers.

You ask the question by saying "Suki na .... wa nan desu ka?" or if you are with close friends, "Suki na .... wa nani?".
In the gap you can add in any words your like, for example:

eiga = movie
supotsu = sport
anime = anime or any cartoon
geemu = game or video game
doubutsu = animal ( it literally means "moving thing")
tabemono = food ( literally "eat thing", notice the character for "thing" at the end. Any idea how the word "drink" ends?)

nomimono = a drink
manga = manga or any comic book
bangumi = TV show
ongaku = music
kuni = country.

For the answer, just say whatever you want in a Japanese accent a few times, after a while it'll get through!

Have a play around with the game above and by the time your can answer all the questions correctly you'll find them magically tripping off your tongue. The key, as in real life Japanese learning, is to not worry about making mistakes, just click away and before long you'll figure out what's what!

There's an English version of this game on Genki English CD Vol. 5 "What's your favourite?".

Recommended Courses

There are loads of great resources out there, and one of the good ones is the "Pimsleur" series. They have a "Quick & Simple" starter pack and also a full on "Gold Course". They are well recommended if you want to learn Japanese, in January I used it to learn everyday Spanish in a month!

Click here for more:

Or for slightly cheaper, but one that requires a bit more work, you can have a look at the Living Language series. Although now I would prefer the Pimsleur course above, I actually used the Living Language series myself when I first learnt Japanese. It's good, but you have to keep repeating and repeating the same CDs, whereas the Pimsleur makes you think more, and reviews the language as you go along.

Click for more.

If you teach English in Japan you might be interested in my new Classroom English / Classroom Japanese CD.

All the Japanese on this page is suitable for either guys or girls, and is pretty normal, everyday Japanese. This means it's not too formal, but you'll be fine as long as you don't say it to anyone too posh!

Read the hints & tips I used to get fluent in Japanese.

Email me if you have any questions or comments,

Mata ne!
Be genki,


Copyright Richard Graham All rights reserved

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