Course: 1 Pre-Lesson: C – First Meeting

Course 1 Lesson C
First Meeting
 About This Lesson このレッスンについてSubmit a Question
Natsumi Sensei


To be able to handle your first contact with a new Japanese person.


During this lesson, simply learn the introduction phrases so you won’t be totally silent during a first meeting. The grammar involved in the phrases will be explained later in the course.
 The Basics 基本Submit a Question
The Basics sections of the lessons are used to introduce simple but powerful concepts in Japanese. Understanding the basics is important as you progress in your Japanese studies.

C-1. Meeting new people

This lesson is designed to help you out during the first 5 minutes of meeting someone new. Once you are more fluent in Japanese, you’ll be able to start out with something more creative. But at this point in your education, asking someone how old they are will definitely spice up the conversation. Nobody starts out a pro so don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Remember that mistakes are the best way to learn! Even if your first conversations are awkward they are important to building your Japanese “people skills.”

C-2. Saying ages in Japanese

Saying your age in Japanese is easy. Those numbers you learned in the last lesson will come in handy here.

To say your age, just add ~sai after the number of years that you are. Some of the years are said differently than you might think. Use the chart below to remember the correct way.

years old
issai never "ichi sai" 1 year old
nisai 2 years old
sansai 3 years old
yonsai never "shi sai" 4 years old
gosai 5 years old
rokusai 6 years old
nanasai never "shichi sai" 7 years old
hassai never "hachi sai" 8 years old
kyuusai never "ku sai" 9 years old
jussai never "juu sai" 10 years old

Notice that from this point on, the pattern set in the first set numbers continues.

For example:
issai (one year old) and juuissai (11 years old) end the same.

juuissai never "juu ichi sai" 11 years old
juunisai 12 years old
juusansai 13 years old
juuyonsai never "juu shi sai" 14 years old
juugosai 15 years old
juurokusai 16 years old
juunanasai never "juu shichi sai" 17 years old
juuhassai never "juu hachi sai" 18 years old
juukyuusai never "juu ku sai" 19 years old
hatachi never "ni juu sai" 20 years old
sanjussai never "san juu sai" 30 years old
yonjussai never "yon juu sai" OR "shi juu sai" 40 years old
gojussai never "go juu sai" 50 years old
hyakusai 100 years old
Mini Quiz
Click the to reveal the English.
1. sanjuuhassai
2. juukyuusai
3. rokujuuyonsai
4. hyakunijussai
5. nanajuuissai

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 New Phrases 新しいフレーズSubmit a Question
Here in the NEW PHRASES section you don't have to think about the grammar of each phrase. Simply memorize these phrases to increase your conversation skills.
1. Hajimemashite.
Nice to meet you.
2. (name) tomoushimasu.
I am called (name). I am (name).
3. Yoroshikuonegaishimasu.
Please accept me as one of your friends / a member of your group. Please be kind to me. (read below for more explanation)
4. Nansai desu ka.
How old are you?
5. Nansai ni miemasu ka.
How old do I look?
6. (years old) ni miemasu.
You look (years old).
7. (years old) desu.
I am (years old).
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 Culture Clip カルチャー・クリップSubmit a Question
Culture plays an important role in learning Japanese. Knowledge of modern and traditional culture will help you retain more information and learn faster!


In this lesson you will be able to practice a first-meeting conversation, but what you cannot see in the text is the bowing that each person does when they say, “Hajimemashite.” Bowing is as important to the Japanese as shaking hands is to others. Many of us have always heard that the deeper you bow, the more respect you bestow upon the person to whom you are bowing. This is true, though the majority of students learning Japanese will not find themselves in a situation that warrants a deep bow.

When first meeting someone, a 30-degree bow held for about three seconds is standard. But keep in mind that, as a foreigner to Japan, the Japanese do not expect you to know Japanese customs, and if you bow incorrectly it will not be considered rude. The most common everyday bow is an informal 15-degree bow held for one or two seconds.

You will be bowed to no matter where you go. The next time you see a Japanese person talking on the phone you might even see them bowing to the person on the other end. It is not necessary to return bows to waiters or staff in department stores. A nod of the head will suffice.

Where do I put my hands?

Hands are normally kept near the body when bowing. Men tend to have their hands at their sides, while women will usually place them together on their thighs with the fingertips overlapping or touching.

 Related Videos 関連ビデオSubmit a Question
The video(s) below help explain what is taught in this lesson. It is recommended that you first complete the lesson and then watch the video(s).


There are currently no questions for this lesson.