Your favorite textbook could never.

Japanese is a difficult language for English-speakers to learn for a wide variety of reasons. But that difficulty is exactly what makes it so satisfying too.

Part of that path toward learning is finding out that the Japanese you’ve learned from textbooks isn’t quite how real people talk. Less Anata wa ramen ga ima tabetai desu ka? (Do you want to eat ramen now?) and more Ramen ni shiyou ka? (“You down for ramen?”).

To that end, Japanese language coach @CicoJapanese recently posted a cute video of their daughters showing off some common slang versions of textbook Japanese.

▼ Check out the video here.
At only sixteen seconds long, it’s packed dense with good info!

Good words all around! Whether you’re someone who has only started picking up the Genki I textbook, or you’ve been studying Japanese slang for a couple of years, these are five great words to slip into your vocabulary to surprise your friends and/or teachers.

Here they are in a list, in case you’d like to copy/paste them into a flashcard app, with the slang words bolded:

  • おもしろい (omoshiroi) ウケる (ukeru) — Funny
  • きもちわるい (kimochiwarui) キモい (kimoi) — Disgusting
  • かっこいい (kakkoii) ウケてる (uketeru) — Cool
  • かっこわるい (kakkowarui) ダサい (dasai) — Lame
  • うっとうしい (uttoushii) ウザい (uzai) — Annoying

What I particularly like is that each of them are part of that cool, rare category of words that combine katakana and hiragana together. You typically only see that in slangy words, like サボる (saboru, to cut class) or ナウい (naui, trendy/hip)… although like most slang words, naui has long since gone out of fashion, and using it will make you seem about as hip as a flip-phone.

That’s why we need these kids to keep us updated on the latest Japanese linguistic trends!

And if you need more Japanese slang knowledge in your arsenal, be sure to check out the top five words that are specifically used on the Internet, and the ones that could get you smacked for using them.

Source, top image: Twitter/@CicoJapanese
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