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Video:Learn Japanese: How to Tell Time

with Dai Ishiguro

Telling time is going to be an important skill if you travel to Japan (or anywhere, really). This video from About.com will show you how to tell time in Japanese.See Transcript

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Transcript:Learn Japanese: How to Tell Time

Hello, my name is Dai Ishiguro for About.com. Today I'm going to teach you how to tell time.  

Asking About the Time in Japanese

"What time is it?" in Japanese, we say, "Ima Nanji Desu Ka?" "I ma Na n ji De su Ka?" It means "what time is it now?" The formal way. The casual way, you can say, "Ima Nanji?" "I ma Na n ji?" It's like, "what time is it now?" "Ima Nanji?" Again, formal way, "I ma Na n ji De su Ka?" Informal way, "Ima Nanji?" "What time is it?"

If it's one o'clock, you can say, "Ichi-Ji." If it's one o'clock, "one" is "Ichi." And "o'clock" in Japanese is "Ji".  If it's two o'clock, you can say "Ni-Ji." "Ni" is "two" in Japanese.  

Writing the Time in Japanese

Now I'm going to write, "What time is it?" in Japanese. "Ima," this is Kanji. "Ima" means "now." "Nanji," "Nanji" means "what time." "Na n ji," "Ima Nanji Desu Ka." "Ima Nanji Desu Ka?" This is the formal way of saying, "What time is it now?" The casual way, you can get rid of "Desu Ka" here. So you can say, "Ima Nanji?" "What time is it now?"

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