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February 13, 2006


Tae Kim

If I could make some corrections...
三名です = san mei desu

Will Jasprizza

Cheers Tae Kim - that'll teach me to rush through a post at lunchtime. "San nin" should have in fact been "san mei" - as it now is (I went back and edited it).

As for the non-smoking point I am going to respectfully disagree, or rather agree that what you wrote is correct, but maintain that so is my offering!
The issue is somewhat of a furphy because in reality the restaurant employee will 99% of the time ask:
"タバコを吸いますか?”to which you would reply either ”吸う” or ”吸わない”

If indeed a customer was the one to raise the issue all of the following are acceptable:


Dropping the で being an accepted part of spoken Japanese. (And I took my own advice and ran these all past Japanese colleagues.)

Thanks anyway for the feedback and nice website!


Tae Kim

禁煙お願いします sounds to me like, "Please don't smoke" but I it may be just me. I guess, it doesn't really matter, I suppose. People will know what you mean.


Nobody walks into a restaraunt and says 禁煙でお願いします. That sounds like textbook Japanese to me. 吸う or 吸わない are the most common like Will said. But also spoken Japanese often drops particles completely and its usually understood from the context, so 禁煙お願いします or any of those that you have are fine.



I've been wondering how to say this very phrase. It was the 入っています that was tripping me up. My fiancee is vegetarian and we're going to Japan on hour honeymoon. I wasn't aware you could use 入る in this fashion!

I really like the idea of building a list of survival phrases and then making them a goal of learning instead of just rotely memorizing the phrases. Great write up!

Will Jasprizza


Thanks for the comment.

The only problem with 肉が入っていますか? is that 肉 only really covers red meat, so you might be told "いいえ、入っていません” only to find out later that there was chicken or pork in the dish! I'd suggest either asking "何が入っていますか?” or make it clear from the beginning by saying something like:
"彼女(indicate fiancee with slight lean of head)、肉は全然だめです。牛肉、鶏肉、豚、魚。。。食べられなせん。
You could also ask for a dish without X by using ”なし”

Good luck and have a great time in Japan


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