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How to Ask For Help in Japanese

10 of 10 in Series: The Essentials of Japanese Words and Phrases for Traveling

Know how to ask for help in Japanese before you have an actual emergency. Save valuable time in a crisis by knowing simple Japanese words and phrases to cover emergencies with illness or theft.

The simplest way to ask for assistance is Tasukete! (tah-sue-keh-teh), which means Help! You can also use the phrase Tasukete kudasasimasen ka. (tah-sue-keh-teh coo-dah-sah-shee-ma-sen-ka) (Will you help me!) or Chotto tasukete kudasai. (Help me, please). Of course, you might need different kinds of help depending on the situation.

Legal emergencies

If you're experiencing a legal emergency of some kind, you want to ask for the police, which is keisatsu (kehh-sah-tsoo) in Japan. The following words and phrases might also come in handy.

  • Keisatsukan (police officer)

  • Dorobō (Thief!)

  • Hittakuri ni aimashita. (I've been robbed.)

  • Keisatsu o yonde kudasai. (Please call the police.)

  • Ryōjikan wa doko desu ka. (Where is the consulate?)

  • Taishikan no denwa bangō wa nan-ban desu ka? (What is the embassy's phone number?)

Medical emergencies

Most emergencies that happen in foreign countries are medical. The most efficient way to get the help you need is to know how to ask for the right kind of help and to be able to explain what's wrong.

The following vocabulary words can help you get to the right person to assist you.

  • To ask for a doctor say isha.

  • To ask for a hospital say byōin.

  • To call for an ambulance say kyuu-kyuu desu.

  • To get medicine as for yakkyoku.

  • To ask for a nurse say kangoshi.

Once you are able to talk to the right person, you can use the following words to explain what's wrong.

jiko (accident)
byouki (sick)
itami (pain)
zutsuu (headache)
kega (injury)
ishiki fumei (unconscious)

The following phrases might come in handy during an emergency.

  • Tasukete kudasai. (Please help!)

  • Chotto wakarimasen. (I don't know.)

  • Iki ga dekimasen. (I can't breathe.)

  • Byōin wa doko desu ka. (Where is a hospital?)

  • Asupirin wa arimasu ka. (Do you have any aspirin?)

  • Atama ga itai desu. (I have a headache.)

  • Iki ga dekimasen. (I cannot breathe.)

  • Kanojo wa kaidan kara ochimashita. (She fell down the stairs.)

  • Kare wa kibun ga warukute, netsu ga arimasu. netsu ga arimasu. (He is feeling sick and has a high fever.)

  • Byōin wa doko desu ka. (Where is the hospital?)

  • Dono byōin ga ichiban chikai desu ka. (Which hospital is the closest?)

  • Kyūkyūsha o yonde kudasai. (Please call the ambulance.)

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