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How to Chat at a Sushi Bar

Part of the Sushi For Dummies Cheat Sheet

If a Japanese-speaking sushi chef is behind the sushi counter, these ten brief Japanese expressions will come in handy and make you a very welcome guest. Stress each syllable equally and you’ll be set.

  • Hai (hah-ee): Yes.

  • Iie (eee-eh): No.

  • Konnichiwa (kohn-nee-chee-wah): Hello (in the afternoon).

  • Kombanwa (kohm-bahn-wah): Hello (in the evening).

  • Omakase ni shite kudasai (oh-mah-kah-seh nee shee-teh koo-dah-sah-ee): Please, you (the sushi chef) choose.

  • Kyo wa nani ga ii desuka (kyohh wah nah-nee gah eee deh-soo-kah)?: What’s good today?

  • (Maguro) o kudasai (mah-goo-roh oh koo-dah-sah-ee): I’d like to have tuna, please. (Substitute other choices for maguro, the word for tuna.)

  • Oishii! (oh-ee-sheee): Delicious!

  • Kampai! (kahm-pah-ee): Cheers! (Said as a toast.)

  • Domo (dohh-moh): Thank you.

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