UNIT 11- Ordering drinks

Key phrases
nihonshu                                           Japanese rice wine
nihonshu o kudasai                         some Japanese rice wine,please
nihonshu to bı‾ ru o kudasai        some Japanese rice wine and a beer, please
ippai                                                    a glass of or a cup of
nihonshu o ippai kudasai               a glass of Japanese rice wine, please
ippon                                                  a bottle of
bı‾ru o ippon kudasai                     a bottle of beer, please

Ko‾hı‾  = Coffee
Hot coffee is hotto ko‾hı‾ and iced coffee is aisu ko‾hı‾. Or why not order an esupuresso or a kapuchi¯no?

Listening and speaking
Sumimasen. Nihonshu o kudasai. Excuse me. Some Japanese rice wine, please.
Hai.                                                       Yes (certainly).
Sumimasen. Hotto ko‾hı‾to aisu ko‾hı‾ o kudasai.                                                                                    Excuse me. A hot coffee and an iced coffee, please.
Hai.                                                        Yes (certainly).
Sumimasen. Nihoncha o ippai kudasai.                                                                                                             Excuse me. A cup of Japanese tea, please.
Hai. Nihoncha o ippai desu ne.     Yes (certainly). A cup of Japanese tea, isn’t it?

Tea for two? Two glasses or cups is nihai. Two bottles is nihon.
mizu = water, nama bı‾ru = draft beer

Irasshaimase.                                   Welcome.
Sumimasen. Eigo ga wakarimasu ka?                                                                                                                 Excuse me. Do you understand English?
Sumimasen. Wakarimasen.          Sorry. I don’t understand.
So‾desu ka. E‾to…nihonshu o kudasai.                                                                                                             Is that right? Let me see… some Japanese rice wine, please.
Hai.                                                    Yes (certainly).
Sorekara, yakitori o kudasai.        And some grilled chicken skewers, please.
Hai.                                                    Yes (certainly).
Sumimasen. Okanjo‾o kudasai.   Excuse me. The bill, please.
Hai.                                                     Yes (certainly).

ippai and ippon
Remember double consonant sounds should be pronounced with a slight pause or a clipped sound.


A… / Some…
When an amount isn’t specified (ippai, ippon, etc.) then nihonshu o kudasai could mean “a Japanese rice wine, please” or “some Japanese rice wine, please” and bı‾ru o kudasai could mean “a beer, please” or “some beer, please”.

Arabic numbers are widely used in Japan, but Chinese numbers are also used. Below are the numbers 1 to 5 in Chinese with their Japanese pronunciation. The English words in brackets might help you to remember how they’re pronounced.
1       一                                      ichi                                (itchy)
2      二                                       ni                 (knee)
3      三                                       san         (sun)
4      四                                       yon        (yawn)
5      五                                       go         (go)


Japanese drinks
nihonshu – Japanese rice wine or sake. It can be served hot or cold.
Osakeー usually means alcohol in general, so it’s best to remember nihonshu.
sho‾chu‾ – A strong alcohol distilled mainly from sweet potatoes. It can also be served hot or cold. Hot sho‾chu‾with plums is very popular.
nihoncha – Japanese tea. Like osake, ocha is the generic word for non-alcoholic drinks and it can mean “English tea”, “Chinese tea”, “Japanese tea”… or even “coffee” in some contexts!
umeshu – Japanese plum liqueur.

Izakaya – Japanese bar
An izakaya is a popular place to socialize for all kinds of people: young and old, students and workers, men and women. Some izakaya serve food and drinks at very reasonable prices, and some even offer “all-you-can-drink” specials for a fixed price. Once you take a seat in an izakaya, the staff will automatically serve you a small plate called oto‾shi. This is an appetizer which is served to every customer. Oto‾shi aren’t free, and you can’t choose what to have, but it’s a good chance to taste something that you wouldn’t necessarily have chosen yourself. In fact, many people judge an izakaya by the quality of their oto‾shi.

The Japanese toast is kampai (“empty glass”). When drinking alcohol, it is polite to serve each other. Hold your glass up with both hands whenever it is being refilled. Likewise, if your companions’ glasses are getting empty, you should pour some more for them. And, if you don’t want to drink any more, don’t empty your glass!