How to Use “Hai” Like a Real Japanese (3 Steps)

  • このエントリーをはてなブックマークに追加

Vlog 3……Released!!

Check it out 😀

Thanks for watching again! Feel free to leave a comment~ you know that, I LOVE COMMENTS 😀

The video topic: How to use Hai like a Japanese, was requested by my friend who studies in Tokyo. She left a comment after watching my 1st vlog- How to use Heee like a Japanese – suggesting me to talk about this topic in my vlog, then i did ^^ So if you have any request, feel free to comment me~ I will try my best to answer u in my next vlog 😀

Since my 1st vlog (it was for fun at the beginning), I have gotten a lot of comments telling me to keep up the work. Thank you! I’m very happy to hear that and will keep on making more videos. 🙂

subscribe to my youtube Channel 
follow my facebook 

and share the video with your friends and family if you felt “Naruhodo! OIC!” after watching. ^^ Thanks and you’re awesome!

Alright, let me introduce the ways of using “Hai” in article form to you.

How to Use “Hai” Like a Real Japanese

Actually there are many ways to use “Hai” in Japan. Here I only pick 3 steps to talk about because if I teach all in the video, it would be 10 min long. lol Maybe we can talk about it in next video. 🙂

Step 1 – Hai?

how to use hai like a real japanese step 1 hai?

As you know, “Hai” means “Yes” in Japanese. But what about “Hai?” ? If you think it means “Yes?”, that’s partly correct. When people call your name, and you answer “Hai!”, that’s similar to English response “Yes?” when people call your name.

However, “Hai?” DOES NOT mean “Yes?” (when people call your name), usually it means “Pardon?” in an informal way. (don’t use it to your senior, it’s rude!) You use it when you couldn’t hear clearly what people said and want them to say it again.

There is a special usage of this “Hai?” that I realized after spending years in Japan, which is an expression similar to “Excuse me?” when your trying to tease back people who just bragged about themselves.

I have many times received this response from Japanese people when I try to make some joke by being narcist. They always respond like this.

“Hey, you know what, I’m the most handsome in my school.”

Sometimes I feel disappointed because in Malaysia, usually people will tease you back by showing funny words & expression. But in Japan, I hardly get some “tease back attack” from Japanese. Most of the times, they say “Hai?” (Pardon?) to show their teasing back to your narcism.

However, Osaka is a special place. People have culture of “Tsukkomi つっこみ” (tease ppl by pointing out his ridiculousness), as you may have known, Osaka is the land of Japan comedy. 🙂 So live in Osaka if you want to get teased. lol


Step 2 – Haaaaaai

how to use hai like a real Japanese step 2 haaaai

This is an expression of saying “OK OK I got it!”. Don’t use it to people you are not familiar with because it’s rude. Otherwise, don’t cry on me if you get canned by your boss because of using Haaaai to his order lol

Usually in an informal situation, when people asked you to do something, you can answer by using “Haaaaai”. Girls use it more often than guys, because it sounds cute! Don’t you think so? lol (who knows maybe many international marriages with Japanese girls, the husband was attracted by the wife’s “Haaaaai”? :P)

p/s For those who speak Cantonese, remember that the key point of this “Haaaai” is to make the sound “hai” lighter pitch and PROLONG it. If you don’t prolong it, it would sound like a bad word in Cantonese. You know what i mean. XD

(a high pitch “hai” means female sexual organ in Cantonese language)


Step 3 – Hai, Ah hai!

how to use hai like a real Japanese step 3 hai ah hai

Personally thinking, this is the soul of “Hai”. lol

Have you heard Japanese people talking on phone?
Did you count how many times they used “Hai” in 1 phone call?

They use hundred times of “Hai”!!!

If you think they are agreeing with whatever you say, that’s wrong. They say “Hai” in the phone because they need to tell another side of the phone that “Hey I’m listening~”.

You can try not to say any Hai in the phone call to a Japanese, what you will get is a quick response “Hello~you still there?” 😛

To make it sound more like a real Japanese, we can add “Ah!” before saying “Hai”. It means “I got what you said!” So a typical Japanese phone call would be like this:

“Hai, Hai, Ah Hai, hai, Ah Hai…”

You don’t believe me? Try to pay attention when your Japanese friends talk on phone next time. 😀

There are still few different ways of using “Hai”, for instance “Hai hai”, or “….hai” (at the end of a sentence) and so on. Maybe I will talk about it in next vlog. 🙂 Stay tuned with Shen Lim TV!

Let me hear your voice by commenting on my blog, videos, or facebook page. ^^

You might also like my other videos 🙂 Love talk with Japanese girls


A Chinese Malaysian, Blogger, Vlogger on YouTube, Tour Guide in Japan. He believes 1 day his videos can bring Japan and Malaysia together. マレーシア華人、ブロガー、YouTubeクリエイター、日本にいるツアーガイドです。いつか自分の動画は日本とマレーシアを繋げる架け橋になると信じています。 Read more ABOUT him.