TOP 4 Japanese Buzzwords in 2013 that Make You Sound Native

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I always get this question from people who are learning Japanese language.

“Shen, what are the slang words that Japanese people use often nowadays?”

See, you also asked the same question, didn’t you? :p It’s very hard to just pick some slang words to teach you because there are thousands of slang words in Japanese language. However, among the slew of slang words in Japanese, there are 4 words that you should know because almost every Japanese knows them in 2013!

These 4 popular words even won the honor of the 2013 New Buzzwords Award. (2013ユーキャン新語・流行語大賞)Let’s remember them to make your Japanese sound more like a native conversation. 😀


TOP 4 Japanese Buzzwords that Makes You Sound Native

top 4 Japanese buzzwords in 2013

1. Imadesho!  (いまでしょ!)

Meaning “How ’bout now?“. The phrase was made by a cram school teacher, Hayashi Osamu, who used it in their school commercial to tell the viewer to start studying for an exam. Check out the commercial here.

I couldn’t understand why this phrase got so popular. It’s just a “How ’bout now?“. Even some famous Japanese youtubers made a viral video for this phrase.

Nevertheless, the commercial is easy to understand and the phrase is easy to be implanted into one’s mind. Wanna sound more native Japanese? Use Imadesho from now on! :p

Related articles: 7 Phrases to Replace Ganbatte


2. O-mo-te-na-shi (お・も・て・な・し)

Meaning hospitality. The word was introduced to Japanese language by Christel Takigawa, a news presenter who spoke at the final Olympic bid meeting for Japan.

FYI, she speaks French in the presentation. 😀 After her presentation, the phrase became a buzzword right away throughout the entire country.

Maybe you can try to say this to your Japanese friend when you are offering your hospitality to him/her. I think he/she will be surprised by your Japanese slang knowledge lol.


3. Jejeje (じぇじぇじぇ)

Meaning “WHAT? WHAT? WHAT??”. It became a buzzword thanks to the widely popular television drama “Amachan”. The main character of the drama uses this as his dialect of Tohoku region to express surprise.

It’s still hard for me to use this word to express surprise. >< What do you think?


4. Baigaeshi (倍返し)

Meaning “two-fold payback” or “revenge”. This buzzword is also from a popular television drama “Hanzawa Naoki”. It’s a catchphrase of the main character in the drama, a banker who stands up against his unreasonable boss.

The most common set of this phrase is “Yararetara yarikaesu, baigaeshi da!” (やられたら、やりかえす。倍返しだ!), which means “If someone hits me, I’ll hit him back. Take double the payback!”

Wow…sounds aggressive though. I hope you won’t face any situation to use this phrase. ^^”


Today’s Naruhodo

The four most popular buzzwords in 2013 are “Imadesho!”, “O-mo-te-na-shi”, “jejeje” and “Baigaeshi”. Hope these phrases can make you sound more like a native Japanese speaker. 😀




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.