Asking "how to say" in Japanese

Today in Japanese class our sensei introduced us to a handy phrase, giving us the ability to ask how to say something, that we don't already know, in Japanese.

__ は にほんご で なん と いいます か。
__ wa nihongo de nan to iimasu ka?
How do I say __ in Japanese?

Glasses wa nihongo de nan to iimasu ka?
How do you say Glasses in Japanese?

megane iimasu.
You say megane.

This phrase is handy, especially when talking to a teacher, because they are able to take your english request and parse it into Japanese.

When in Japan, I know I will be using this phrase all the time, but my Japanese host family probably wont understand English. Thus this helpful modification is appropriate:

kore wa nihongo de nan to iimasu ka?
What is this called in Japanese?

sore wa hon desu.
That's a book.

The next time you're not sure how to say a word in Japanese, don't be afraid to ask. Just us this valuable phrase.


Elementary Japanese 101

Tomorrow marks the first day of my institutionally structured journey to better understand the Japanese language. I will be taking Elementary Japanese 101 at a local liberal arts college, in addition to my current education at design school. The course is a requirement in order to study abroad, yet one that I am looking forward to.

We will be using the Nakama Japanese textbook and workbook. Together, they were over $100 used at the bookstore. Hello Amazon.

In my self guided study, as well as working with my Japanese tutor, we worked with the Genki textbook. Genki was accessible and tried to make learning the language fun, overall a good textbook. Solely judging by the cover of Nakama, it looks strictly business. Hopefully as we progress, it will open up a bit.

Looking forward to meeting my fellow classmates and studying hard.

As usual, がんばります!(I'll do my best!)