How to break the ice in Japanese : So you’re having trouble breaking the ice in Japanese? Not to worry, we are here to help. In today’s online Japanese lesson we are going to be learning how to initiate a conversation, the right way, across a variety of different social situations. Whether it’s the guy at the bar or the lady in the library, we are going to address a few different conversation starters that will serve as a seamless entry point into your next Japanese social interaction.

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How to break the ice in Japanese

First, we are going to break down various popular situations where an ice breaker will come in handy and practice using specific phrases. Then we are going to look at a good way for you to practice these phrases and build up your confidence.
Okay let’s get right into today’s lesson and start breaking the ice.

Breaking the Ice in a general conversation

Now you may think that generally Japanese people are quite reserved and quiet, keeping to themselves, but most of the time this is just shyness. This means that If you are wanting to start a conversation you are going to have to really put yourself out there, be confident and take the first step to initiate a conversation.
The Japanese do not like to impose themselves on people so it is very rare that anyone will start a conversation with you out of the blue.
Let’s have a look at some great phrases that you can use now to start breaking the ice.

If you want to start a conversation indirectly with someone you can firstly ask them to take a picture with you. This breaks down the first obstacle of initial contact. Once you have established that you are polite and friendly, moving onto a further topic of conversation will be easy.
You could follow this up with something like, “Are you from here” etc.

写真を撮ってもらえませんか?
Shashin wo totte moraemasen ka?
Would you mind taking a photo for me?

If it’s your first time in Japan you could break the ice by asking for advice. The Japanese are kind and will most definitely provide you with all the advice that you need. For example, you could start with:

初めて来たのですが、この辺りで美味しいお店を知っていますか?
Hajimete kita no desu ga, kono atari de oishii o-mise wo shitte-imasuka?
It's the first time I've come here, do you know any nice restaurants around here?

If you are looking to break the ice with a friend or acquaintance that you haven’t seen in a long time you could say:

久しぶり元気?
Hisashiburi genki
Long time no see, you good?

Now let’s have a look at some more romantic situations.

Breaking the Ice in a romantic situation

So you are looking to break the ice romantically? You should start by asking where that person is from. People love to talk about themselves so starting off by showing an interest in them is the perfect step towards breaking the ice in Japanese. You can start by saying:

どこから来たの?
Doko kara kita no?
Where are you from?

If you are looking to get the conversation going eve further, you could ask what they are drinking and offer to buy them another. Kindness goes along way.

何飲んでるの?
Nani nonderu no?
What are you drinking?

Breaking the ice with the older generation

When it comes to talking with the older generation, there is not too much to worry about. Everyone knows that they love a good chat. A perfect little ice breaker / conversation starter with the older generation would be:

今日はいい天気ですね
Kyou wa ii tenki desu ne
It’s great weather today right

This is a classic ice breaker known worldwide and is somewhat a little cheesy, however it still remains the perfect line to use when starting conversations with the older generation.

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How to practice these phrases before trying them in real life

So now that you have learnt a whole host of useful icebreakers to use in a vast array of social situations, you are now going to need to practice them. First, try and picture yourself in one of the settings and have an object that you will talk to. Practice by using the Ice breaker on the object.

It’s useful if you can play both parts of the conversation too to help with your practice. If you are embarrassed about doing this you can also try to do this in your head too. You can do this in bed, in the shower, on your way to work or school, anywhere.
The more you get used to dicing straight into the conversation the better.

Alright everyone that was it for today’s Japanese lesson on breaking the Ice in Japanese conversation. Remember it’s so important that you practice these phrases in order to be able to use them seamlessly in your conversations, trust us!
As always if you have any questions on today’s blog or any new ideas for content that you would like us to cover in the next article please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Join us again in the next online Japanese lesson from Bondlingo and have a great day. またね

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