how to say what are your hobbies in japanese

Language of Interests: How to Say “What Are Your Hobbies” in Japanese

Have you ever tried to strike up a conversation with someone about hobbies in Japanese, but struggled to express yourself? Understanding the language of interests is essential for effective communication and cultural exchange. In this article, we’ll guide you through the process of discussing hobbies in Japanese, providing useful phrases, vocabulary, and conversation techniques.

Key Takeaways:

  • Knowing how to ask and talk about hobbies in Japanese is vital for effective communication and cultural exchange.
  • Accurate translation of hobbies is crucial for clear and understandable communication.
  • Essential Japanese phrases related to hobbies include expressions to ask about someone’s hobbies and share your own.
  • Engaging in discussions about hobbies in Japanese requires common conversation techniques, such as expressing preferences, asking follow-up questions, and sharing personal experiences.
  • Expanding your Japanese hobby vocabulary and practicing conversations are key to improving your language skills and cultural understanding.

Translating Hobbies in Japanese

When it comes to talking about hobbies in Japanese, accurately translating them is crucial for effective communication. While some hobbies may have Japanese equivalents, others may not. In such cases, it’s important to find the closest translation possible to convey your meaning.

Here are some common hobbies and their Japanese translations:

HobbyJapanese Translation
Reading読書 (dokusho)
Watching movies映画鑑賞 (eiga kanshou)
Playing sportsスポーツをする (supootsu wo suru)
Listening to music音楽を聴く (ongaku wo kiku)
Gardening園芸 (engei)

Translating Hobbies in Japanese: Tips

Here are some tips to keep in mind when translating hobbies in Japanese:

  • Research the closest possible translation for your hobby to convey your meaning effectively.
  • Be mindful of cultural nuances and connotations associated with your hobby in Japanese. Some hobbies may have different cultural implications in Japan than they do in your home country.
  • If you’re not sure about the translation of your hobby, consider providing a brief description or explanation to clarify your meaning.

Japanese Phrases for Hobbies

If you’re looking to engage in conversations with Japanese speakers about hobbies, it’s essential to have a solid grasp of the language used to talk about interests. Here are some commonly used Japanese phrases related to hobbies:

PhraseJapaneseLiteral translationUsage
What are your hobbies?趣味は何ですか?Shumi wa nan desu ka?A standard question to ask about someone’s hobbies.
I like to……するのが好きです。…suru no ga suki desu.A sentence structure used to express enjoyment of a particular activity.
Do you have any hobbies?趣味がありますか?Shumi ga arimasu ka?An alternative way to ask about someone’s hobbies.
I’m interested in……に興味があります。…ni kyoumi ga arimasu.An expression used to show interest in a particular topic or activity.
My hobby is…趣味は…です。Shumi wa … desu.A straightforward way to state your hobby.
That sounds interesting/fun.それは面白そうですね。Sore wa omoshirosou desu ne.An expression used to show interest and positive feedback about someone’s hobby or activity.

With these phrases, you’ll be able to express yourself and understand others when it comes to discussing hobbies in Japanese. Remember to practice these phrases and use them in context for effective communication.

Discussing Hobbies in Japanese

Engaging in discussions about hobbies is a great way to connect with others and learn more about their interests. When conversing in Japanese about hobbies, there are a few techniques that can help keep the conversation flowing smoothly:

  1. Express preferences: When discussing hobbies, it’s important to express your preferences clearly. Use phrases like “一番好きな趣味は何ですか?” (What is your favorite hobby?) to get the conversation started.
  2. Ask follow-up questions: Show interest in the other person’s hobbies by asking follow-up questions. Use phrases like “それについてもっと話してください” (Please tell me more about that).
  3. Share personal experiences: Don’t be afraid to share your own experiences about your hobbies. Use phrases like “私もその趣味をしています” (I also enjoy that hobby).

Remember to listen actively to the other person and respond appropriately. This helps create a natural and engaging conversation about hobbies in Japanese.

Japanese Hobby Vocabulary

Expanding your hobby vocabulary in Japanese can greatly enhance your ability to engage in enjoyable conversations about interests. Here is a comprehensive list of Japanese vocabulary related to hobbies:

HobbyJapanese Term
Reading読書 (dokusho)
Writing書き物 (kakimono)
Swimming水泳 (suiei)
Hikingハイキング (haikingu)
Biking自転車に乗る (jitensha ni noru)
Dancingダンス (dansu)
Singing歌う (utau)
Gardening庭いじり (niwa ijiri)
Cooking料理 (ryori)
Photography写真撮影 (shashin satsuei)

In addition to these specific terms, it’s also important to know verbs and adjectives related to hobbies. Here are a few:

  • Enjoy – 楽しむ (tanoshimu)
  • Practice – 練習する (renshuu suru)
  • Relaxing – リラックスする (rirakkusu suru)
  • Challenging – 挑戦的な (chousenteki na)
  • Inspiring – インスピレーションを与える (insupireeshon wo ataeru)

Japanese Hobby Dialogue

Here is an example dialogue that can help you understand how to engage in a conversation about hobbies.

YouJapanese Speaker
こんにちは! 趣味は何ですか?こんにちは! 私の趣味は音楽を聴くことです。

In this example, you greet your conversation partner and ask about their hobbies. They mention that they like to listen to music. You show interest by asking what type of music they like and who their favorite composers are. The conversation flows naturally, and you even make plans to attend a concert together in the future!

Japanese Hobby Terminology

If you’re planning to engage in hobby-related conversations in Japanese, it’s helpful to be familiar with some specialized terms you may encounter. Here are a few key ones to get you started:

趣味Shumi – Hobby
嗜好Shikou – Taste or preference
好きなものSukina mono – Favorite things
興味があるものKyoumi ga aru mono – Interests
趣味歴Shumi rekishi – Hobby history
趣味仲間Shumi nakama – Hobby friends
習い事Naraigoto – Lessons or classes

Using these terms can help you communicate more effectively and engage in more in-depth conversations about your hobbies in Japanese.

Japanese Hobby Language Phrases

If you want to enhance your Japanese hobby conversation skills, mastering commonly used phrases is essential. By using the phrases listed below, you will sound more natural and fluent when discussing hobbies in Japanese.

Shumi wa nan desu ka?What are your hobbies?
Shumi wa nan desu ka? Watashi no shumi wa _____ desu.What are your hobbies? My hobby is _____.
Anata no shumi wa nani desu ka?What are your hobbies? (formal)
Shumi to shite, nani ga suki desu ka?What do you like as a hobby?
Shumi ni tsuite, motto shiritai koto ga arimasu ka?Is there anything else you would like to know about my hobbies?
Watashi mo anata to onaji shumi ga arimasu.I have the same hobby as you do.
Anata no shumi ni wa kyomi ga arimasen ga, ryokou ni wa ikitain desu.I am not interested in your hobby, but I want to go on a trip.

Using Japanese Honorifics

When discussing hobbies with someone older or in a higher position, it is important to use appropriate Japanese honorifics. Below are some examples:

O-shumi wa nan desu ka?What are your hobbies? (polite)
O-anata no shumi wa nani desu ka?What are your hobbies? (very polite)
Shumi wa nan desu ka? Watakushi wa ____ no o-shumi ni nasaimasu.What are your hobbies? My hobby is _____. (very polite)

Japanese Hobby Conversation Vocabulary

Whether you are looking to expand your vocabulary for hobby-related conversations or are simply interested in learning new Japanese words, the following vocabulary list will come in handy:

音楽 (ongaku) – Music弾く (hiku) – Play (an instrument)上手 (jouzu) – Skilled
スポーツ (supootsu) – Sports運動する (undousuru) – Exercise健康的 (kenkouteki) – Healthy
読書 (dokusho) – Reading読む (yomu) – Read興味深い (kyoumibukai) – Interesting
旅行 (ryokou) – Traveling旅行する (ryokousuru) – Travel新鮮な (shinsenna) – Fresh
料理 (ryouri) – Cooking作る (tsukuru) – Make美味しい (oishii) – Delicious
絵画 (kai) – Painting描く (kaku) – Draw美しい (utsukushii) – Beautiful
  • 趣味は何ですか?(Shumi wa nan desu ka?) – What are your hobbies?
  • 私は音楽が好きです。(Watashi wa ongaku ga suki desu.) – I like music.
  • あなたはスポーツをしますか?(Anata wa supootsu wo shimasu ka?) – Do you play sports?
  • 私は読書が好きです。(Watashi wa dokusho ga suki desu.) – I like reading.

Use these vocabulary words and phrases to enhance your hobby-related conversations and impress your Japanese speaking counterparts.

Japanese Hobby Communication Tips

Effective communication is critical when discussing hobbies in Japanese. Here are some tips to help improve your hobby-related conversations:

  1. Listen actively: Focus on understanding what your conversation partner is saying. Pay attention to nonverbal cues, such as body language and facial expressions.
  2. Show interest: Demonstrate genuine curiosity about your partner’s hobbies. Ask questions and express appreciation for their interests.
  3. Use appropriate body language: Show respect by maintaining appropriate eye contact and posture. Avoid standing too close or touching your partner without their consent.
  4. Speak clearly: Enunciate your words and speak at an appropriate pace. Avoid using slang or jargon that your partner may not understand.
  5. Avoid interrupting: Allow your partner to finish speaking before responding. Ask for clarification if necessary.
  6. Express opinions respectfully: Share your own opinions and experiences, but avoid being overly critical or dismissive of your partner’s perspectives.
  7. Use open-ended questions: Ask questions that encourage detailed responses rather than simple “yes” or “no” answers. This can lead to more in-depth conversations.
  8. Seek recommendations: Ask for advice or recommendations related to your partner’s hobbies. This shows that you value their expertise and opinions.

By following these tips, you can engage in meaningful, respectful conversations about hobbies in Japanese.

Japanese Hobby Conversation Techniques

When engaging in hobby-related conversations in Japanese, there are various techniques you can use to enhance the quality and depth of the conversation. Here are some techniques to consider:

Ask Open-Ended Questions

Avoid asking closed-ended questions that only require a yes or no answer. Instead, ask open-ended questions that encourage the other person to share more information about their hobbies and interests. For example, instead of asking “Do you like music?” try “What kind of music do you enjoy listening to?”

Express Opinions

Don’t be afraid to express your opinions about hobbies and interests. Sharing your thoughts and feelings about a particular hobby can lead to a more engaging and lively conversation. However, be mindful of how you express your opinions. Diplomacy is a key aspect of Japanese communication.

Ask for Recommendations

Asking for recommendations is an effective way to show your interest in the other person’s hobbies and interests. This can also lead to discovering new things that you might enjoy. Ask for recommendations on books, movies, music, or activities related to their hobbies.

Share Personal Experiences

Sharing personal experiences related to hobbies can help build a deeper connection with the other person. It can also help the conversation flow more naturally and create a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. However, be considerate of cultural differences and social norms.

Listen Actively

Active listening is crucial in any conversation, especially when discussing hobbies and interests. Pay attention to the other person’s words, tone, and body language. Show genuine interest and ask follow-up questions when appropriate. This helps demonstrate that you are engaged and interested in the conversation.

Be Respectful

Respect is an important cultural value in Japan. When discussing hobbies and interests, be mindful of the other person’s opinions, beliefs, and values. Avoid making assumptions or judgments based on their preferences. Instead, show respect for their individuality and uniqueness.

Japanese Hobby Cultural Considerations

When engaging in conversations about hobbies in Japanese, it’s essential to keep certain cultural considerations in mind to ensure respectful and appropriate interactions. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

Cultural ConsiderationExplanation
Paying attention to nonverbal cuesIn Japanese culture, nonverbal communication such as facial expressions, tone of voice, and body language can be just as important as spoken words. Pay attention to these cues to better understand the nuances of the conversation.
Avoiding confrontational languageJapanese culture places a high value on harmony and avoiding conflict. As such, it’s important to avoid using confrontational or aggressive language in hobby-related conversations.
Showing respect for elders and authority figuresIn Japanese society, age and seniority are highly respected. When speaking with older individuals or those in positions of authority, it’s important to use respectful language and honorifics.
Avoiding direct criticismIn Japan, it’s considered impolite to offer direct criticism or negative feedback. Instead, try to offer constructive suggestions or focus on positive aspects of the conversation or hobby.
Being humble and modestHumility and modesty are highly valued in Japanese culture. When discussing hobbies, avoid boasting or exaggerating your abilities or achievements.

By being aware of these cultural considerations, you can ensure that your hobby-related conversations in Japanese are respectful and enjoyable for all parties involved.

Japanese Hobby Conversation Dos and Don’ts

If you’re planning to engage in hobby-related conversations with Japanese individuals, it’s essential to keep in mind certain cultural norms and language usage. Here are some dos and don’ts to help ensure respectful and enjoyable interactions:

  • Do: Show enthusiasm to learn about the other person’s hobbies and interests.
  • Do: Use polite language and honorifics, such as “san” after the person’s name.
  • Do: Use appropriate body language, such as nodding and maintaining eye contact.
  • Do: Respect the other person’s opinions and preferences, even if they differ from your own.
  • Do: Ask if it’s okay to exchange contact information if you’d like to continue the conversation later.
  • Don’t: Assume that everyone shares the same hobbies and interests.
  • Don’t: Interrupt the other person while speaking.
  • Don’t: Share inappropriate or offensive comments or jokes.
  • Don’t: Criticize the other person’s hobby or interest.
  • Don’t: Immediately discuss business or personal matters, as it’s important to build rapport first.

By keeping these dos and don’ts in mind, you’ll be able to engage in enjoyable and respectful conversations about hobbies in Japanese.

Enhancing Your Japanese Hobby Vocabulary

Expanding your Japanese hobby vocabulary can greatly enhance your ability to engage in meaningful conversations about interests. Here are some tips and resources to help you continue your language journey:

Online Platforms

There are several online platforms that can help you improve your Japanese language skills and expand your hobby vocabulary. Language exchange websites such as iTalki and HelloTalk can connect you with Japanese speakers who are interested in language exchange. You can also find Japanese language learning communities on social media platforms such as Facebook and Reddit.


There are many books available that can help you improve your Japanese language skills and expand your vocabulary. Look for books that are specifically designed for learning Japanese vocabulary related to hobbies and interests. “Japanese Vocabulary for English Speakers” by Hiroko Storm is a good one to start with.

Language Learning Tools

Language learning tools such as Duolingo and Rosetta Stone can also help you expand your Japanese hobby vocabulary. These tools use interactive exercises and games to help you learn new words and phrases. There are also several apps available that are specifically designed for learning Japanese vocabulary such as Japanese Vocabulary by NihonShock and JALUP.

By utilizing these resources, you can continue to build your Japanese hobby vocabulary and improve your language skills, ultimately leading to more meaningful and engaging conversations about interests.

Practicing Conversations About Hobbies in Japanese

Practicing conversations about hobbies in Japanese is crucial to build fluency and confidence in using the language in real-life situations. Here are some tips to help you get started:

  1. Find a language partner: Look for someone who is also interested in practicing Japanese and discussing hobbies. You can find language partners through language exchange programs, online language communities, or among your friends.
  2. Join a language exchange program: There are many language exchange programs available where you can meet native speakers and practice your Japanese. These programs often provide structured conversation topics and language learning materials.
  3. Utilize online language communities: Join Japanese language forums, social media groups or language learning apps. You can find fellow learners and native speakers to practice with and receive feedback on your language skills.
  4. Set small and achievable language goals: Start with simple phrases and gradually increase the complexity of your conversations. This way, you can feel a sense of achievement while improving your language skills at the same time.
  5. Use authentic Japanese materials: Incorporate hobbies-related Japanese materials such as magazines, TV shows or movies in your language practice. This will help you learn new vocabulary and get used to natural Japanese dialogue.

Remember, the key to improving your Japanese language skills is consistent practice and an open-minded attitude towards learning and making mistakes. So don’t be afraid to start practicing conversations about hobbies with others in Japanese today!


Congratulations on making it to the end of this guide on discussing hobbies in Japanese! We hope this article has provided you with a solid foundation and understanding of the language of interests. By learning how to ask about hobbies, translate them accurately, and engage in meaningful conversations, you can open doors to rich cultural exchanges.

Remember, effective communication is essential for building strong relationships, and discussing hobbies can be an excellent way to connect with others. With the variety of phrases, vocabulary, and conversation techniques we’ve provided, you have plenty of tools to confidently engage in conversations about interests in Japanese.

So what’s next? Start practicing! Find a language partner, join an exchange program, or even use online language communities to continue your language learning journey. The more you practice, the smoother and more comfortable your conversations will become. And who knows? You may even make some lifelong connections through shared hobbies!


Q: How do I say “What are your hobbies?” in Japanese?

A: In Japanese, you can say “Shumi wa nan desu ka?” to ask someone about their hobbies.

Q: How do I translate common hobbies into Japanese?

A: Here are some examples of common hobbies and their translations in Japanese:
– Reading: Dokusho
– Cooking: Ryouri
– Playing soccer: Sakka wo suru

Q: What are some useful Japanese phrases for talking about hobbies?

A: Here are some useful Japanese phrases for discussing hobbies:
– Watashi no shumi wa ______ desu. (My hobby is ______.)
– Anata wa donna shumi ga arimasu ka? (What are your hobbies?)
– Kyou wa nani wo shimasu ka? (What are you doing today?)

Q: How can I engage in discussions about hobbies in Japanese?

A: To engage in discussions about hobbies in Japanese, you can:
– Express preferences: Watashi wa ______ ga suki desu. (I like ______.)
– Ask follow-up questions: Sore wa dou shite ga suki desu ka? (Why do you like it?)
– Share personal experiences: Watashi mo ______ wo shite imasu. (I also do ______.)

Q: What are some Japanese hobby vocabulary words?

A: Here are some Japanese hobby vocabulary words:
– Music: Ongaku
– Painting: E wo kaku
– Gardening: Engei

Q: Can you provide an example dialogue about hobbies in Japanese?

A: Sure! Here’s an example dialogue:
Person A: Anata wa donna shumi ga arimasu ka? (What are your hobbies?)
Person B: Watashi no shumi wa tennis desu. (My hobby is tennis.)
Person A: Nihon de douyatte bikkuri shimasu ka? (How do you play it in Japan?)
Person B: Nihon no tenisu wa tanoshii desu yo! (Playing tennis in Japan is fun!)

Q: What are some specialized Japanese hobby terminology?

A: Some specialized Japanese hobby terminology includes:
– Photography: Shashin
– Fishing: Tsuri
– Knitting: Amimono

Q: What are essential Japanese hobby language phrases?

A: Essential Japanese hobby language phrases include:
– Watashi wa ______ ga suki desu. (I like ______.)
– Anata wa ______ wo shimasu ka? (Do you do ______?)
– Kono shumi wa ______ to iimasu. (This hobby is called ______.)

Q: What is the Japanese vocabulary for hobby-related conversations?

A: Japanese vocabulary for hobby-related conversations includes nouns, verbs, and adjectives related to various hobbies. For example:
– Noun: Gakki (Musical instrument)
– Verb: Undou suru (To exercise)
– Adjective: Hayai (Fast)

Q: What are some communication tips for discussing hobbies in Japanese?

A: Some communication tips for discussing hobbies in Japanese are:
– Practice active listening: Kikinagara kotaeru (Answer while listening).
– Use appropriate body language: Shisatsu no houhou (How to show interest).
– Show genuine interest: Jitsu ni kyoumi wo hyougen suru (Express genuine interest).

Q: What are some Japanese hobby conversation techniques?

A: Japanese hobby conversation techniques include:
– Asking open-ended questions: Doushite ______ ga suki desu ka? (Why do you like ______?)
– Expressing opinions: Watashi wa ______ wa ______ ga suki desu. (I like ______ because ______.)
– Seeking recommendations: ______ no tame ni nani wo osusume shite kuremasu ka? (What do you recommend for ______?)

Q: What cultural considerations should I be aware of when discussing hobbies in Japanese?

A: Some cultural considerations to keep in mind when discussing hobbies in Japanese are:
– Respect for personal space: Kojin no kukan ni taisuru kyougi (Respect for personal space).
– Politeness and humility: Reigi to shitsuteki seishin (Politeness and modesty).
– Avoiding direct disagreements: Chokusetsu na iitai wo shidai ni jikan (Give time for direct disagreements).

Q: What are the dos and don’ts for hobby-related conversations in Japanese?

A: The dos and don’ts for hobby-related conversations in Japanese are:
– Do be respectful and polite: Reigi to aite wo kansha suru (Respect and appreciate your conversation partner).
– Don’t make assumptions or stereotypes: Kakushu ya stereo ni motanai you ni suru (Avoid assumptions and stereotypes).
– Do listen actively and ask follow-up questions: Kikinagara toiawaseru (Ask questions while listening).

Q: How can I enhance my Japanese hobby vocabulary?

A: You can enhance your Japanese hobby vocabulary by:
– Using online platforms: Onrain purattofomu no shiyou (Utilize online platforms).
– Reading books and materials: Hon ya shiryou wo dokushin suru (Read books and materials).
– Utilizing language learning tools: Kotoba gakushuu tool wo benri ni tsukau (Make use of language learning tools).

Q: How can I practice conversations about hobbies in Japanese?

A: You can practice conversations about hobbies in Japanese by:
– Finding language partners: Gengo pasuna wo mitsukeru (Find language partners).
– Joining language exchange programs: Gengo kouryuu puroguramu ni sansei suru (Participate in language exchange programs).
– Utilizing online language communities: Onrain gengo komyunitei wo riyou suru (Make use of online language communities).

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