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How to talk about your hobbies in Japanese

How to talk about your hobbies in Japanese

A great way to practice your Japanese speaking skills and to get to know people in Japan is to talk about free time and hobbies. In a casual setting you may be asked what you do in your free time by Japanese people. So this lesson will teach you the basics of how to ask and answer questions about hobbies. But first of all, listen to the audio podcast which goes through all the points in this lesson. You can also listen to the audio drills which include just the Japanese dialogs without English to practice your listening and speaking skills.

Talking about your hobbies Podcast

Audio drills

 

Download Podcast | Audio Drills | PDF Show notes |  iTunes Subscribe | Android | All podcasts

Podcast Dialogs for talking about hobbies

Here are four example dialogs from the podcast that give you various examples on how to hold a conversation in natural Japanese about hobbies and free time.

Hobbies Dialog 1

A: 趣味は何? Shumi wa nani? What’s your hobby?
B: そうだね、ギターかな。 Sō da ne. Gitaa kana. Well…guitar I guess.
A: そっか。最初のきっかけは? Sokka. Saisho no kikkake wa? Really? How did you get in to it?
B: ロックを聴くことが好きだからやってみようかなと思って。 Rokku wo kiku koto ga suki dakara yatte miyō kana to omotte. I like listening to rock so I thought I would give it a go.
A: どのぐらいやってる? Dono gurai yatteru? How long have you been doing it?
B: 20年。 Ni jū nen. 20 years.
A: すごいね。しょっちゅうやってるの? Sugoi ne. Shocchū yatteru no? Wow, do you do it often?
B: 毎日。 Mai nichi. Every day.
A: へえ~。 Heh. Really?

Hobbies Dialog 2

A: 趣味は何? Shumi wa nani? What’s your hobby?
B: そうだね、ジョギングかな。 Sō da ne. Jogingu kana. Well…jogging I guess.
A: そっか。最初のきっかけは? Sokka. Saisho no kikkake wa? Really? How did you get in to it?
B: 運動することが好きだからやってみようかなと思って。 Undō suru koto ga suki da kara yatte miyō kana to omotte. I like exercising so I thought I would give it a go.
A: どのぐらいやってる? Dono gurai yatteru? How long have you been doing it?
B: 1年。 Ichi nen. 1 year.
A: すごいね。しょっちゅうやってるの? Sugoi ne. Shocchū yatteru no? Wow, do you do it often?
B: 週に2回。 Shū ni ni kai. Two times a week.
A: へえ~。 Heh. Really?

 

Hobbies Dialog 3

A: 趣味は何? Shumi wa nani? What’s your hobby?
B: そうだね、読書かな。 Sō da ne. Dokusho kana. Well…reading I guess.
A: そっか。最初のきっかけは? Sokka. Saisho no kikkake wa? Really? How did you get in to it?
B: 本を読むことが好きだからやってみようかなと思って。 Hon o yomu koto ga suki da kara yatte miyō kana to omotte. I like reading books so I thought I would give it a go.
A: どのぐらいやってる? Dono gurai yatteru? How long have you been doing it?
B: 6ヶ月。 Rokka getsu. 6 months.
A: すごいね。しょっちゅうやってるの? Sugoi ne. Shocchū yatteru no? Wow, do you do it often?
B: 時間がある時に。 Jikan ga aru toki ni.   When I have time.
A: へえ~。 Heh. Really?

 

Hobbies Dialog 4

A: 趣味は何? Shumi wa nani? What’s your hobby?
B: そうだね、カメラかな。 Sō da ne. Kamera kana. Well…photography I guess.
A: そっか。最初のきっかけは? Sokka. Saisho no kikkake wa? Really? How did you get in to it?
B: 写真を撮ることが好きだからやってみようかなと思って。 Shashin o toru koto ga suki da kara yatte miyō kana to omotte. I like taking photos so I thought I would give it a go.
A: どのぐらいやってる? Dono gurai yatteru? How long have you been doing it?
B: 一ヶ月。 Ikka getsu. 1 month.
A: すごいね。しょっちゅうやってるの? Sugoi ne. Shocchū yatteru no? Wow, do you do it often?
B: 毎週末。 Mai shūmatsu Every weekend.
A: へえ~。 Heh. Really?

 

Sentences patterns to talk about your hobby in Japanese

Let’s start off with some simple and casual examples of how to talk about hobbies in Japanese.

Japanese Pronunciation English
趣味はなに?

空手。

Shumi wa nani?

Karate

What’s your hobby?

Karate.

趣味はなに?

ジョギング。

Shumi wa nani?

Jogingu

What’s your hobby?

Jogging.

趣味はなに?

テニス。

Shumi wa nani?

Tenisu

What’s your hobby?

Tennis.

趣味はなに?

サッカー。

Shumi wa nani?

Sakkaa

What’s your hobby?

Football

If you want to say it more politely you would say:

Japanaese Pronunciation English
趣味はなんですか。

趣味は空手です。

Shumi wa nan desu ka?

Shumi wa Karate desu.

What is your hobby?

My hobby is Karate.

Another way to describe what you like doing in your free time is this:

Your hobby + SUKI DESU which means you like doing something. 

Japanese Pronunciation English
ジョギングが好きです Jogingu ga suki desu. I like jogging.
ハイキングが好きです Haikingi ga suki desu. I like hiking.
テニスが好きです Tenisu ga suki desu. I like tennis.
サッカーが好きです Sakkaa ga suki desu I like football.

More phrases to ask about people’s hobbies in Japanese

Here are some extra phrases you can use to ask someone what their hobby is.

Japanese Pronunciation English
趣味あるの? Shumi aru no? Do you have a hobby?
暇な時に何をするの? Hima na toki ni nani o suru? What do you do in your free time?
何をするのが好き? Nani o suru no ga suki? What do you like doing?
最近ハマってることある? Saikin hammatteru koto wa? Recently what are you into?

Another useful pattern you can use to talk about your hobbies is this:

趣味は + NOUN + + VERB + ことです。

SHUMI WA +NOUN + O +VERB + KOTO DESU.

My hobby is doing something

趣味は本を読むことですHon o yomu koto desu –  My hobby is reading books.

Hon is “book” and yomu is the verb “to read”. If you put KOTO after the verb it’s a little like an -ING verb in English. So 本を読む means “to read books” but 本を読むこと is a little like “reading books”.

Here are some more examples:

趣味は映画を見ることです。 My hobby is watching movies.

Shumi wa eiga o miru koto desu.

趣味は音楽を聴くことです。 My hobby is listening to music.

Shumi wa ongaku o kiku koto desu

趣味は料理をすることです。 My hobby is cooking.

Shumi wa ryōri o suru koto desu

趣味はスキューバダイビングをすることです。 My hobby is scuba diving.

Shumi wa sukuuba daibingu wo suru koto desu.

趣味は絵を描くことです My hobby is painting pictures.

Shumi wa e o kaku koto desu.

Instead of 趣味は映画を見ることですyou can say 映画を見ることが好きです I like watching movies.

So for example:

音楽を聴くことが好きです。 I like listening to music.

Ongaku o kiku koto ga suki desu.

料理をすることが好きです。 I like cooking.

Ryōri o suru koto ga suki desu.

スキューバダイビングをすることが好きです。 I like scuba diving.

Sukuuba daibingu o suru koto ga suki desu.

絵を描くことが好きです。 I like painting pictures.

E o kaku koto ga suki desu.

So this means when talking about hobbies you have two options, one being a noun phrase and the other using a verb linked to the hobby, for example:

Option 1 Option 2
趣味は映画鑑賞です。

Shumi wa eigakanshō desu

My hobby is moviegoing.

OR 趣味は映画を見ることです。

Shumi wa eigo o miru koto desu

I like watching movies.

趣味は水泳です。

Shumi wa suiei desu

My hobby is swimming. (noun)

OR 趣味は泳ぐことです。

Shumi wa oyogu koto desu.

My hobby is to go swimming. (verb)

趣味は読書です。

Shumi wa dokusho desu

My hobby is reading.

OR 趣味は本を読むことです。

Shumi wa hon o yomu koto desu.

My hobby is reading books.

This is a list of some very traditional Japanese hobbies:

生け花 Ikebana Traditional Japanese flower arranging

書道 Shodō Japanese calligraphy

茶道 Sadō The tea ceremony

弓道 Kyūdō Japanese archery

 

Sports are usually written in Katakana:

ジョギング Jogingu Jogging

テニス Tenisu Tennis

サッカー Sakkaa Football (Soccer)

ハイキング Haikingu Haikingu

Other hobbies written in Katakana include the following:

ヨガ Yoga Yoga

ダンス Dansu Dancing

カラオケ Karaoke Karaoke

スマホゲーム Sumaho geemu Playing games on your smartphone.

ビデオゲーム Bideo geemu Video games

ドライブ Doraibu Going for a drive

 

Japanese martial arts are written with Kanji:

 

柔道 Jūdō Judo

合気道 Aikidō Aikido

空手 Karate Karate

 

Here are some other hobbies that are written using Kanji:

水泳 Suiei Swimming

山登り Yamanobori Mountain climbing

音楽 Ongaku Music

映画鑑賞 Eigakanshō Watching movies

買い物 Kaimono Shopping

魚釣り Sakana tsuri Fishing

園芸 Engei Gardening

一人旅 Hitori tabi Solo trip / Traveling by yourself

 

Here is a list of some of the most popular pastimes in Japan now:

1 写真 Shashin Photography

2 自転車 Jitensha Cycling

3 読書 Dokusho Reading books

4 ランニング Ranningu Running

5 英会話 Eikaiwa Studying English conversation

6 ヨガ Yoga Yoga

7 登山 Tōzan Mountain climbing

8 株・FX取引 Kabu / FX torihiki Day trading / Buying and selling stocks

9 瞑想 Meisō Meditation

10 筋トレ Kintore Weight lifting

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