Asking to go on a Date with someone in Japanese
We’ve already presented the Japanese slang “nanpa” and “gyakunan” to describe flirting with someone – in particular on the street. This time, let’s get more serious, and develop important words for dating in Japanese. Whether you live in Japan for a short time or for a few years, you never know what might happen. Who knows, maybe you will have a date with a Japanese friend tomorrow! So, how would you say dating in Japanese?
Do you have a Boyfriend/Girlfriend?
First thing first, you might want to know if the lucky one is single. How would you ask if he or she is already in a relationship? If she has a boyfriend/ he has a girlfriend?
A natural, idiomatic way to say it would be 「つきあっている人がいますか？」”Tsukiatte iru hito ga imasu ka?”. Literally, “is there someone you are dating?”. The verb “tsukiau” 「つきあう」「付き合う」is pretty much the same meaning as “dating” in English.
A: tsuki atte iru hito ga imasu ka
B: kareshi / kanojyo ga imasu.
A: Are you dating someone?
B: I have a boyfriend / girlfriend.
Wanna go out with me?
If he or she is single, you might wonder how to ask “will you go out with me?” in Japanese. Once again, the verb “tsukiau” will be one natural way to ask.
A: Boku to / Watashi to tsukiatte moraemasen ka?
However, it is important to be careful with the verb “tsukiau”. While the broad definition is “to socialize”, the meaning changes greatly according to the context. Let’s review two of the most important nuances.
The main one is “to accompany somebody somewhere”, without any romantic involvement. It can be translated as “to be associated with”, “to go around together”, “to keep somebody’s company”.
A: Kyou no kaeri ni honya-san ni iku n da kedo, tsukiatte kurenai?
A: “I’m going to the bookshop on the way home today. Would you like to come along with me?”
A: Hito to tsukiau no wo kirau.
A : To be insociable (to prefer one’s own company).
The second meaning is specific to love, as it means “to be in a boyfriend-girlfriend relationship”.
A: San-nen tsukiatteta kare to wakareta bakari de, ima tsukiatteru hito wa imasen.
A: I’m not going out with anyone at the moment. I’m just broken up with a guy I was with for three years.
A: Kimitachi wa itsu kara tsukiatte iru nodesu ka
A: How long have you been dating?
Other ways to talk about Dating
Another way to talk about dating in Japanese would be through the word “deeto” 「デート」 which derived from the English word “date”. The word was first introduced to the Japanese language at the end of the 19th century and became popular among the young generation of the middle class during the 20th century. It was used to express the day and time a man and a woman decide to meet. The introduction of the American dating culture was a culture shock, as previously, Japanese did not go on dates casually but always with the mindset of marriage.
- 「デートする」”deeto suru” to go on a date with
- 「彼氏・かのじょとデートがある」”kareshi/kanojyo to deeto ga aru” = to have a date with your boyfriend/girlfriend”
- 「デートに行ってくれますか？」”deeto no itte kuremasen ka?” = Will you go on a date with me?
- 「彼女をデートに誘った。」”kanojyo wo deeto ni sasotta” = I asked her for a date.
You might wonder if there is a difference between “deeto” and “tsukiau”. Well, deeto would be used for a few casual dates with someone, whereas “tsukiau” implies a deeper relationship with that person. How many dates should you have before its a relationship is still a mystery!
- 「付き合うまで何回デートする？」”tsukiau made nan kai deeto suru?” “how many date before being in a relationship?”
Now, that you have learnt how to say dating in Japanese, you are ready to go out asking someone on a date! If that date is successful, how would you ask to meet again?
A: Kondo itsu aemasuka?
A: When can I see you next time?
Click this link to read about Japanese slang: nanpa suru and gyaku nan suru!
If someone decides to cancel on you last minute, do you know what it’s called in Japanese slang? Find out more here!
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