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Last updated: 2005-06-19

Compiled and written by Philbert Ono

What's this? List of photography-related words in English and Japanese. The Main List has 1100+ words (click on the alphabet links). Many of the words are also categorized in separate lists (General, Camera, etc.). Meanwhile, the J-E List is a separate Japanese-to-English list of essential words not included in the Main List. And Signs is a photo gallery of Japanese signs explained in English.

Note: If the Japanese term contains an English word, the English word is spelled in normal English in the romanization. This is for easier recognition and maybe easier pronunciation and understanding. If the Japanese term is identical to the Engiish, a left arrow <- is displayed (you still have to pronounce it in the Japanese katakana way). Macrons are provided to indicate long vowel sounds. Credits here.

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General Words
approximately yaku ̄ 約〜 Often used in front of a numerical specification.
black kuro
blue ao 青、ブルー
book hon
bookstore honya 本屋
business card meishi 名刺
*直訳してname cardと呼ぶ日本人が多いけど、business cardが正解。でも"name card"でも通じる。
Many Japanese call it "name card" in English, a literal translation.
camera magazine (periodical) camera zasshi カメラ雑誌
cash (money) genkin 現金
cashier/checkout (to pay for goods) reji レジ
cell phone keitai, keitai denwa 携帯/ケータイ、携帯電話 Most people just say "keitai." Also see camera phone.
claim receipt (for processed film) hikikae-ken 引換券
consumption tax shōhi-zei 消費税 Including tax: zeikomi 税込み
Excluding tax: zei-betsu 税別ベツ
contact info (address, phone, etc.) renraku-saki 連絡先
contact info for inquiries toiawase-saki 問い合わせ先
credit card <- クレジットカード
date (year, month, day) nengappi 年月日
date when product will go on sale hatsubai-bi 発売日
date/time hizuke/jikoku 日付/時刻
discount card point card ポイントカード Enables you to receive a discount for the next purchase.
discounted price waribiki nedan 割り引き値段
earthquake jishin 地震
editor-in-chief henshū-chō 編集長
e-mail address meeru address メールアドレス Postal address: jūsho 住所
English eigo 英語
English brochure eigo no pamphlet 英語のパンフレット
English instruction manual eigo-ban shiyōu setsumeisho 英語版使用説明書
English magazines eigo no zasshi 英語の雑誌
Excuse me! Sumimasen! As in English, you can say this to apologize or get the salesman's attention.
festival omatsuri/matsuri お祭り
go on sale hatsubai suru 発売する
green green, midori グリーン、緑
hobby shumi 趣味 Photography is my hobby: Shashin wa shumi desu. 写真は趣味です。
holiday kyujitsu 休日 National holiday: saijitsu 祭日
3-day weekend: san-renkyū 3連休
See also vacation.
horizontal yoko
How many? (pictures) Nanmai? 何枚?
How much? Ikura? いくら?
in stock (camera, book, etc.) zaiko 在庫
included  ̄tsuki 〜付き Added after the name of the accessory that is included. For example, "lens case-tsuki" means "including lens case."
Japanese language Nihongo 日本語
Japanese photographer Nihon-jin cameraman/shashinka 日本人カメラマン/写真家
Japanese photography Nihon no shashin bunka 日本の写真文化
language gengo 言語
made in Japan Nihon-sei 日本製
magazine zasshi 雑誌
measurements (woman's) three size スリーサイズ In Japan, they are measured in centimeters, not inches.
name namae 名前
newspaper shinbun 新聞
No flash photography allowed flash satsuei kinshi フラッシュ撮影禁止
No photography allowed satsuei kinshi 撮影禁止 Image here.
observation deck (skyscraper) tenbōdai 展望台
order (a camera, book, etc.) chūmon suru 注文する
out of stock zaiko-kire 在庫切れ See also sold out.
pamphlet <- パンフレット
paparazzi paparachi パパラッチ
phone number denwa bangō 電話番号
photo history shashin-shi 写真史
photo industry shashin sangyō 写真産業
photo shy shashin-kirai 写真嫌い
photographer cameraman, shashinka, <- カメラマン、写真家、フォトグラファ The words "cameraman" and "shashinka" are often used interchangeably. However, there are slight differences. "Cameraman" could be a news photographer, commercial photographer, etc. Whereas a fine-art photographer is always a "shashinka." And a movie cameraman can never be called a "shashinka" because "shashin" means photography. The word "photographer" is also used in Japanese, but much less common.
photographic science shashin kagaku 写真科学
photographic terminology shashin yōgo 写真用語 Dictionary of photo terminology: Shashin yogo jiten
photographic terminology list shashin yōgo-shū 写真用語集 What you are looking at now. Compiled by Philbert Ono at
photography prohibited shashin satsuei wa kinshi 写真撮影は禁止
photography world shashin-kai 写真界
photography-related shashin kankei 写真関係
portrait rights shōzō-ken 肖像権 Rights to one's likeness.
power source dengen 電源
question shitsumon 質問 I have a question: Shitsumon arimasu.
red aka Reddish: akappoi
retail price teika, hyōjun kakaku 定価、標準価格 See also street price.
return the purchased item henpin 返品
Say cheese! Hai chiizu! ハイ、チーズ!
season kisetsu 季節 Four seasons: shiki 四季
Spring: haru 春ハル
Summer: natsu 夏
Fall: aki 秋
Winter: fuyu 冬
Rainy season: tsuyu 梅雨
seconds (time) byō One sec.: ichi-byo
self introduction jiko shōkai 自己紹介
Smile! Waratte! 笑って!
sold out urikire 売り切れ
sold separately betsu-uri 別売り
Sorry! gomenasai! ごめなさい! Apology.
sound onsei 音声 Accompanying the image or movie.
specify (quantity, etc.) shitei suru 指定する
stainless steel stainless ステンレス
sun taiyō 太陽
take a photograph
a. have one's photo taken
b. take a photo together
c. take a photo with Mt. Fuji in the background
shashin o toru
a. shashin o totte morau
b. issho ni shashin o torō
c. Fuji-san o bakku ni shashin o toru
a. 写真を撮ってもらう
b. 一緒に写真を撮ろう
c. 富士山をバックに写真を撮る
tax excluded (from the price) zeibetsu 税別
tax included (in the price) zeikomi 税込み
temperature ondo 温度 Air temperature is kion 気温.
Thank you! Domo arigato どうもありがとう
total amount (money) gōkei 合計
use tsukau 使う
vacation yasumi 休み Day off/holiday: kyūjitsu 休日
National holiday: saijitsu 祭日
Weekend: shūmatsu 週末
3-day weekend: san-renkyū 3連休
Consecutive national holidays: renkyū 連休
Spring vacation/Golden Week: haru yasumi 春休み
Summer vacation: natsu yasumi/Obon yasumi 夏休み/お盆休み
New Year's holidays/winter vacation: Oshōgatsu /fuyu yasumi お正月/冬休み

Golden Week is a string of national holidays in late April to early May. Synonymous with spring vacation.

Obon is the Buddhist belief where deceased souls return to Earth and Bon dances are held to greet them. It is also a time when people visit ancestral graves. Synonymous with summer vacation for most working people.

vertical tate
warranty card hoshōsho 保証書
warranty period hoshō kikan 保証期間
waterproof bōsui 防水
weather forecast tenki yohō 天気予報 Sunny: Hare 晴れ
Rain: Ame 雨
Cloudy: Kumori 曇り
Chance of rain: kōsui kakuritsu (expressed as a percentage) 降水確率
Snow: yuki 雪
Thunderstorm: Raiu 雷雨
Typhoon: Taifu 台風
Temperature: kion 気温
weight shitsuryō 質量 The weight of a person is called "taijū" 体重 and not shitsuryō.
Welcome! Irasshaimase! いらっしゃいませ!
What time? Nanji? 何時?
Where? Doko? 何処?
white shiro
Who? Dare? 誰?

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N |  O |  P |  Q |  R |  S |  T |  U |  V |  W |  X |  Y |  Z 
  J-E List | Signs | General | Camera | Lens | Accessory | Digital | Supplies

  PhotoWords  Web 

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Copyright © 2004-2005 Philbert Ono. All rights reserved.
Transmitting from Tokyo, Japan.