Learn Japanese with Olympics vocabulary

Reading Time: 2 minutes

With the Tokyo Summer Olympics only a few months away, we’ve prepared a list of Olympics vocabulary you can study to be in the know once the Games officially begin. Learn game terminology, phrases used to discuss the Games with friends or express joy when your team wins, and the 33 sports to be included this year.

Olympics nouns EN

Opening ceremony

国歌 (kokka): National anthem
競技場
(kyougijou): Stadium
五輪 (gorin): Olympics
聖火 (seika): Torch
(hata): Flag

Game terminology

得点 (tokuten): Score
ボール
(bo-ru): Ball
競争
(kyousou): Race
金メダル
(kin medaru): Gold medal
銀メダル
(gin medaru): Silver medal
銅メダル
(dou medaru): Bronze medal
選手
(senshu): Player
表彰台
(byoushoudai): Winner’s podium

Olympics verbs EN

Verbs

勝つ (katsu): Win
負ける
(makeru): Lose
走る
(hashiru): Run
跳ぶ
(tobu): Jump
投げる (nageru): Throw
登る
(noboru): Climb
泳ぐ
(oyogu): Swim
飛び込む
(tobikomu): Dive
持ち上げる
(mochiageru): Lift
応援する
(ōen suru): Support

Phrases

頑張れ (ganbare): Good luck
やった (yatta): Hooray
あきらめないで (akiramenaide): Please don’t give up (usually spoken by women)
諦めるな (akirameruna): Please don’t give up (usually spoken by men)
どのチームを応援しますか? (Dono chīmu o ōen shimasu ka?): Which team do you support?
どのスポーツが好きですか? (Dono supōtsu ga sukidesu ka?): Which sports do you like?
何かスポーツをしますか? (Nani ka supōtsu o shimasu ka?): Do you play any sports?

Sports in the Olympics

As many sports are imported from other countries, you will find that many use katakana. This list also includes the five new sports added to the Tokyo 2020 Games, including skateboarding, surfing, sport climbing, karate, baseball, and softball.

スポーツ (supo-tsu): Sport
運動
(undou): Exercise/sport
アクアティクス
(akuatikusu): Aquatics
アーチェリー (a-cheri-): Archery
アスレチックス (asurechikkusu): Athletics
バドミントン (badominton): Badminton
野球 (yakyuu): Baseball
ソフトボール
(sofutobo-ru): Softball
バスケットボール (basuketto bo-ru): Basketball
ボクシング (bokushingu): Boxing
カヌー (kanū): Canoe
サイクリング (saikuringu): Cycling
馬術 (bajutsu): Equestrian
フェンシング (fenshingu): Fencing
フットボール (futto bo-ru): Football
ゴルフ (gorufu): Golf
体操 (taisō): Gymnastics
ハンドボール (handobōru): Handball
ホッケー(hokke): Hockey
柔道 (juudou): Judo
空手 (karate): Karate
近代五種競技 (kindaigoshukyōgi): Modern pentathlon
ボート漕ぎ / 漕艇 (bōtokogi / sōtei): Rowing
ラグビー (ragubi): Rugby
セーリング (sēringu): Sailing
射撃 (shakegi): Shooting
スケートボード (sukētobōdo): Skateboarding
スポーツクライミング (supōtsukuraimingu): Sport climbing
サーフィン (sa-fin): Surfing
水泳 (suiei): Swimming
卓球 (takkyuu) or ピンポン (pinpon): Table tennis/ping pong
テコンドー (tekondō): Taekwondo
テニス (tenisu): Tennis
トライアスロン (toraisuron): Triathalon
バレーボール (bare-bo-ru): Volleyball
重量挙げ (jūryōage): Weightlifting
レスリング (resuringu): Wrestling

Learning Japanese in context makes studying more enjoyable. By reviewing this list of Olympics vocabulary, you can be prepared to whether watching television, listening to the radio, or reading up on Japanese news. As always, supplementing your language studies helps with textbooks.

An international gathering like the Olympics is just one of many great reasons to make a trip to Japan in July — whether on a language program with with the help of Go! Go! Nihon’s services or a brief study trip. For more useful tips about life in Japan and vocabulary lists keep following our Go! Go! Nihon blog.

Share this article

Go! Go! Nihon

Related articles

🎌 Join our next Webinar!

Next session → Live Student Visa Consultation

Days
Hours
Minutes
Seconds