Useful phrases in other languages

  Difficulty: Advanced   Keywords: Culture & History

For Go players who anticipate meeting other players who don't share a language, it can be useful to know how to ask for a game. Here are the most idiomatic (by consensus of SL patrons) phrases in various languages for:

  • asking someone for a game of Go
  • a likely response to accept a game
  • a likely response to decline a game
  • sportsman-like wishes to begin play
  • resignation
  • thanking the opponent after the game
  • titles of respect for teachers (ie. "sensei" (jp))

2023-04-18: Invitation to progressively add a few more useful phrases, such as:

  • congratulations!
  • (that's a) good move!
  • would you like more time?
  • It's your turn (to play).
  • Pass.

Please help fill in the blanks and correct errors (or discuss below).

Table of contents



Asking: "Would you like a game?"
Accept: "Yes"
Decline: "No thanks"
Begin: "Enjoy"; "Have a good game"
Resign: "I resign"
Thanks: "Thanks for the game"
Titles of respect: "Teacher"

Eastern languages

Chinese (Mandarin)

Asking: "xia4 qi2 ma1?" ("下棋吗?") ("Want to play chess?") [1]
Accept: "hao3" ("好") ("Sure.")
Decline: "bu2 yong4, xie4 xie4" ("不用,谢谢") ("No, thank you."); "dui4 bu4 qi3" ("对不起") ("Sorry.")
Begin: "qǐng duōduō zhǐjio" ("请多多指教") ("Please instruct me." (indicate my mistakes)) This is a common way for greeting;
"wnde ykui" ("玩得愉快") ("Have fun playing.");
Resign: "wo3 ren4 shu1" ("我认输") ("I resign.")
Thanks: "xie4 xie4" ("谢谢") ("Thank you!"); "gǎnxi nǐ de yux" ("感谢你的游戏") ("Thank you for playing."); "gǎnxi nǐ de duj" ("感谢你的對局") ("Thank you for being my opponent.")

That's a good move! "这是一着好棋 (這-----) zhe4 shi4 yi1 zhao1 hao3 qi2"
would you like more time?
It's your turn: "该你着棋了 (該----) gai1 ni3 zhao1 qi2 le"

Other resources

Chinese (Cantonese)

Asking: "Nei5 soeng2 m4 soeng2 zuk1 wai4 kei2 aa3?" ("你想唔想捉圍棋呀?") ("Would you like to play Go?")
Accept: "Hou2 lak3!" ("好o勒") ("Good!"/"Okay!")
Decline: "" ("")
Begin: "Cing2 do1 do1 zi2 gaau3." ("請多多指教.") ("Please let me learn much.")
Resign: "Ngo5 jing6 syu1 lak3." ("我認輸o勒.") ("I admit defeat.")
Thanks: "Do1 ze6." ("多謝") ("Thank you.")

Note: This is Cantonse Jyutping, not Mandarin Pinyin.

Chinese (Taiwanese/Hokkien)

Asking: "li4 gam1 bei3 sun2 wee2 gee2" ("Are you ok with playing Go?")
Accept: "ho4" ("好") ("Good"); "eh3 sai4" ("可以") ("Sure")
Decline: "" ("")
Begin: "" ("")
Resign: "wo3 shu1 le5" ("我輸了") ("I lost")
Thanks: "gam1 sia3" ("感谢") ("Thanks")

(Note: Most Taiwanese understand Mandarin Chinese anyway)


Asking: "Mau main?"
Accept: "Boleh";
Decline: "Nggak, makasih"
Begin: "Mohon bantuannya"
Resign: "Saya menyerah"
Thanks: "Terima kasih atas permainannya"
Titles of respect: "Guru"

Japanese [2]

Asking: "<surname>-san, uchimasen ka?" ("Mr/Mrs <surname>, would you like to play?")
Accept: "Hai" ("Yes"); "Iidesuyo" ("Good"); "Ee" ("Yeah")
Decline: "Chotto"; "Iie" ("No") [3]; "Arigatou, demo..." ("Thank you, but..." i.e. literally not finishing the sentence)
Begin: "Onegai-shimasu" ("Please do (this) for me"); "Yoroshiku onegai-shimasu" ("Please kindly treat me well", formal);"教えてください。" ("Oshiete kudasai")("Please teach me")
Pass: "Pasu"
Resign: "Makemashita" ("I lost"); "Arimasen" ("I have nothing"); "Mairimashita"
Thanks: "Arigatou" ("Thank you"); "Arigatou gozaimashita" ("Thank you kindly")
Handicap: "nan-moku desu-ka?" (何子ですか) ("How many (handicap) stones?") or, to suggest a handicap, "ni-moku desu-ka?" (2子ですか) ("Two stones?") (Maybe using stones or fingers for a response, as counting is hard. :)
Teacher: "Sensei" or "Shishou"


Asking: "Badouk hal-kka-yo?" ("Shall we play badouk?")
Accept: "Ye" ("Yes")
Decline: "A-ni-yo" ("No")
Begin: "jal-butak-ham-ni-da" ("")
Resign: "jiot-sum-ni-da" ("I lost", polite)
Thanks: "Gam-sa-ham-ni-da" (감사함니다) ("Thank you.", even more polite) "Ko-map-sseum-ni-da" ("Thank you", polite); "Ko-ma-weo-yo" ("Thanks", informal)

/more Korean


Asking: "Lên Go gan mǎi?" (เล่นโกะกันไหม) "do you want to play Go?"
Accept: "krb" ครับ(guys say) "k" ค่ะ(girls say) "Yes"
Decline: "mi l, khòb kun." (ไม่ล่ะขอบคุณ) "No thanks"
Begin game: "Ne nam dûay krb/k" (แนะนำด้วยครับ/ค่ะ) "Please teach me"
Resign: "Yorm pe krb/k" (ยอมแพ้ครับ/ค่ะ) "I resign"
Thanks: "Khòb kun krb/k" (ขอบคุณครับ/ค่ะ) " Thank you"


Asking: "Bạn lm một vn cờ với mnh khng?" ("Do you want to play a game?")
Accept: "Tất nhin rồi!" ("Sure!")
Decline: "Khng, cảm ơn bạn" ("No, thanks")
Begin: "Xin chỉ gio" ("Good luck")
Resign: "Mnh đầu hng" ("I resign")
Thanks: "Cảm ơn bạn nhiều" ("Thanks a lot")

Western languages


Asking: "Искаш ли да играем? (Iskash li da igraem?)" ("Do you want to play?")
Accept: "Да (Da)" ("Yes")
Decline: "Не, благодаря (Ne, blagodaria)" ("No, thank you")
Begin: "Приятна игра! (Priatna igra)" ("Have a nice game")
Resign: "Предавам се / Отказвам се / Печелиш (Predvam se/ Otkazvam se/ Pechelish)" ("I surrender/ I give up/ You win")
Thanks: "Благодаря (за играта)! (Blagodaria (za igrata)!)" ("Thank you (for the game)!")
Titles of respect: Учител (Uchitel) (Teacher)


Asking: "Vols jugar una partida?" ("Do you want to play a game?")
Accept: "I tant!" ("Sure!") "S! s clar!!" ("Yes! Of course!!")
Decline: "No, grcies" ("No, thanks")
Begin: "Sort" ("Good luck")
Resign: "Abandono" ("I resign")
Thanks: "Moltes grcies" ("Thanks a lot")


Asking: "Da odigramo partiju?" ("Shall we play a game?")
Accept: "Da, moze" ("Yes, why not")
Decline: "Ne, hvala" ("No, thanks")
Begin: "Dobru partiju zelim!" ("Have a good game")

Resign: "Predajem se" ("I resign")
Thanks: "Hvala" "Molim (hvala tebi)" ("Thank you" "You're welcome (thanks to you)")


Asking: "Zahrajeme si?" ("Shall we play?")
Accept: "Ano" ("Yes")
Decline: "Ne" ("No")
Begin: "Peknou hru" ("Have a nice game")
Resign: "Vzdavam se" ("I resign")
Thanks: "Dekuji za hru" ("Thanks for the game")


Asking: "Har du lyst til at spille Go?" ("Do you want to play Go?")
Accept: "Ja, hvorfor ikke" ("Yes, why not")
Decline: "Nej, ellers tak." ("No, but thanks anyway.")
Begin: "Held og lykke" ("good luck")
Resign: "Jeg giver op" ("I give up.")
Thanks: "Tak for spillet" ("Thanks for the game")


Asking: "Wil je een partij(tje) (Go) spelen?" ("Would you like a game (of Go)?"); "Wil je een potje (Go) spelen?" ("Would you like to play a game (of Go)?")
Accept: "Ja(, graag)" ("Yes(, please)")
Decline: "Nee(, bedankt)" ("No(, thanks)")
Begin: "Veel plezier" ("Enjoy"); "Prettige partij" ("Have a good game")
Resign: "Ik geef op" ("I resign"); "Jij hebt gewonnen" ("You have won"); "U heeft gewonnen" ("You have won", formal); "Ik kap er mee!" ("I quit!", informal, pissed off/jokingly)
Thanks: "Bedankt" ("Thanks"); "Dank je wel" ("Thank you"); "Dank U wel" ("Thank you, formal")


Asking: "Ĉu vi volas ludi?" ("Would you like to play?")
Accept: "Kial ne" ("Why not") "Jes" ("Yes") "Certe" ("Certainly")
Decline: "Ne, dankon" ("No thanks")
Begin: "Bonan ludon", "Bonan partion", "Bonan ludadon" ("Good game (to you)")
Resign: "Mi kapitulacas", "Mi rezignas" ("I resign") "Mi malgajnis" ("I lost")
Thanks: "Dankon pro la ludo" ("Thank you for the game") "Koran dankon" ("Thank you very much")


Asking: "Kas mngime?" ("Shall we play?") "Teeme he mngu" ("Let's play a game")
Accept: "OK, mngime" ("OK, let's play"); "Jah/Jaa" ("Yes")
Decline: "(tnan) Ei" ("No (, thank you)")
Begin: "Soovin edu" ("Good luck for the game")
Resign: "Loobun/Annan alla" ("I resign")
Thanks: "Aith (mngu eest)" ("Thanks (for the game)")


Asking: "Pelataanko?" ("Shall we play?")
Accept: "Pelataan vaan" ("Okay, let's play."); "Kyll" ("Yes"); "Joo" ("Yeah")
Decline: "Ei (kiitos)" ("No(, thank you)")
Begin: "Onnea peliin" ("Good luck for the game"); "Hyv peli" ("Have a good game")
Resign: "Luovutan" ("I resign") "Kiitoksia, min luovutan" ("Thank you for the game, I will resign here.")

Thanks: "Kiitos pelist" ("Thanks for the game") (Also acceptable as "I resign")


Asking: "Une partie?" ("A game?"); "Voulez-vous jouer?" ("Would you like to play with me...")
Accept: "Pourquoi pas" ("Why not") "Oui" ("Yes") "Bien sr" ("Certainly")
Decline: "Non merci" ("No thanks")
Begin: "Bonne partie" ("Good game (to you)")
Resign: "J'abandonne" ("I resign") "J'ai perdu" ("I lost")
Thanks: "Merci pour la partie" ("Thank you for the game") "Merci beaucoup" ("Thank you very much")

  • congratulations! "Flicitations"
  • (that's a) good move! "c'est un bon coup"
  • would you like more time? "Voulez-vous plus de temps ?"
  • It's your turn (to play). "C'est vous (de jouer)"
  • Pass "Je passe"


Asking: "Xogamos unha partida?" ("Shall we play a game?")
Accept: "S, claro" ("Yes, of course")
Decline: "" ("")
Begin: "" ("")
Resign: "" ("")
Thanks: "Gracias pola partida" ("Thanks for the game")


Asking: "Hast Du Lust, eine Partie (Go) zu spielen?" ("Would you like to play a game (of Go)?"); "Mchtest du Go spielen?" ("Would you like to play Go?", more formal/respectful) More respectful versions of these would be "Haben Sie Lust, eine Partie (Go) zu spielen?" and "Mchten Sie Go spielen?" "Lust auf ein Spiel?" (informal, probably something like "Fancy a game?")
Accept: "Gerne." ("I would like to.")
Decline: "Nein, danke." ("No, thanks.")
Begin: "Viel Spa!" ("Have fun!") "Viel Glck!" ("Good luck!") "Ein schnes Spiel!" ("Have? a nice/beautiful game!")
Resign: "Ich gebe auf." ("I give up.")
Thanks: "Danke." ("Thank you."); "Danke fr das Spiel." ("Thanks for the game.")


Begin: "Να έχουμε ένα καλό παιχνίδι!" ("Have a nice game!") "Καλή επιτυχία!" ("Good luck!")
Thanks: "ευχαριστώ" ("Thank you")


Asking: "Nesachek?" - "?נשחק" ("Lets play?")
Accept: "Beseder" - "בסדר" ("Okay"); "Nesahek" - "נשחק" ("Lets play..")
Decline: "Lo, toda" - "לא, תודה" ("No thanks")
Begin: "Behatslacha" - "בהצלחה" ("Have a good game")
Resign: "Ani poresh/et" (et for females) - "אני פורש\ת" ("I Resign")
Thanks: "Mischak tov" - "משחק טוב" ("Good game"); "Toda al hamischak" - "תודה על המשחק" ("Thanks for the game")


Asking: "Van kedved jtszani?" ("Would you like to play a game?")
Accept: "Igen" ("Yes") "Rendben" ("OK")
Decline: "Nem" ("No") "Taln ksőbb" ("maybe later")
Begin: "J jtkot!" ("Let's have a good game") "Sok szerencst" ("Good luck")
Resign: "Feladom" ("I resign")
Thanks: "Ksznm a jtkot!" ("Thanks for the game")


Asking: "Facciamo una partita?" ("Shall we play a game?")
Accept: "S, perch no" ("Yes, why not")
Decline: "No, grazie" ("No, thanks")
Begin: "Buona partita!" ("Have a good game")

Resign: "Abbandono" ("I resign")
Thanks: "Grazie" "Prego (grazie a te)" ("Thank you" "You're welcome (thanks to you)")


Asking: "Uzspēlēsim?" ("Shall we play?")
Accept: "Labi" ("OK"); "Kāpēc ne" ("Why not")
Decline: "Nē (,paldies)" ("No (, thank you)")
Begin: "Vēlu veiksmi" ("Good luck")
Resign: "Es padodos" ("I resign")
Thanks: "Paldies (par spēli)" ("Thanks (for the game)")


Asking: "Skal vi spille et parti (go)?" ("Shall we play a game (of go)?")
Accept: "Ja takk" ("Yes" polite)
Decline: "Nei takk" ("No")
Begin: "Lykke til!" ("Good luck!")
Resign: "Jeg gir meg" ("I give up")
Thanks: "Takk!" ("Thank you.") "Takk, i like mte!" ("Thank you, the same to you!")


Asking: "Zagramy?" ("Shall we play?")
Accept: "Tak" ("Yes"); "Chętnie" ("Why not") [EmTom: "Ch&#281;tnie" feels more like "Gladly" than "Why not" in my opinion and "Dlaczego nie?" means exactly "Why not"]
Decline: "Nie, dziękuję" ("No thanks")
Begin: "Miłej gry" ("Have a nice game")
Resign: "Rezygnuję" ("I resign"); "Poddaję się" ("I give up"); "Nic nie mam" ("I have nothing")
Thanks: "Dziękuję" ("Thank you")
Good day: "Dzień dobry" ("Good morning" and also "Good afternoon")


Asking: "Quer jogar um jogo(de Go)?" ("Would you like to play a game(of Go)?")
Accept: "Sim, claro" ("Yes, sure")
Decline: "No, obrigado" ("No, thank you")
Begin: "(Tenha um) Bom jogo" ("(Have a) Good game")
Resign: "Desisto" ("I give up")
Thanks: "Obrigado (pelo jogo)" ("Thank you (for the game)")
Titles of respect: "Professor" ("Teacher"), "Mestre" ("Master")


Asking: "Ai vrea sa joci o partida de go?" ("Would you like to play a go game?")
Accept: "Da, cu mare placere!" ("Yes, it will be a pleasure!")
Decline: "Imi pare rau, nu pot acum." ("Sorry, I can't right now.")
Begin: "Buna si noroc" ("Hello and good luck")
Resign: "Cedez" ("Resign")
Thanks: "Multumesc pentru partida" ("Thanks for the game.")


Asking: "Давайте сыграем" ("Davyte sgryem": "Let's play") "Не хотите сыграть?" ("Ne khotte sgrt'?": do you want to play?)
Accept: "Давай" ("Davy": "Let's")
Decline: "Нет, спасибо" ("Nyet, spasbo": "No, thank you") "Попозже" ("Popzzhe": "later")
Begin: "Удачи" ("Udchi": roughly "good luck" [lit. "success"]); "Хорошей игры" ("Good game").
Resign: "Сдаюсь" (spelled "Sdayus'", pronounced "Sdays": "I resign")
Thanks: "Спасибо за игру" ("Spasbo za igr": "Thank you for playing"); "Спасибо" ("Spasbo": "Thank you")


Asking: "Zahrame si?" ("Shall we play?"), "Dame si partiu?" ("Shall we have a game?")
Accept: "Ano" ("Yes"), "Jasne" ("Sure")
Decline: "Nie" ("No"), "Mozno neskuor" ("Maybe later")
Begin: "Nech sa dari" (approx. "Have a good game"); "Drz sa" (approx. "Good luck"), "Prajem zaujimavu hru" (approx. "Wishing an interesting game")
Resign: "Vzdavam sa" ("I resign"), "Prehral som" ("I lost")
Thanks: "Vdaka za partiu" ("Thanks for the game"); "Vdaka" ("Thanks"); "Dik" ("thx")


Asking: "Jugamos?" ("Shall we play?"); "Quiere jugar?" ("Do you want to play?")
Accept: "S, claro" ("Yes, of course")
Decline: "Lo siento, no puedo." ("I'm sorry, I can't."); "No, gracias." ("No, thanks"); "No, no me interesa." ("No, I'm not interested.")
Begin: "Buena partida" ("Have a good game"); "Buena suerte" ("Good luck")
Resign: "Me rindo" ("I resign"); "Me has hecho polvo" ("You crushed me!")
Thanks: "Gracias por la partida" ("Thanks for the game")
Titles of respect: "Profesor" ("Teacher")


Asking: "Vill du spela ett parti?" ("Would you like a game?")
Accept: "Ja" ("Yes"); "Ja tack" ("Yes please")
Decline: "Nej tack" ("No thanks")
Begin: "Lycka till" ("Good luck")
Resign: "Jag ger upp" ("I resign")
Thanks: "Tack" ("Thanks"); "Tack s mycket fr partiet" ("Thanks for the game")


Asking: "Oynamak ister misin?" ("do you want to play?")
Accept: "Hadi!" ("Let's") "Tabii" ("sure") "Evet" ("yes")
Decline: "Hayır, teşekkrler" ("No, thank you") "Belki sonra" ("maybe later")
Begin: "iyi oyunlar" ("have a good game")
Resign: "terk ediyorum" ("I resign")
Thanks: "oyun iin teşekkrler" ("thanks for the game") "teşekkrler" ("thanks")


Asking: Зіграємо? ("Zihrayemo?" : "Shall we play?")
Accept: Давай! ("Davai" : "Let's do it")
Decline: Ні, дякую ("Ni, dyakuyu" : "No, thanks")
Begin: Гарної гри! ("Harnoi hri!" : "Have a nice game")
Resign: Здаюсь ("Zdayus'" : "I resign")
Thanks: Дякую ("Dyakuyu" : "Thank you")
Pass: Пас ("Pass")
Your turn: Твоя черга ("Tvoya tcherha")
Congratulations: Молодець ("Molodets")
Good move: Це гарний хід ("Tse harni khid")
Need more time? Хочеш більше часу? ("Khotchesh bilshe tchasu?")


Chinese (Mandarin)

[1]: (Note: "qi2" means chess in Mandarin Chinese, and normally refers to Chinese Chess (being the more popular game), and not Go. To be more specific (perhaps when faced with a person with both a Chinese chess board AND a Go board?) without pointing or anything, use the term "wei2 qi2" instead of just "qi2"

Example: "xia4 wei2 qi2 ma1" is also acceptable, and in response, "yes" could also be "ke2 yi3", "shi4de", "dui4 le", "yao4", "wo3 yao4")

TDerz Correction: The final particle "de" for expressing the affirmation does not carry the 4th tone. It is toneless - how should I describe it? - none of the second, third or fourth => the tone pitch is not modulated and it is not as high as the first tone. Hence, it is pronounced "shi4de", Same with "dui4le" (which would answer a question with "correct"). I could imagine someone answering happy or in sighing "Na4 hao3 ba!" ( like "OK then, let's go for it!").

The above 'x' in xia is a palatal voiceless fricative, which is produced by raising the front of the tongue near (but not touching) the hard palate and letting the air squeeze out. The vocal cord does not vibrate {from Elementary Chinese Readers, Vol. 1}. Example: 'x' as the English sh in "banshee".

The "q" in WeiQi is a palatal aspirated voiceless affricate. The position and manner of articulation are the same as those of "j", with the only difference, that it is aspirated. Do these explanations really help without the explaining diagrams, where and how the tongue should be located between teeth and palate? Example: 'q' as the English ch in cheese.

The ei in WeiQi is pronounced as eigh in English sleigh. The i in WeiQi is pronounced as ee in English (see, bee, me). (But the i would be silent after c, ch, r, s, sh, sh, z, and zh.)

"Would you like to play (Go)?" "Ni3 xiang3 xia4 (wei2)qi2 ma2?" The first word ni3 ("you") can be exchanged against a more respectful nin2 ("you"), i.e. vs. a professional (who might reply in his/her best English: "Never mind, You can say you to me!").

"(Ni3/Nin2) Rang4 wo3 ji(3)zi?" (Give me how many stones? = How much handicap?)

"bai(3)" = white; "hei(1)" = black

For the tone not described by any of the first to fourth tones, there is no number to it, simply "de". However, sometimes "de5" is seen. To be strict, "yin1 yang2 shang3 qu4" is not the actual notation, rather the actual notation is "yīn yng shǎng q", but it takes a lot of effort to enter these symbols into the computer!

unkx80: Quite a number of ways to express them, I only gave a short version. I expect the Cantonese version to be similar when written.

tealeaf: My Mandarin textbook refers to the unstressed tone as "Tone 0" outside of writing the pinyin. In writing pinyin, it's written as the above by just not marking the syllable. (Having said that, my textbook uses accents over vowels rather than numbers after syllables to represent the tones.)

Chinese (Cantonese)

Karl Knechtel: Thanks to whoever contributed the Cantonese. Could we possibly get the tones for it too? I understand there are 9 tones in Cantonese to the 4 (5?) of Mandarin...

The tones for the Cantonese version is given above. Enjoy. :)


[2]: The vowel sounds are invariant in Japanese, but are often doubled. (This simplicity can be confusing for English speakers, familiar with vowels changing sound often, *especially* when doubled.)

The Japanese vowel sounds are:
a as in "father"
i a long 'e' sound, as in "bee"
u as in "flute"
e as in "pet"
o as in "owe"

All single vowels are short. When two different vowels appear together, pronounce each one separately. When the same vowel is doubled, simply lengthen the same sound to twice the length of a short vowel.

Bill: In Japanese, "--- san, yarimasen ka?" will do nicely. :-) (Omitting the name is a bit abrupt.)

Nando: A Japanese friend of mine told me to be careful with this, since this sentence is context-dependant. Before saying that, just make sure you're connected to some online Go server, or standing in front of a goban. Or else, it could lead to misunderstandings, since it more or less translates to "Would you like to 'do' it?" As a more explicit alternative, he proposed something like "--- san, uchimasenka?".

Bill: Hehe. That's true. But the question concerned asking on a Go server (IGS).
"Uchimasen ka?" is more specific to game playing, but if things are not clear from context, mentioning Go is a good idea: "Go o yarimasen ka?" or "Go o uchimasen ka?" One possible meaning for "uchimasen ka" is "Would you like to hit me?" ;-)

Nando: Aha, I see :-) (my friend didn't tell me about this one)
Oh well, I guess I'll keep it simple : I just won't try to say something in a language I don't know at all :D

splice: Small note: In Japanese, it is called "igo", not just Go. So, "igo o yarimasen ka" or "igo o uchimasen ka" should be correct.

Bill: Smaller note: When I was living in Japan, if I said, "igo", to non-Go players, they did not understand. It's like referring to chess as "Caissa" in the U. S. When I explained what I meant, they would say, "A! O-go desu ka?" ;-)

splice: Miniscule note: That's very weird. My Japanese teacher (native) didn't know what Go was until I explained what the game looked like, etc, then she went "Ahh, igo! Sou desu ne.". I guess it might be a regional thing? No idea. Heck, get Japanese input working and use the kanji, there won't be any confusion there :)

Bob Myers: Bill, you must have been forgetting to make the little motion with your hand where you pretend you're playing a stone on an invisible board while saying the word "igo". That almost always does the trick.

Richard Hunter: If I go into a Japanese bookshop and ask in Japanese where the igo books are, they assume I meant eigo (English). If I answer the English question: What is your hobby? with "playing go", people always assume I said golf.

[3] Coconuts: OK I'm just beginning to learn the Japanese langauge, but I'm sure most people know that politeness is a very important consideration in conversational Japanese. Using "Iie" to decline an invitation (like "uchimasen ka") is probably too direct. "Chotto" ("a little" but a stand in for "right now is a bit inconvenient" or something similar) is much better suited to this situation. Even using "Iie" to a straightforward question can be too direct sometimes; use "it differs" (though I don't know the translation, sorry!) instead.

Rutabaga: "Chigaimasu," or "chigau" if you want to be less formal, means "it is different." I added this to the list above, hope no one minds.


MrKoala: "Une partie ?" would also do it in French. (Lit. means "A game ?") The phrase is not as informal as it may seem, and will do in 97.3 percent of the cases. (I hate nine-ish numbers like 90% and 99% ;-) ) However, one thing to note is that the person will rarely accept with a "oui" ("yes") but more often with something like "Pourquoi pas ?" ("Why not ?") or "pkwa pa" ("y not" :) ). At the end of the game, you might want to thank your opponent for playing with you with a respectful "Merci pour la partie." ("Thank you for the game") or a "Merci vous" ("Thank YOU") if he was quicker than you :).


Dieter: "Wil je een partij(tje) spelen ?" or "Zin in een spelletje ?" is Dutch.


Usted desea jugar?

Jesusin: Simply "Jugamos?" (informal) will be ok. The go community is quite friendly so IMHO more formality is not needed.

uxs: Wouldn't "Desea jugar usted?" be more grammatically correct too ? I'm not an expert by far, but it's the word order I saw used in my spanish class.

Meison: "Desea jugar usted?" is gramatically correct but its kinda speak like Yoda. Whatever, Jesusin is right, you will get a better response (it is faster and easier) with "Jugamos?"

Multifolio: Quieres jugar? Quieres jugar una partida de Weiqi? Are commons phrases.

Multifolio: I think "Me has hecho polvo" ("You crushed me!") is a little out of context (or focus). I recommend to remove it.


Desiderate giocare?

AvatarDJFlux: Geee.. This is Italian as found in cheap phrase-books... :-)))

Using the plural second person as formal addressing was obligatory during the fascism (1922-1943) and you may still find it in some remote country villages... Today correct formal Italian uses the singular third: Vuole giocare?. Informal (singular second): Vuoi giocare?.

A phrase such as: Facciamo una partita? is sufficiently neutral to be used on both occasion. It is also what I would use in my go club.

Portuguese: Voc quer jogar?

Dieter: Most translation services on the net actually focus on Brasilian Portuguese, which can be said to differ from Portuguese as much as US English does from UK English. Jogamos? or Um jogo? will do or , more formally, O senhor (A senhora) quer jogar?.

Finnish: "Pelataanko?" Translates to "Shall we play?" (Yes, your perception is correct: politeness is not a part of the language. Mentioning names is also considered strange.) After the game you might want to say "Kiitos", or "Kiitos pelist", which mean "Thank you" or "Thank you for the game", respectively.

German: "Hast du Lust eine Partie zu spielen?" (informal), "Mchten Sie (mit mir) eine Partie spielen?" (formal)

Illich: "Zahrajeme si?" or "Chcete hrt?" in Czech ;)


Question: Is it possible to have voice or sound recording & reproducing on Senseis?

{ Are we allowed to edit by also deleting entries of other contributors? => Barthoze: the former explanations were confusing because 'Tsch' is "ch" in pinyin Tderz You are right. I erased my confusing text. Next time I have a look at the text book before I write how other native speakers should pronounce Chinese. }

unkx80: The above looks okay, but there really is too many possible phrases (not just in Chinese, but in any language), should we really list more?

Anonymous: (a semiserious request) How about Esperanto and Klingon?

Bignose: Feel free to start a new Phrases In Useless Languages page :-)
Tas: Then I'd like Quenya, Sindarin and Westron too.
Zarlan: ...and [ext] Baronh
Phelan: Page created, please fill it in. I couldn't find anything similar to babelfish for these languages...

scartol: Is it possible to get the characters for the Korean "Would you like to play" phrase? I'm going to Asia next week on Korea Air, and I'd like to make a card to hold up on the plane to seek out someone(s) to play with..

Other phrases How about extending the list to:

  • congratulations!
  • good move!
  • would you like more time?

Useful phrases in other languages last edited by on March 27, 2024 - 16:50
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