How to say “flirting” in Japanese

nanpa (suru) ,  gyaku nan (suru)

なんぱ(する)、逆なん(する)

Meaning
When a guy calls on a girl to invite her somewhere, either in a club or on the street. As a verb, is said: “nanpa suru” The opening for the invitation is usually an “invitation to tea”, “invitation to karaoke”, or “invitation to go for a drink.” “Gyaku nanpa” occurs when a girl calls out to a guy to invite him somewhere.

Japanese Example
男友達の会話
A:昨日、クラブでめっちゃタイプの子がいたんだけど。
B:おぉ。
A:ナンパしようとしたら、他の奴に先こされちゃったんだよー。

A:Kinou, club de mecha type no ko ga itandakedo.

B:Oo!
A:Nanpa shiyo toshitara, hokano yatsu ni saki kosarechattandayo.

逆ナン:ナンパと反対に、女の人から男の人へアプローチすること。
例)
若い女の子同士の会話
A: さいきん、彼氏ができたんだ。
B: どこで知り会ったの?
A: 渋谷で逆ナンした!?

A: Saikin, kareshi ga dekitanda.
B: Doko de shiriatta no?
A: Shibuya de gyakunan shita!?

English Translation
Two guy friends are having a conversation
A: There was a super hot girl at the club yesterday.
B: Oh.
A: I tried to pick (nanpa) her up, but another guy beat me to it.

Gyaku nan: The opposite of nanpa, when a girl approaches a guy.
E.g.
A conversation between two young women
A: I got a boyfriend recently.
B: Where did you meet him?
A: I picked (gyaku nanpa) him up in Shibuya.

The word “nanpa” comes from the Japanese word for “moderate”(軟派nanpa). If you use it too much, you might be taken for a someone shallow person.

 

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Author of this article

Iidabashi Japanese Language School

The Iidabashi Japanese Language School motto is "Be Unique, Have fun Globally!" We teach classes focused on conversation skills to foreigners living in Japan.

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