Kanji Cheat Sheets
Living in Japan can be confusing sometimes, especially when it comes to daily tasks like going to the bank. A lot of what you might do at a bank in your home country with the assistance of a teller is often done at the ATM in Japan. While some ATMs in Japan have an English option, others do not.
I can still remember my first time going to the bank to sort out my affairs by myself and how intimidated I felt by all the unfamiliar kanji. Pretty much the only words I could read were the English origin words キャッシュカード (cash card) and クレジットカード (credit card).
Despite a relatively successful trip, I left the bank a little nervous that I had told the banker the wrong thing or pressed the wrong button and sent all of my money to some stranger in a remote part of Japan by mistake!
Not to worry, with these four words you can do everything you need to do at the ATM:
|Send money to someone||振込||furikomi|
Now that you know the basic words for withdrawing and transferring money, the next thing you need to know is how to check your account balance (残高).
残高 is an interesting word because it is made up of the kanji found in the words 残る(left over) and 高い (high), presumably because the amount of money you have left (残る) is high (高い) in your account (残高). Banking humor… you’ve got to have a memorization method, right?
If you want to check your account balance, you are going to have to learn some common Japanese banking terms. Luckily, most of this information can be found by simply looking at your bank card.
On the bank card, you’ll find some of the following terms:
|Mr./ Ms./ Mrs. (Polite)||～様||~sama|
|The bank’s name||銀行名||ginkoumei|
|The branch’s name||店名||tenmei|
|Bank branch number||店番||tenban|
|Year and month of issue||発行年月||hakkou nengetsu|
|Account number||口座番号||kouza bangou|
Always make sure you know what bank the payee is using because if their bank is different than yours, you may get some pesky handling charges (手数料). You’ll also see this kanji in your bank book (通帳) or receipt if you’ve made withdraws from ATMs that aren’t operated by your bank.
Keeping your accounts in order
Of course, if you’re anything like me, you’ll often find yourself trying to remember how much money you do (or don’t) have in your account. Here is where that colorful book that you were given when you first opened the account, your 通帳 (bank book), comes in handy.
Put your bank book into the ATM, the same way you would a bank card, and you’ll get a perfectly formatted breakdown of all transactions in and out of your account. This is especially useful for those who still don’t have the option of online banking. What year is it again..?
Look out for some slight variations of the words on your cash card that we learned before, in your bank book.
|Update your bank book||通帳記入||tsuuchou kinyuu|
|The date of the transaction (Year, month, day)||年月日||nengappi|
|The branch where the transaction happened||店番号||tenbangou|
|Money deposited||お預り金額||oazukari kingaku|
|Money was paid in||お支払金額||oshiharai kingaku|
With these new words, you will soon be banking like a boss with slicked-back hair and a pin-striped suit. Cigar optional.