The Drinking Party Speech
If the party you are attending is in your honor, you will be expected to give a short speech. It is a good idea to bow first, and it is perfectly fine to have a cheat sheet. Formal speeches at graduation ceremonies and other events in Japan are often read verbatim from a fancily folded paper.
To begin, stand up and make sure to bow to the people across from you, as well as those to the right and left. You may want to restate parts of your self-introduction and add a sentence or two about your new workplace, colleagues, or home.
Kono kaisha no mina-san wa shinsetsu-na hito da to omoimasu.
I think everyone in this office is really kind.
Koko de hataraku no wa tanoshimi ni shite imasu.
I'm really looking forward to working here.
Ima made doomo arigatoo gozaimashita. Kore kara mo yoroshiku onegai shimasu.
Thanks for everything you have done for me up until now. Please continue to look out for me from here on out.
The conjunction no in these phrases has two separate purposes. The first phrase uses no to connect the two nouns: kaisha (“company”) and mina-san (“everyone”) to make the phrase “this company's personnel.” In the next example, no joins forces with wa to identify the verb hataraku (“to work”) as the subject (“working here”).
It's a Pleasure
The verb in the second example is actually a combination of tanoshimi (“pleasure”) and shite imasu (“doing”). This is a colloquialism used to describe the feeling of looking forward to something: tanoshimi ni shite imasu.
The word tanoshimi has an adjectival form. To get form the adjective, simply drop the -mi and add an extra i. Tanoshii is the adjective used to describe something enjoyable or fun, but may also be used as “happy” or “cheerful”:
Biiru o nomu no wa tanoshii desu.
Drinking beer is fun.
When tanoshii is placed in front of a noun, add -ku:
Kyoo wa tanoshiku paatei shimasu.
Today we will have an enjoyable party.
When changing it to its past-tense form, -katta is needed:
Kino no paatei wa tanoshikatta desu.
Yesterday's party was a blast.
Tanoshii also has a verbal form: tanoshimu. Conjugate this verb as you would other verbs that end in -mu. For example, the present-progressive tense is tanoshinde imasu, and the past tense is tanoshinda.
When called upon to give a speech more than once at an enkai, it is fine to repeat the same things you said earlier. Or, challenge everyone to listen to you give your self-introduction in English:
Eigo de itte mo ii desu ka.
May I say it in English?
If you feel comfortable doing so (in Japanese or English), you can add a few comments about your impressions of Japan so far, thank your supervisor for his or her hospitality, and express your appreciation for the food.
Here's a sample enkai speech that you might want to use as a model:
Minna-san konbanwa. Watashi wa Kurisu Potta to mooshimasu. Amerika kara kimashita. Nihongo wa umaku dekimasen ga, yurushite kudasai. Kyoo no enkai wa tottemo tanoshii shi, o-hanashi mo omoshiroi shi, tabemono mo oishii desu. Ima made doomo arigatoo gozaimashita. Kore kara mo yoroshiku onegai shimasu.
Good evening, everyone. My name is Chris Potter. I am from the U.S.A. Please forgive my terrible Japanese. Today's party is not only fun, the conversations are interesting, and the food is delicious, too. Thank you for all you have done for me up until this point. Please continue to take care of me in the future.