Airen: (Chinese) "beloved".
Aiya: extraordinarily useful Chinese exclamation, suitable for expressing many levels of dismay and related emotions.
Au revoir: (French) goodbye. Lit. "until [I] see [you] again".
Baka: fool. One of the kanji used in writing this word is the same as one of the kanji used in writing Ranma, making it unusually apropos when applied to him, as Akane does frequently.
Bento: a box lunch, usually involving rice; can be quite elaborate in preparation and attractive in presentation. For a girl to make a bento for a boy is often a sign of interest.
Bogu: kendo armor, consisting of men, tare, do, and kote: mask with flaring shoulder-pads, armor-skirt, chest armor, and padded gauntlets.
Bokken: a hardwood stick shaped roughly like a katana, usually used for practicing forms. Kuno Tatewaki is rarely without one.
Bonbori: large-headed Chinese mace. Shampoo's favorite weapon.
-chan: honorific suffix, diminutive. Used for those younger than the speaker, or for whom the speaker has affection, particularly children.
Cha-su-men: barbecued pork and noodles.
Chudan-no-kamae: kendo guard position in which the shinai is held in front of the waist and the tip is at eye level.
Deshabillee: (French) disheveled or partially undressed.
Do-gi: "battle costume", more or less. See Manga References link.
Dojo: martial-arts training hall. Lit. "teaching place".
Dotera: heavy, loose knee-length robe worn for warmth in casual circumstances, such as at an onsen in the winter.
Ecchi: lecherous or perverted. From "H" as in "hentai".
Futon: thick quilt used as a pad when sleeping on the floor.
Furigana: small hiragana printed next to kanji characters to give their pronunciation, making them easier to read. The Ranma 1/2 manga have furigana.
Furo: deep bathtub filled with very hot water, intended for soaking and relaxation rather than hygiene, as the bather is expected to be squeaky-clean before entering the water.
Gi: clothing for martial-arts practice, consisting of loose trousers and an overlapping-closure top of heavy cotton.
Gomoku: lit. "five things". Meat and vegetables with rice.
Gyoza: small packets of meat mixture in a dough wrapper.
Hakama: item of (male, usually) apparel, sort of like a cross between a skirt and very baggy trousers. Kuno Tatewaki almost always wears hakama, and it's also part of the customary dress for kendo.
Hiragana: one of two sets of "Japanese" characters used for writing Japanese (the other is "katakana"). Unlike kanji, they denote sounds; each character is a syllable. Two or more hiragana characters are used for some syllables.
Hiryu Shoten Ha: lit. "Flying Dragon Ascending Strike". Viz translates it as "Heaven-Blast of the Dragon".
Iaido: the sport of sword-drawing. A rather refined and contemplative practice, having more to do with ritual and ceremony than practical martial applications.
Iinazuke: fiancee or fiance.
Janken: a children's game, scissor-paper-stone. Stone breaks scissors, scissors cut paper, paper wraps stone.
Joketsuzoku: lit. "Tribe of Hero Women"; the Chinese Amazons.
Kanaka: (Hawaiian) man.
Kanji: the large set of "Chinese" characters used for writing Japanese. Each represents a concept rather than a sound; each has several associated pronunciations. There are thousands of them, and learning them is nontrivial even for native speakers of Japanese.
Kappa-maki: rolled sushi with cucumber in the middle, nori on the outside, and rice in between, seasoned with wasabi. Yummy.
Kata: lit. "form". In this context, a martial-arts exercise used to train reflex responses by a repeated sequence of movements.
Katana: a Japanese sword with a slightly curved single-edged blade.
Keiki: (Hawaiian) child.
Kempo: the family of martial arts which includes Musabetsu Kakuto.
Kendo: Japanese fencing. Kendo is really more of a sport than a martial art; it is descended from swordfighting skills, but is now a discipline in and of itself rather than a way to train for combat. The opponents wear armor called bogu covering the torso, hands and forearms, and head, and these are also (more or less) the valid striking areas. The sword is represented by a shinai, a flexible mock-sword made of bamboo and leather. A kendo match is fought in a square floor area about 10 meters across, to best two of three hits; there are rules for fouls, invalid hits, etc. A datotsu (valid hit) has to strike a valid target area with correct form and displayed attitude.
Kenjutsu: Japanese sword combat skill. Students of kenjutsu use bokken or sometimes katana to practice skills that are applicable to actual combat with edged weapons.
Ki: energy or power. In this context, refers to the power used by martial artists to perform amazing feats ranging from running over rooftops to the Hiryu Shoten Ha.
Kiai: yell used to center and focus one's energies when striking.
Kimono: dress worn by traditional Japanese women, and by non-traditional women on formal occasions. Kimono are also worn by men, but a man's kimono is usually darker, less decorated, of heavier fabric, and cut differently.
Koi: colorful carp bred to be viewed from above. Related to goldfish, but spunkier and more gregarious. I have a couple of dozen in a pool in my back yard; they're nifty.
-kun: honorific suffix used for people with whom the speaker is familiar.
Kunoichi: a female shinobi or ninja, a warrior trained in stealth. Konatsu, Ukyo's waitress (or perhaps waiter) is a kunoichi.
Kyudo: Japanese target archery.
Lei: (Hawaiian) flower necklace or garland.
Ma-bo tofu: ground beef or pork and soybean cake in a spicy sauce.
Maki-sushi: sushi made by rolling a cylinder of sushi rice and fillings in a skin of nori, using a bamboo-and-string mat called a "makisu". One of the main classifications of sushi; the other is "nigiri-sushi", in which the rice is formed in the hand.
Manga: a Japanese comic-book. Ranma 1/2 was originally a serialized manga.
Miso: fermented soybean paste, frequently eaten as soup but also as a flavoring.
Musabetsu Kakuto: the martial-arts style practiced by the Saotome and Tendo families. Lit. "unrestricted unarmed combat," more or less. Viz translates this as "Anything Goes Martial Arts".
Musubi: a rice ball, usually formed in the hand, sometimes with a tidbit in the center, sometimes with a strip of nori wrapped around it.
Naginata: a polearm with a long curved blade, a little like a katana with a two-meter hilt, although the blade may be shorter and wider. Naginata were the traditional weapon of women of the noble class, particularly samurai, although men might use them as well.
Nannichuan: Spring of Drowned Man. Possibly a cure for Ranma's curse.
'Nee-chan: short for "Onee-chan", a familar or affectionate address for one's sister. Can be insulting if used inappropriately.
Nekohanten: the restaurant where Cologne, Shampoo, and Mousse live. Lit. "Cat Chinese Restaurant".
Neko-ken: lit. "Cat-Fist".
Nihao: (Chinese) hello.
Niku dango: sweet-and-sour meatball dumplings.
Nori: seaweed dried in sheets, used in sushi fabrication and, shredded, as a condiment.
Nyannichuan: (Chinese) Spring of Drowned Girl. Ranma fell into it.
Moko Takabisha: lit. "Fierce Tiger Domineering".
Moshi moshi: standard telephone greeting.
Oba-sama: very polite address for the speaker's aunt, but also for any unrelated woman older than the speaker. Kasumi refers to Nodoka as "Saotome-no-obasama".
Ofuda: small amulet or charm used to influence spirits.
Oji-sama: very polite address for the speaker's uncle, but also for any unrelated man older than the speaker. Kasumi refers to Genma as "Saotome-no-ojisama".
Ojousan: polite address for a young woman or girl.
Okaa-sama: very polite address for the speaker's mother, or, in Kodachi's case, someone she hopes will be her mother-in-law...
Okonomiyaki: a flat fried food involving shredded cabbage, soba noodles, batter, and the toppings of the customer's choice. Ukyo's stock-in- trade.
Onna: female. "Onna-Ranma" refers to Ranma when in female form.
Onsen: hot spring, especially one used for bathing.
Origami: the art of paper-folding.
Paramour: (French) lover.
Pilikia: (Hawaiian): trouble.
Ramen: Chinese noodles in clear broth, usually with meat and/or vegetables added. Shampoo's stock-in-trade.
-ryu: school, style. Musabetsu Kakuto Tendo-ryu is the variant of Unrestricted Combat taught by the Tendo family, for example.
-sama: honorific suffix used to the speaker's social superiors. When Kodachi addresses Ranma as "Ranma-sama", she is flattering him immoderately.
Samurai: a warrior in service to a clan or lord in feudal Japan.
-san: default honorific suffix, used in situations of ordinary politeness when none of the others apply.
Sempai: an upperclassman or mentor. Also an honorific suffix used when addressing such a person.
Sensei: a teacher, doctor, professor, or master. Also an honorific suffix used when addressing such a person.
Shinai: mock sword made of bamboo strips, used for kendo (Japanese fencing).
Shinentai: yearning ghost, a spirit trapped in the world by some task left incomplete.
Shoji: sliding screen used in traditional Japanese architecture as a door or room divider. The term refers both to light, translucent screens and heavier, opaque screens, but not to the heavy sliding shutters used to secure a building.
Shojo-manga: girls' comics, often featuring romantic themes.
Soba: thin brown buckwheat noodles, eaten hot or cold.
Sushi: rice seasoned with vinegar. Also, by extension, small delicacies fashioned from sushi rice, fish, egg, seaweed, etc. Does not necessarily involve raw fish; that's "sashimi".
Tamago-nigiri: sushi made by placing a slice of omelet atop a small block of pressed rice and securing it with a strip of nori. A delicious way to introduce people turned off by images of raw fish to sushi.
Tatami: a mat, about 3' by 6', made of bundled straw and used for flooring in traditional Japanese architecture.
Ten-don: short for tenpura-donburi. Tempura (batter-fried shrimp, fish, vegetables, etc.) over rice.
Tofu: a cake of soy-bean curd, eaten as a protein supplement. There's no other possible reason, as neither its taste nor its texture is particularly interesting.
Tsuba: the hilt-guard of a katana. Tsuba are often works of art in and of themselves, being decorated by engraving, piercing, inlays, etc.
Tsuki: in kendo, a thrust to the throat-flap of the mask; the only valid thrust.
Tsubo: point on the body used as the focus for acupuncture or acupressure.
Udon: thick white noodles, usually eaten in soup.
Umi-sen-ken: lit "sea-thousand-fist", a Musabetsu Kakuto style invented by Genma in analogy to the methods of a stealthy burglar.
Wahine: (Hawaiian) woman.
Wakki-ga-kamae: kendo guard position in which the shinai angles downward with the tip near the right foot.
Wasabi: Japanese mustard, sort of. Hot green horseradish paste.
Wo ai ni: (Chinese) "I love you".
Wo da airen: (Chinese) "my beloved".
Yari: spear. The Japanese spear typically has a short, narrow, double-edged blade with a short symmetrical point.
Yatai: cart used for food-service, such as okonomiyaki.
Yazunichuan: Spring of Drowned Duck. Mousse fell into it.
Yen: unit of Japanese currency. About $0.01 US, give or take exchange fluctuations.
Yukata: light cotton robe worn in casual circumstances, such as at an onsen in the summer.