Let’s learn Japanese greeting phrases that are used in everyday life.
Please note that you use informal expressions (casual) for your immediate family and close friends. You use Formal expressions (polite) when communicating with older people, strangers and superiors. (boss, customer etc)
Ohayou: Good Morning (informal)
Ohayou Gozaimasu: Good Morning (formal)
Konnichiwa: Good Afternoon (informal/formal)
Konbanwa: Good Evening (informal/formal)
Oyasuminasai: Good night (formal)
Oyasumi: Good night (informal)
* You can say Konnichiwa and Konbanwa in both formal and informal situations.
Arigatou:Thank you (informal)
Arigatou Gozaimasu:Thank you very much (formal)
Doumo Arigatou Gozaimasu:Thank you very much (formal)
Doumo: Thanks (informal)
Dewa Mata: See you/ Bye (informal)
*Mata means again. Dewa is well. So Dewa mata means well again, which is equivalent to saying “See you” in English. This is a very common expression.
Ja mata: See you/ Bye (formal)
*Ja is less formal than Dewa.
Ja matane:See you/Bye (informal)
*Ne is used when you are looking for agreement. “Isn’t it” or “right?” will be a good translation.
Sayounara:Good bye (Formal)
*Just like English, “Sayounara” can mean that you won’t see that person again.
Shitsureishimasu: しつれいします (Formal)
*This means “I am going to bother you.” This is a common expression used when you are entering into your superior’s room or getting off the phone with your boss. So this is a formal expression.
Osewani narimashita: おせわになりました(Formal)
*Thank you very much for all the nice things you have done for me. (Formal) This is a nice thing to say to others. For example, you can say “Osewani narimashita” to your colleagues when you are leaving your position.
Hajimemashite: How do you do? (Formal)
はじめまして*This literally means this is my first time meeting with you.
Yoroshiku Onegaishimasu: Nice to meet you. (Formal)
*Literal translation is I humbly ask you for your kindness and support. Onegaishimasu means “please”. So this is a formal expression. This is used quite often at work. For instance, you can say “Yoroshiku Onegaishimasu” to your colleague when a new project starts.
Yoroshiku: Nice to meet you (Informal)
Douzo Yoroshiku Onegaishimasu: (Formal)
どうぞ よろしく おねがいします
*The following expressions are used both in formal and informal situations.
Ittekimasu:I am leaving and will see you when I come back.
Itterasshai: Please go and have a nice day!
*Itterasshai is used in response to Ittekimasu.
Itadakimasu: Thank you for preparing a meal for me.
*This expression is used to show gratitude for someone who prepared a meal for you. You can use say “Itadakimasu” just to thank the fact that food is available.
Gochisousama: Thank you for the meal (after a meal)
*This is more polite than “Gochisousama”
Greetings used in special occasions
Omedetou Gozaimasu: Congratulations (Formal)
Omedetou: Congratulations (Informal)
Otanjyoubi Omedetou: Happy Birthday (informal)
*Otanjyoubi means Birthday, so this literally means Birthday, Congratulations!
Otanjyoubi Omedetou Gozaimasu : Happy Birthday (Formal)
おたんじょうび おめでとう ございます
Sotsugyou Omedetou Gozaimasu : Congratulations on your graduation (from school) (Formal)
そつぎょう おめでとう ございます
Sotsugyou Omedetou: (Informal)
How to say Yes or No
Un:Yeah, Yup (Informal):
Uun:Nope, Nah (Informal)
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