15+ Basic Greetings In Japanese You Must Know Now | Ling App (2022)

Learning the basic greetings inJapaneselanguage can help you become friends with the locals in the country. While 日本語 or Nihongo is only spoken in Japan, you might be surprised to know that millions from across the world are interested in mastering this Asian language. In fact, recent studies show that the number of institutions for this language is rising, making it part of the 25 most spoken languages in the world! So start learning the casual and formal greetings today in this post.

There is no denying that Japanese is a language that is pretty difficult to learn, especially for Westerners. One of the main reasons behind that is because it has three writing systems that are sometimes used simultaneously in written documents. This includesHiragana (平仮名)for phonetic spelling,Katakana (カタカナ)for foreign words, andKanji (漢字)which represents whole words adapted from Chinese characters. If this is your first time getting lessons in Japanese, we recommend that you start by familiarizing the basic Japanese greetings to help you grasp the pronunciation and the letters used.

10 Ways To Say Hello In Japanese

If the French people like giving cheek kisses to greet someone, the Japanese do this by bowing at a certain angle and duration. And when we say bowing, we do not mean a simple nod! The Japanese culture reflects that the locals do theojigi (お辞儀)because it shows respect and willingness to lower yourself in a vulnerable position in front of the other person. Please note that you are also expected to do this even if you are a foreigner just traveling to the country.

There are three types of bows that you can do while saying your Japanese greetings, and this includes:

  • Eshaku (会釈) - 15 degrees of bow used for informal interactions with strangers or close friends.
  • Keirei (敬礼) - 30 degrees of bow mainly used for business situations and when meeting people for the first time. This is also perfect to use when saying hello to your bosses or when you want to welcome customers.
  • Saikeirei (最敬礼) - a 45-degree type of bow used for saying sorry or showing guilt. This can also be used for greeting high-ranking government officials.

1. こんにちは - Konnichiwa

Whenever we think about the best Japanese word to say hello, most of us always think of thekonnichiwa. However, this is actually not used when you are greeting a friend or someone close to you. This is considered a formal greeting used in the office and is more appropriate during the afternoon.

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2. おす - Osu!

In English, people can call you "bro..." but in Japanese, Osu is the word that is somewhat the same as that. If you are a guy who is looking for a trendier way of greeting your close brothers, thenosuis the right word to use. This does not have a direct translation related to any greeting, but the locals know this to be informal and used only by the teens or in anime.

3. お元気ですか - Ogenki desu ka?

Sometimes, saying hello does not really mean that you translate the word directly in Japanese. For example, if you want to strike a conversation, you can simply ask o genki desu ka, which means "how are you?" in English. The common response for this isげんきです or genki desuwhich means "I am fine."

4. やあ/ よ - Ya / Yo

/

There are simple greetings that are usually used informally between friends and some close coworkers. This somehow is the same with the basic Oi in Portuguese or the Alo in Vietnamese. These can also be used when speaking with strangers who are younger than you.

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5. おはようございます- Ohayōgozaimasu

If you want to say good morning to another person, you can simply say theohayōgozaimasuor ohayō to sound more native. This is a simple way to greet someone and can be used in both formal and informal situations, making it a safe word to learn. Please note that some locals may sometimes have variations in how they pronounce this word, but you do not have to worry since the meaning stays the same.

6. こんばんは - Konbanwa

If you want to say hello or greet someone good evening, you can use this polite word to almost anyone as this is considered the most common form. If you are going to break down its literal meaning, the characters can be directly translated to "this evening."

7. おやすみなさい - Oyasuminasai

If you want to greet someone with a parting phrase, then the most common Japanese expression to use is Oyasuminasai which means "go take a rest."

8. ヤッホー - Yahho!

This is greeting is usually used between kids, and you probably have heard of this on animes where the characters try to get attention. This is like the basic Yahoo! in English and is seen by the locals as a bit feminine.

9. 調子はどうですか - Choushi wa dōdesu ka

This is also a question that can be used as a greeting and a conversation starter. This can be directly translated to "how is it going?" and is safe to be used for both formal and informal situations.

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10. もしもし - Moshi moshi

Among all the common Japanese greetings in this list, the best one you can use for greeting when answer the phone is moshi moshi. However, please note that this expression is better to use when you know that the one calling you is a family member, relative, or close friend.

7 Japanese Greetings At Home

15+ Basic Greetings In Japanese You Must Know Now | Ling App (1)

If you plan to join a homestay program where you will share a home with a Japanese family, it would be wise to learn all the typical phrases and greetings that you might hear from the locals. Whether they are at work or home, the Japanese culture puts a premium on respect and etiquette, and this is the reason why you need to at least familiarize yourself with the ones listed below.

If ever you get invited to a Japanese home, please do remember that you should start greeting the family with the basic greetings likeこんにちは(Konnichiwa)accompanied by a 30-degree angle bow, especially if you are speaking with the older people. After saying that, you must also sayお邪魔します (Ojamashimasu), which is a formal greeting that means "excuse me for disturbing." Also, greet the host directly and give him or her the手土産 (Temiyage)or a small gift which is important in their culture as it shows your thankfulness for being invited. Any gift will do, but the most common form is food, tea, or anything that can be consumed.

JapanesePronunciation guideMeaningWhen to use
いってきますIttekimasuI'll go now and will be backWhen leaving the house
いってらっしゃいItterasshaiPlease go and come backResponse when someone leaves the house
ただいまTadaimaI am homeWhen you are back home
ただいまもどりましたTadaima modorimashitaI am home (formal)When you are back home
おかえりなさいOkaerinasaiWelcome backResponse when someone is back home
いただきますItadakimasuI will eat nowTo say that you are thankful for the food
ごちそうさまでしたGochisōsama deshitaI enjoyed the mealAfter finishing a meal

4 Formal Greetings In Japanese For The Workplace

15+ Basic Greetings In Japanese You Must Know Now | Ling App (2)

As you probably noticed from the section above, Japanese people are keen on exchanging gifts. Therefore, if you are moving to Japan to start a new role in a company or public office, it would be wise to bringお土産 (Omiyage)from your home country. An Omiyage is basically a souvenir. Even if you are traveling to another part of Japan, the locals have a burning desire to bring gifts to their family, friends, classmates (if you are a student), and colleagues at work. The Omiyage are usually edible gifts too that are wrapped individually and are given face to face.

As for the working culture, the Japanese are known in the world to be some of themost hardworkingpeople in the office. Therefore, there are times wherein they sometimes have to work overtime, and if you are planning to go home ahead of them, do note the greetings and polite Japanese phrases you can use.

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JapanesePronunciation guideMeaningWhen to use
よろしくおねがいしますYoroshiku onegai shimasuNice to meet youMeeting someone for the first time.
おさきにしつれいしますOsaki ni shitsurei shimasuI'm going homeWhen you are leaving ahead of your coworkers
おつかれさまでしたOtsukaresama deshitaYou are tiredThis is a compliment that means someone appreciates hard work.
お世話になりますOsewa ni narimasuThank you very muchThanking colleagues for their help and kindness

Basic Goodbye Greetings

15+ Basic Greetings In Japanese You Must Know Now | Ling App (3)

If you have watched a good number of animes and Japanese films, then you know that the most common poetic form of goodbye is さようなら or Sayounara. While the media rampantly use this, it actually is not the best way to say goodbye like a native speaker. In fact, an incorrect tone can even lead to awkwardness since most Japanese believe that this is like saying goodbye forever. If you want to learn the more acceptable versions for saying this greeting, read our translations below.

JapanesePronunciation guideMeaning
またねMata neSee you later
また明日Mata ashitaSee you tomorrow
また来週Mata raishūSee you next week
バイバイBaibaiBye-bye
ごきげんようGokigenyōFarewell
さらばだSaraba daGoodbye (poetic)

As we reach this part of the post, we hope that you were able to learn Japanese greetings that are more natural sounding than those you can come across in the movies. If you enjoyed this post and would love to master other ways to greet someone, then be sure to check out our previous posts like how to greet in Latvian, Tagalog, and Spanish languages.

Interested In Learning Japanese The Right Way?

After learning these greetings in Japanese you must be feeling ready to know more!

Whether you are looking to master the casual or formal way of speaking, learning using theLing Appcan be your best option! Aside from the fact that it is available for free online, this language learning application is developed by real native speakers and highly-vetted language specialists from across the globe. From the inside, you'll get instant access to language lessons perfect for different situations making it an ideal tool may you be a student, a constant traveler, or a professional.

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What makes this Ling App interesting is that it takes on a holistic approach which means that using it for at least 10 minutes a day can help you improve in all aspects of language learning - from reading, writing to speaking. This app got you covered! So, what are you waiting for? Download this app onGoogle PlayandAppStoreand start sounding more natural in Japanese!

FAQs

What does Yaho mean in Japanese? ›

These are are top slang terms for hello: Yaho (ヤッホー) Predominantly used by girls, you'll hear it a lot more in younger groups of girls. As it is a newer slang expression rather than a formal greeting it is written in katakana. Ossu (おっす)

What is Aisatsu in Japanese? ›

Greetings are an important part of every culture in the world and a great tool to connect people. The Japanese word of “greeting" is “Aisatsu” (挨拶) and has the core meaning of “communication” in Japanese language.

What does Ara Ara mean? ›

Ara ara (あら あら) is a Japanese expression that is mainly used by older females and means “My my”, “Oh dear”, or “Oh me, oh my”. Depending on the… Visit.

What does FF mean in Japan? ›

To get a bit more specific, "FF" is slang for "follow/follower," and the character "外"—read as gai—means "outside of." (Thanks, college Japanese class!) In the context of Twitter, the overall phrase is basically a polite way of saying, "excuse me for commenting outside of the follow/follower relationship."

What is Moshi Mosh? ›

Moshi moshi, or もしもし, is a common Japanese phrase that Japanese people use when picking up the phone. It's a casual greeting used for friends and family, like a “hello”, but in fact means something entirely different! In English, it literally means something more like, “to say to say”, or “I speak I speak”.

Why do Japanese say SAA? ›

In general, saa is used as a particle to express an assertion, and is typically used by males. When used in this way it doesn't have an explicit meaning, but rather functions as a sort of filler word.

What is Ittekimasu? ›

Ittekimasu (行ってきます) means “I will go” and doubles as a “see you later”, or “I'll get going now”. You use this when you are leaving home. It implies that you will also be coming back. You can say it to those you're leaving behind in the morning when leaving home, or at the airport before leaving on a trip.

Does chotto mean wait? ›

ちょっとまって (chotto matte) means “wait a moment,” and it's used in a wide variety of situations, from everyday conversation to more formal scenarios.

What is Arigato Daimas? ›

どうもありがとう。 Domo arigato. Thank you very much. Domo arigato (sometimes transcribed in “Doumo arigatou”) is a way of saying “Thank you very much” in Japanese. The combination of Domo with Arigato has the effect of reinforcing the power of your thanks.

How do you reply to Moshi Moshi? ›

A professional way to answer the phone is: hai, はい、○○でございます (○○ de gozaimasu), “This is XX.” Or: お電話ありがとうございます (o-denwa arigatō gozaimasu), “Thank you for calling.” To ask someone to please hold, you can say: ちょっと待ってください (chotto matte kudasai), or more honorifically in keigo: 少々お待ちくださいませ (shōshō o-machi kudasaimase).

What is hello in anime? ›

If you ever watched at least one anime series, you probably already know this: “hello” in Japanese is Konnichiwa.

Does ohayo mean hello? ›

Ohayo (おはよう, ohayō) is a colloquial term meaning good morning in Japanese.

Are U OK Japanese? ›

大丈夫ですか? (daijōbu desu ka?) is probably the most natural way to ask, “are you okay?” in Japanese.

What is the coolest Japanese word? ›

'Say what? ' 20 Cool Words that Only Exist in Japanese
  1. KY (adj.) ...
  2. 木漏れ日 Komorebi (n.) ...
  3. わびさび Wabi-sabi (n.) ...
  4. 別腹 Betsu bara (n.) ...
  5. 森林浴 Shinrinyoku (n.) ...
  6. 積ん読 Tsundoku (n.) ...
  7. シブい Shibui (adj.) ...
  8. 過労死 Karōshi (n.)

What does Yare Yare mean? ›

Yare yare doesn't have a direct translation... it is just an onomatopoeia that describes the sound of being relaxed. Japanese just hear that sound differently, they hear "yare yare"." crunchyroll funimation hulu theanimenetwork nicovideo daisuki translated as boy oh boy or my oh my.

What is Kimochi Yamete mean? ›

it feels good/feeling.

What is a ONII Chan? ›

Meaning of Onii Chan in Japanese

This word can be written as onii-chan or "oniichan". In Japanese, it means older brother and is often used to express affection and closeness towards an older brother.

What does pp mean in Japan? ›

noun: producer's price; PP ➜ 生産者価格

What does 3 LDK mean in Japan? ›

A 2LDK would mean that there are two bedrooms plus the living dining, kitchen part, a 3LDK would indicate three bedrooms and so on. Usually, the kitchen is part-separated from the living and dining area by a breakfast bar, wall divide or area of laminate or vinyl flooring.

Does W mean lol in Japan? ›

Where does wwww come from? The use of wwww to represent laughing comes from the Japanese wara (笑), “to laugh.” With the rise of text-messaging and the internet in the 1990s–2000s, Japanese users adapted the kanji 笑 to denote laughter, similar to LOL.

What does Oi mean in Japanese? ›

Oi – オイ – This is a highly informal way in the Japanese culture to get someone's attention. A lot like the English version of, “Hey!” – But even less polite. Osu – オス – This is an informal way of greeting someone in Japanese, normally used between good friends.

What do you say after konichiwa? ›

I was wondering about this myself and so I decided to find out. When someone greets you in Japanese with “Konnichiwa” it is best to respond with the same phrase “Konnichiwa”.

What does Mochi mean in Japanese? ›

: a doughlike mass made from cooked and pounded glutinous rice used in Japan as an unbaked pastry.

What is Toshi in Japanese? ›

Toshi (written: 慧 lit. "bright" or 敏) is a masculine Japanese given name. It is also a nickname or shortening of several longer names.

Why do Japanese say DA? ›

It has been widely assumed that da is a copula, whose formal/polite form is desu. Both of them appear to correspond to the English copular verb be. Thus, da/desu may be translated as 'is' in independent sentences like (1).

Why do Japanese people say Ara? ›

What's the meaning of ara-ara in Japanese? Ara-ara is a type of interjection, primarily used by youngish females to express some curious surprise and/or amusement. You could translate it as, “Oh-ho,” “tsk-tsk,” or “Hmm?” Another word with the same pronunciation means rough, rude, or harsh.

What is Torimasu? ›

If you want someone to take your photo then you just need to know the noun for photo, 'shashin' (写真), and the verb for taking a photo, 'torimasu' (取ります) to make the following sentence: Can you take a photo?

How is Yokatta used? ›

As I alluded to in the first paragraph, this phrase is actually used for more than the basic “was good” meaning. In fact, it is used to express being happy or glad about something, particularly after you hear good news.

What is Ikimasu? ›

Ikimasu is a verb meaning "go". Ikimashita is the past tense of ikimasu. Ni is a particle. This particle is basically used to indicate an indirect object. Put simply, here, the particle ni indicates the direction of going.

What is Yonde Kudasai? ›

Yonde kudasai (読んでください) means “please read.” You can expect to hear this phrase if a teacher wants you to practice reading some word, phrase, or passage.

What does ZUTO mean in Japanese? ›

Zutto(ずっと)

As for the word “Zutto”, it's an adverb that's typically used to express something that had been going on for a very long time or had occurred way back in the past.

Does Yamete Kudasai mean? ›

- "Yamete kudasai."/"Yamete." = Please, stop it. - "Yamero." (An order) = Stop it.

Is Domo arigato rude? ›

' meaning “Thank you” to you, you can say 'Domo.” as the reply. Please note that some people consider 'Domo. ' is a little bit rude. It would be better to use 'Arigato.

What does Arigatōgozaimashita mean? ›

ありがとうございました。 = Thank you for what you did.

Should I say domo or Arigato? ›

Ask a Japanese Teacher! What's the difference between ARIGATO and ...

How do you reply to hai? ›

“Hey!” (Yes, you can respond in kind!)

To respond to “Hey!” with your own “Hey!” is most appropriate when you know the person to whom you're responding. For example, you are walking to work and you see a familiar face. She says “Hey!” and you respond with the same.

Can ghosts say Moshi? ›

Ghosts have a long history in Japanese culture – they are called 妖怪 (youkai). According to the historian, saying 'Moshi Moshi' twice was the way to prove you were not a ghost. Apparently ghosts can only say 'Moshi' once!

What should I respond to ohayo? ›

The perfect ohayo gozaimasu reply

There is actually no specific reply that should be given to “Good Morning” greetings in Japan. It could be replied with a simple “Ohayou” or “Daijobudesu”. The first word means good morning as well, and the second phrase means “I am good” in Japanese.

What is anime crush called? ›

Waifu is a term for a fictional character, usually in anime or related media, that someone has great, and sometimes romantic, affection for.

What does Nande mean in anime? ›

なんで means both "why" and "how", so なんで東京に行く? can mean both "Why do you go to Tokyo?" and "How do you go to Tokyo?" We guess from the context which meaning the なんで is being used for. If you want to be clear, you can use なにで or どうやって.

What is Korean anime call? ›

To distinguish it from its Japanese counterpart, Korean animation is often called hanguk aeni (Korean: 한국 애니; lit. Korean animation) or guksan aeni (Korean: 국산 애니; lit. domestic animation).

What is Genki desu? ›

So what is “genki desu ka(げんきですか)”? Well, most people equate this to the English meaning “how are you”.

What is Ogenki desu ka? ›

In OGENKI DESU KA (Are you fine?), OGENKI is an adjective GENKI (fine, healthy) with an honorific O before it. If you answer, “Yes, I'm fine,” you say HAI, GENKI DESU.

What does ya mero mean in Japanese? ›

What is the meaning of “Yamero”? Yamero literally means “stop it!”. It is often used in the sense of telling someone to stop doing something, so perhaps “cut it out” or “quit it!” are better translations. やめろ

How do you greet someone in Japanese for the first time? ›

The greeting that the Japanese people use in their own language when meeting somebody for the first time is “hajimemashite.” This translates to either, “Nice to meet you,” in the English language.

How do you respond to Moshi Moshi? ›

A professional way to answer the phone is: hai, はい、○○でございます (○○ de gozaimasu), “This is XX.” Or: お電話ありがとうございます (o-denwa arigatō gozaimasu), “Thank you for calling.”

What is the Japanese greeting said before a meal? ›

Before eating, Japanese people say "itadakimasu," a polite phrase meaning "I receive this food." This expresses thanks to whoever worked to prepare the food in the meal.

Is Moshi Moshi Japanese? ›

Moshi moshi, or もしもし, is a common Japanese phrase that Japanese people use when picking up the phone. It's a casual greeting used for friends and family, like a “hello”, but in fact means something entirely different! In English, it literally means something more like, “to say to say”, or “I speak I speak”.

What is hello in anime? ›

If you ever watched at least one anime series, you probably already know this: “hello” in Japanese is Konnichiwa.

What is hello in Tokyo? ›

Konnichiwa (koh-nee-chee-wah) is the most common way to say "hello" in Japanese, and is considered an all-purpose greeting. You can use it during the day when greeting anyone, regardless of their social status.

How do you greet apologize in Japan? ›

You can make it more formal by saying "gomen-nasai" ごめんなさい or more friendly with "gomen-ne" ごめんね. "Warui warui" 悪い悪い or "my bad" is also a very casual way to say sorry. "Sumimasen" すみません, which can be translated as "excuse me", also works as an apology depending on how it is used.

How do you greet a girl in Japanese? ›

How to Greet Someone | Japanese Lessons - YouTube

What is Kochira Koso? ›

こちらこそ • (kochira koso) (used as a response) I'm the one that should really be saying that. literally: this way, for sure; as in the thanks/apology should really be going this way (your way)

Are U OK Japanese? ›

大丈夫ですか? (daijōbu desu ka?) is probably the most natural way to ask, “are you okay?” in Japanese.

What does Oi mean in Japanese? ›

Oi – オイ – This is a highly informal way in the Japanese culture to get someone's attention. A lot like the English version of, “Hey!” – But even less polite. Osu – オス – This is an informal way of greeting someone in Japanese, normally used between good friends.

How do you reply to hai? ›

“Hey!” (Yes, you can respond in kind!)

To respond to “Hey!” with your own “Hey!” is most appropriate when you know the person to whom you're responding. For example, you are walking to work and you see a familiar face. She says “Hey!” and you respond with the same.

What does Yare Yare mean? ›

Yare yare doesn't have a direct translation... it is just an onomatopoeia that describes the sound of being relaxed. Japanese just hear that sound differently, they hear "yare yare"." crunchyroll funimation hulu theanimenetwork nicovideo daisuki translated as boy oh boy or my oh my.

How do you reply to Itadakimasu? ›

The standard phrase before a meal, “Itadakimasu” comes from the verb, “itadaku”, a humble way of saying, to eat and receive. The person who prepared the meal would reply, “Douzo meshiagare” which means, “Please help yourself.”

What do Japanese say before drinking? ›

The easiest way to say cheers in Japanese is with an enthusiastic kanpai! (sounds like "gahn-pie"). You may hear banzai! shouted at some point, but leave that for some frenzied moment later.

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