Japanese Greetings

Feb 1, 2011  

Here are a few standard hello and goodbye phrases.  Some of them are quite casual in use, although I’ve tried to point out where that is the case.  Another quick note about the use of “genki” - although English speakers frequently use “how are you?” it’s not really that familiar to Japanese speakers and if you ask “genki?” often, then it sounds like you have a real concern for their well-being (as opposed to merely indicating that you’re mildly interested in their current mood).

Hello / Greetings

  • Hai (はい) - Yes / Hi (often used on the phone)
  • O^su (おっす) - Hi; casual
  • Yo^ (よおっ) - Hi; casual
  • Kyou mo ganbaro (今日もがんばろう) - Good day!
  • Moshi moshi (もしもし) - Hello (only applies on a telephone)
  • Ohayou Gozaimasu (おはよう ございます) - Good morning; polite form
  • Ohayou (おはよう) - Good morning; plain form
  • Konnichi wa (こんにちは) - Good afternoon
  • Konchi wa (こんちは) - Hi; informal “good afternoon”
  • Konban wa (こんばんは) - Good evening
  • Tadaima (ただいま) - I’m back!
  • Okaeri! (おかえり!) - Welcome home (often in response to “tadaima”)
Pleased to meet you / How are you…
  • Hajimemashite (はじめまして) - Greetings; for the first time meeting.
  • Watashi wa Alex desu (私はアレクスです) - My name is Alex
  • Douzo yoroshiku (どうぞ よろしく) - How do you do
  • Genki? (げんき) - How are you? Casual form
  • O genki desu ka? (おげんきですか) - How are you? Polite form
  • Choushi wa dou? (調子はどう?) - How are you doing?
Thank you / I’m well / Responses
  • Doumo arigatou (どうも ありがとう) - Thank you very much
  • Doumo arigatou gozaimashita (どうもありがとうございました) - Thank you very much; polite form
  • Doitashimashite (どういたしまして) - Don’t mention it / You’re welcome
  • Hai, genki desu (はい、元気です) - Yes, I’m well
  • Ganbarimasu (がんばります) - I’ll do my best!
  • Ganbatte kudasai (がんばってください) - Do your best
Good bye / See you soon
  • Oyasumi nasai (おやすみ なさい) - Good night
  • Sayo^nara (さようなら) - Good bye / Fair well
  • Mata ne (またね) - See you soon
  • Ja^ matane (じゃ、またね) - Well, see you!
  • Do^mo, otsukare sama desu (どうも、お疲れ様です) - Much appreciated / Thanks for the good work
  • O sakini shitsurei shimasu (お先に失礼します) - Excuse me for leaving before you
  • Sumimasen (すみません) - Pardon me
  • Otsukare (おつかれ) - Cheers.
  • Mata atode (またあとで) - See you later
  • Mata ashita ne (また明日ね) - See you tomorrow (if you change “ne” to “na” [な] then it becomes generally more masculine sounding.
  • Matasono nichi ni (またその日に) - See you later today
  • Nja (んじゃ) - Bye; casual