good morning in japanese| 有名人の最新ニュースを読者にお届けします。
私たちは、何年もの間、日本のエンターテインメント ニュースを生き、呼吸してきた情熱的なエンターテインメント ニュース ジャンキーの小さなチームです。
good morning in japanese, /good-morning-in-japanese,
Video: Saying “Good Morning” in Japanese
私たちは、何年もの間、日本のエンターテインメント ニュースを生き、呼吸してきた情熱的なエンターテインメント ニュース ジャンキーの小さなチームです。
good morning in japanese, 2020-12-13, Saying “Good Morning” in Japanese, Saying “Good Morning” in Japanese. Part of the series: Learn Japanese Greetings & Questions. Learn how to say “good morning” in Japanese with expert Japanese language tips in this free online foreign language video clip., ExpertVillage Leaf Group
10 Common Japanese Greetings and How to Use Them
The Japanese language uses different greetings depending on the time of day (as English does) and the situation (such as whether the person you’re greeting is a close friend or a superior at work). Let’s take a look at the most common Japanese phrases and how to use them.
#1: Good Morning = Ohayō おはよう / Ohayō Gozaimasu おはようございます
It’s essential to know how to say good morning in Japanese. There are two basic ways to say this greeting, depending on the level of formality you’re using (and are expected to use).
The first way to say good morning is ohayō おはよう (pronounced a lot like the state Ohio). This is the casual form, which you’d mainly use with close friends and family members.
The second way to say good morning in Japanese is ohayō gozaimasu おはようございます. This is a more formal version. Gozaimasu is a common suffix in Japanese used to indicate a high degree of politeness and respect. Since this form is more polite, you’ll often hear it in Japan in places such as schools, stores, workplaces, etc.
Ohayō sounds very similar to the US state Ohio (oh-high-yoh). The only big difference is that you enunciate the “y” sound a little more strongly and hold the final “o” sound out longer (that’s why there’s a line above the letter). Gozaimasu is pronounced goh-zigh-moss.
- While most people use this greeting in the morning (no surprise there!), it’s not rare to hear ohayō gozaimasu or ohayō in the afternoon, too, especially if it’s the first time you’re seeing someone that day (such as if your work day starts at 1 pm).
- It’s common to say ohayō gozaimasu while bowing (formal) or giving a nod and a smile (less formal).
- Typically written in the hiragana alphabet as おはよう (ohayō) or おはようございます (ohayō gozaimasu).
#2: Good Afternoon / Hello = Konnichiwa こんにちは
This famous Japanese greeting is well known in the English-speaking world (though we’ve actually butchered the pronunciation a bit!). Konnichiwa こんにちは means good afternoon in Japanese—or, more generally, hello—and is typically used from late morning to late afternoon.
The pronunciation of konnichiwa is kohn-nee-chee-wah. Make sure to hold out the “n” sound in the middle of the word (that’s why there are two of them). It’ll probably feel a bit weird doing this if you’re not used to Japanese sounds, but trust me when I say it’ll make you sound much more like a native speaker in the end!
- Unlike the difference between ohayō and ohayō gozaimasu, you may say konnichiwa with people you either know or don’t know equally.
- Like ohayō gozaimasu, it’s common to say konnichiwa while bowing (formal) or giving a head nod and a smile (less formal).
- Typically written in the hiragana alphabet as こんにちは, though it may also be written in kanji as 今日は. This second spelling can be confusing, however, as it also means きょうは (kyō wa), or “as for today.”
When it starts to get dark like this, konnichiwa just won’t cut it.
#3: Good Evening = Konbanwa / Kombanwa こんばんは
Making our way to the end of the day now! Konbanwa (or kombanwa) こんばんは, meaning good evening, is primarily used—you guessed it—in the evening and at night. There’s no exact time you must begin using this phrase instead of konnichiwa. In general, though, once it starts to get dark out, this is the greeting to use.
The pronunciation of konbanwa is kohn-bahn-wah; however, note that the “n” sounds here are a little more nasal-sounding than they would be in English. This is why you’ll sometimes see the first “n” in konbanwa written as an “m” (kombanwa). Pronouncing this first “n” more like an “m” will ultimately help you sound more like a native Japanese speaker.
As for the second “n,” think of it as if you’re saying the “ng” sound, but without the final “g.”
- Unlike the difference between ohayō and ohayō gozaimasu, you may say konbanwa with people you either know or don’t know equally.
- It’s common to say konbanwa while bowing (formal) or giving a head nod and a smile (less formal).
- Typically written in the hiragana alphabet as こんばんは, though it may also be written in kanji as 今晩は.
#4: Good Night = Oyasuminasai おやすみなさい
Oyasuminasai おやすみなさい is used the same way its English equivalent, “good night,” is used. In Japan, it’s customary to say this phrase when preparing to go to bed, or when about to head home after a night out with friends and/or coworkers.
Oyasuminasai is pronounced oh-yah-soo-mee-nah-sigh.
- You may use the casual form oyasumi おやすみ when saying good night to a family member or close friend.
- Can be written in all hiragana as おやすみなさい, or with kanji as お休みなさい (休み means “rest”).
The proper way to introduce yourself in English … to the man who killed your father. (oxygeon/Flickr)
#5: How Do You Do? = Hajimemashite はじめまして
Hajimemashite はじめまして should only be used when meeting someone for the first time. It is similar to the English greeting “How do you do?” though some might translate it as “Nice to meet you” or “Pleased to meet you.”
This word is pretty much pronounced how it’s spelled: ha-jee-meh-mosh-teh. Notice how you don’t overly enunciate the “i” after the “sh” sound.
- This phrase is generally the first thing you say to someone new, followed by your name and then another common phrase: dōzo yoroshiku or yoroshiku onegaishimasu (see below for more on this greeting), which is typically translated as “Nice to meet you.”
- Usually written in hiragana as はじめまして, though you may also write it with kanji as 初めまして (初 means “for the first time”).
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#6: Nice to Meet You / Thank You = Yoroshiku Onegaishimasu よろしくお願いします
Yoroshiku onegaishimasu よろしくお願いします is a somewhat complicated greeting, as there are many different ways to use and say it. As a result, it doesn’t translate easily into English.
One translation of yoroshiku onegaishimasu is “Nice to meet you” or “Please treat me well” if you say it when meeting someone new. That said, it can also mean “Please and thank you” or “Thank you in advance” if you are instead using it to ask someone for a favor.
Other translations of this phrase include “Thank you for understanding” or “I am indebted to you” (if someone is doing or will be doing something to help or benefit you in some way).
In terms of formality, there are multiple ways to say yoroshiku onegaishimasu in Japanese. Here are the different versions of this phrase, from most formal to least formal:
- Dōzo yoroshiku onegaishimasu どうぞよろしくお願いします (more formal)
- Yoroshiku onegaishimasu よろしくお願いします (formal)
- Dōzo yoroshiku どうぞよろしく (less formal)
- Yoroshiku よろしく (casual)
Dōzo is pronounced doh-zoh. Make sure to extend the first “oh” sound a bit (you can see it has the line above it to indicate this).
Yoroshiku is also pronounced pretty simply: yoh-roh-shee-koo. Note that the “r” sound in Japanese is very different from the English “r.” It’s a lot more like a mix between an “r,” “l,” and “d” (similar to how North Americans pronounce the “d” sound in “ladder” or the “t” sound in “better”).
Onegaishimasu is pronounced oh-neh-guy-shee-moss. Note that you don’t need to overly enunciate the final “u” sound.
- This is a go-to phrase for Japanese people, as it fits many kinds of situations. It is a polite (and expected) way to thank someone in advance and to address someone you have just met (“Nice to meet you”).
- It’s common to say this phrase while bowing (formal) or offering a head nod and a smile (less formal), especially when meeting someone for the first time.
“Long time, no see,” said the girl who had just seen her cat two minutes earlier.
#7: Long Time, No See = Ohisashiburi Desu お久しぶりです
The greeting ohisashiburi desu お久しぶりです is best translated as “Long time, no see!” It can also be translated as “It’s been a while.” This is the phrase you use when you haven’t seen somebody in a long time; you cannot use it when meeting someone for the first time.
There are different ways to say this phrase depending on the level of formality you want to use. Ohisashiburi desu is the formal version. However, you can shorten this to hisashiburi 久しぶり if the situation is casual (e.g., you’re speaking with a friend or family member).
Ohisashiburi desu is pronounced oh-hee-sah-shee-boo-ree-dess. Note that the final “u” in desu is very soft—so much so that you can basically drop it altogether. Remember that the Japanese “r” sound is not like the English “r” and is actually more closely related to the “d” sound in the word “ladder” (in short, it’s a mix between a “d,” “r,” and “l” sound).
- Many people add the suffix ne ね to the end of this greeting; this is similar to asking for a sign of agreement (like the English “you know?” or “isn’t it?”). You could say ohisashiburi desu ne お久しぶりですね (formal) or hisashiburi ne 久しぶりね (casual).
#8: Goodbye = Sayōnara さようなら or Shitsureishimasu 失礼します
You’ve likely heard the first of these two phrases, but did you know that it’s not always appropriate to use sayōnara さようなら—even when you mean to say goodbye?
In truth, sayōnara implies that you’ll be leaving for a long time or won’t be seeing whomever you’re saying goodbye to for a while (or even ever again). You can think of it as being similar to the English word farewell in that it’s somewhat dramatic and theatrical. As a result, it’s not actually used all that often in everyday Japanese conversation.
By contrast, shitsureishimasu 失礼します is a more formal (and common) way of saying goodbye. It’s often used in places such as schools, workplaces, hospitals, etc. There is no implication here that you won’t be seeing the person again for a long time. This phrase literally translates to “I am going to be rude” or “Excuse me for being rude.”
Sayōnara is pronounced sah-yoh-nah-rah. Once again, do not pronounce the “r” as you would an English “r” but rather as you do the “d” sound in the word “ladder.” Be sure to also stress the “o” sound, as this is elongated.
Shitsureishimasu is pronounced sheet-soo-ray-shee-moss. As mentioned above, do not pronounce the “r” sound as you would an English “r.” You can also drop the final “u” sound, as this is very soft (so it sounds more like “moss,” not “moss-oo”).
- What exactly is the difference between sayōnara and shitsureishimasu? Here’s an example: you’ve just finished work and are preparing to say goodbye to your coworkers. If you say shitsureishimasu, this means that you’re going now (and will see them tomorrow). On the other hand, if you say sayōnara, your coworkers would most likely become worried, possibly thinking that you’ve been fired or are planning to leave work permanently!
- Shitsureishimasu can also mean “Excuse me” or “Excuse me for bothering you” when entering a teacher or boss’s office. In this sense, it’s both a greeting and a parting phrase.
- When leaving to go home from work early, it’s customary to say osakini shitsureishimasu お先に失礼します (“Excuse me for leaving early/first”). The osakini indicates that you are excusing yourself for leaving before your coworkers and/or superiors do.
“See you, everyone,” whimpered Kermit as the cat finally put his paw down.
#9: See You = Jaa Ne じゃあね or Mata Ne またね
These are the two phrases to use when saying goodbye in casual situations—not sayōnara (which is somewhat dramatic) or shitsureishimasu (which is quite formal). Both jaa ne じゃあね and mata ne またね mean something along the lines of “See you later!” or “See you!”
You may also add the jaa part to mata ne by saying jaa mata ne じゃあまたね or just jaa mata じゃあまた (jaa means “well” or “then”).
Both of these phrases are easy to pronounce. Jaa ne is pronounced jah-neh (the two a’s mean you should hold out the “ah” sound a little bit). Mata ne is pronounced mah-tah-neh, with the stress on the “mah” syllable.
Here’s a helpful video that explains the differences between various ways of saying goodbye in the Japanese language:
- Don’t use these parting phrases in formal situations, such as at work or when speaking to a teacher at school.
- There are a few variations of these phrases. Others include mata ashita また明日 (see you tomorrow) and dewa mata ne ではまたね (dewa is the formal form of jaa).
#10: Welcome = Irasshaimase いらっしゃいませ
Irasshaimase いらっしゃいませ is a highly common word you’ll hear in Japan, though you yourself probably won’t use it all that much, if at all. The word means “Welcome!” and is primarily used by shopkeepers, restaurant workers, and others to greet customers who enter the shop/store, restaurant, or other business.
Irasshaimase is a pretty fun word to say, especially if you want to accurately mimic shopkeepers. It is pronounced ee-rah-shy-moss-eh, with a slight pause between the “rah” and “shy” sounds. Don’t forget that the Japanese “r” sounds like a combination of the English “r,” “l,” and “d” sounds.
- Although you most likely won’t need to say this word aloud, it’s important to understand what it means so that you can know why people are yelling it at you when you enter a store!
- There’s no need to respond to this greeting. However, it doesn’t hurt to offer a polite nod and a smile, especially if the person saying it is looking at you or in your direction.
- You might occasionally hear the shortened version of this word, irasshai いらっしゃい.
Mastering Japanese greetings takes time—but luckily not as long as mastering calligraphy does.
How do Japanese People Greet One Another
If you happen to be a fan of Anime or have seen Japanese movies, you most likely already have a basic understanding of the formalities associated with greetings in Japan. If you wish to relocate to or study in the country, we strongly suggest mastering the art of greetings.You can also check our article on how to learn Japanese. More than mere words, sometimes you will need to bow your head, in show of respect, especially to an elderly one, boss, etc. Depending on the situation, a 15 – 90 degrees inclination will suffice.
Below is a list of twenty ways to say “good morning” or greet someone in Japanese:
Good morning (informal) – Ohayō (おはよう)
Good morning (formal) – Ohayō gozaimasu (おはよう ございます)
Good afternoon/Hello – Konnichiwa (こんにちは)
Good evening – Konbanwa (こんばんは)
Good night – Oyasuminasai (おやすみなさい)
Hello – Moshi moshi (もしもし)
Goodbye – Sanyõnara (さようなら)
How are you? – Genki Desu Ka (元気 です 化)
Thank you – Arigatou (ありがとう)
Thank you very much – Domo arigatou gozaimasu (どうもありがとうございます)
Nice to meet you – Hajimemashite (はじめまして)
See you later – Mata Atode (また 後で)
Long time, no see – Ohisashiburi desu (おはしぶりです)
Get well soon – Odaijini (お大事に)
I am back – Tadaima (ただいま)
You are welcome – Dõitashimashite
I am sorry – Gomen nasai (ごめんなさい)
Excuse me – Sumimasen (すみません)
Hey – Ossu (おっす)
Good luck – Kōun o (幸運を)
１. Good morning (informal) – Ohayō (おはよう)
Ohayou, pronounced as Ohio (as in the US State) is an informal way of saying “good morning.” Simply put, it is a casual way to greet close friends and family, that does not necessarily have to be accompanied by a serious bow. A nod and smile will do.
Ohayo can also be used in the afternoon if you are seeing the person for the first time during the day. Alternatively, you can choose to say San ohayō, when you do not know the person’s name. San means “Mr.” or “Mrs.”.
２. Good morning (formal) – Ohayō gozaimasu (おはよう ございます)
Ohayō gozaimasu, which is pronounced o-high-oh go-za-ee-mos is the formal way to say “good morning.” Here the ‘u’ in ‘Gozaimasu‘ is silent.
Usually, this expression is used in formal settings such as workplaces, seminars, etc. When at work, you should address your boss, superiors, and customers with the added suffix. Also, when you meet someone for the first time, we strongly advise that you greet them the formal way. Gozaimasu here stresses the place of a sense of respect in the greeting. Needless to say, when saying this greeting, it should be accompanied with a bow.
３. Good afternoon/Hello – Konnichiwa (こんにちは)
Konnichiwa, as in kon-nee-chii-waa, is the word to either say “Hello” or “good afternoon.” It is by far the most popular greeting even in Europe and America. Though having two meanings, non-Japanese people use the term generally to say “Hello” in Japanese.
It is appropriate and not out of place to address both persons you know and do not know with this greeting. In the same vein, it is suitable for informal and formal situations alike. Depending on the setting, a simple nod and smile should suffice.
４. Good evening – Konbanwa (こんばんは)
This is the general way to greet people anytime after sundown, mostly at past 6:00pm. However, it literally means “good evening.” Konbanwa as in kom-barn-wah is an appropriate salutation for any situation in the evening. Bear in mind, the initial ‘n’ in Konbanwa is pronounced as ‘m’. This way you will sound more native than the average non-native.
５. Good night – Oyasuminasai (おやすみなさい)
Just like in the English language, you only use “good night” when it is time to go to bed or bid someone farewell for the night. By implication, it would be wrong to say Oyasuminasai when you meet someone. Oyasuminasai is pronounced as or-yah-suu-mi-na-saii, and it is a formal or respectful way to say “good night.” In a more casual setting, you can simply say Oyasumi おやすみ, especially to friends or younger ones.
６. Hello – Moshi moshi (もしもし)
What is the first thing you say when you answer a phone call? “Hello” right? Exactly! Moshi moshi is the equivalent of the English word “Hello” when you are on a phone. In other words, instead of saying Konnichiwa like you should in a face-to-face conversation, you should rather say Moshi moshi. The person on the other side responds hai はい (meaning “yes”), letting you know he/she can hear you properly. Check out hello in Japanese to have a more in-depth idea.
７. Goodbye – Sanyõnara (さようなら)
Sanyõnara is a Japanese word for goodbye. A simple way to bid someone farewell while they take their leave is to say Sanyõnara with a wave. The term works fine for all situations, formal and informal. Alternatively, you can say o wakare お別れ or saraba da さらばだ.
It is pronounced just as it is read – sah-yooh-nah-rah. (Make sure you stress the ‘o’.
８. How are you? – Genki Desu Ka (元気 です 化)
Unlike in the English-speaking spaces, it is less common to ask someone “how are you?” It is more appropriate to say konnichiwa or ohayō when addressing people. However, sometimes it is a good way to start a conversation with someone you have known prior in time.
It is pronounced gehn-kee-dess-kah. Depending on how polite you want to be, in an informal setting or while addressing a friend, you can say genki (元気). Genki desu ka (元気 です 化) is suitable in a formal arrangement. To sound even politer, you can say o genki desu ka (お 元気 です 化).
９. Thank you – Arigatou (ありがとう)
This is a very casual way of expressing appreciation or thanking someone. By implication it would be disrespectful to address your boss, superior, or even a stranger with this. The right pronunciation of arigatou is ah-ri-ga-toor.
10. Thank you very much – Domo arigatou gozaimasu (どうもありがとうございます)
As a culture that involves a lot of respect and politeness, learning how to say “thank you” would do you a lot of good. Domo arigatou gozaimasu is one of the most respectful ways to say “thank you.” To be semi-formal, you can say domo arigatou. This article talks about thank you in Japanese in more detail.
You should pronounce the sentence as doe-moe ah-ri-ga-toor go-za-ee-mos.
11. Nice to meet you – Hajimemashite (はじめまして)
Hajimemashite as in ha-ji-meh-mah-steh is a Japanese word that connotes “first encounter” with someone. When you meet someone for the first time, it is only right that you show the person you are happy to meet him/her. After which you should respond with hajimemashite and follow it up with your name. Mind you, your last name should come before your first. Yes! It is cultural.
12. See you later – Mata Atode (また 後で)
Saying mata atode (mah-tah ha-toe-dey) is a less formal way to bid someone goodbye. It also means “see you soon” meaning you will most likely see the person again in a short while. Consequently, it can not be used interchangeably with Sanyõnara which literally means “farewell.”
Mind you, telling your boss, teacher, or elders “mata atode” would be quite disrespectful.
13. Long time, no see – Ohisashiburi desu (おはしぶりです)
Like in the English language, you only say this to someone you have not seen in a while. How long? That is totally up to you to determine.
When you need to be polite, you say ohisashiburi desu or ohisashiburi desu ne. The initial ‘o’ already shows politeness, while the ‘ne’ stresses it even more. If you are addressing a friend, you can say hisashiburi. You should pronounce ohisashiburi desu as oi-sah-shee-bu-ree-dess.
14. Get well soon – Odaijini (お大事に)
When someone tells you he is sick, it is only polite that you emphathize with him. This way you give the person hope. ‘O’ in odaijini is a prefix for politeness; therefore, it is suitable for formal and informal situations alike. The correct pronunciation of odaijini is or-daii-ji-nih.
15. I am back – Tadaima (ただいま)
This is how you inform your immediate family members or neighbors that you are back home. Tadaima as in tah-dah-ee-mah literally translates to “I’m home,” having returned from somewhere. You can also say tadaima modorimashita,meaning “I am back now.”
16. You are welcome – Dõitashimashite
The most common way to respond to a “thank you” message is to say dõitashimashite. It is not uncommon to hear people say this often even on the streets. However, it is more suitable to use kochirakoso (こちらこそ) to address your superiors. Dõitashimashite is pronounced doh-ee-teh-shee-mahs-teh.
17. I am sorry – Gomen nasai (ごめんなさい)
As each situation demands, there are multiple ways to apologize. When you wrong someone in a semi-formal scenario, gomen nasai is polite enough for an apology. Gomen nasai, as in goh-men-nah-sah-ee, is the most conventional word for apology in Japanese. However, in a situation where you need to say sorry to your boss, you should rather say taihenmoushiwake gozaimasen (大変申し訳ございません).
Also, you can say gomen nasai to gain or call the attention of someone you want to speak to. To learn more ways about how to say sorry, check out sorry in Japanese .
18. Excuse me – Sumimasen (すみません)
This is the Japanese language equivalent of the English “Excuse me.” You can use the word to call out to someone in informal and semi-formal settings, whether a waiter, a friend, or stranger. In more formal situations, you should say shitsurei shimasu (失礼 します).
Sumimasen is pronounced su-mee-mah-sen.
19. Hey – Ossu (おっす)
Ossu is the short and slang form of ohayō gozaimasu which means “good morning.” It is far too casual to be used in semi-formal settings, talk less of formal. Alternatively, the word also means “hey” as you can greet your friends and siblings with the term anytime of the day.
20. Good luck – Kōun o (幸運を)
When you need to cheer someone up, a formal way to say “good luck” is kōun o. However, the standard and casual way is to say ganbatte (頑張って) which literally means to do one’s best. Depending on the level of formality, you can also say ganbatte kudasai.
Kōun o is pronounced koo-oun-ore.
Arigatou (ありがとう) for reading, Kōun o (幸運を) with your learning journey
Overall, the Japanese culture is quite big on respect; therefore, there are levels of politeness you have to exhibit while greeting people. The Japanese bow is critically cultural, and suggestive of nothing but modesty. When you meet someone for the first time, it is only right that you make a bow while the person does the same. By all means, also, refrain from stretching your hands for a handshake or casually giving someone a pat on the back.
Sign up at AmazingTalker today to start your learning journey in any language you like. Also, be sure to check out our article about good morning in Spanish as well!
Importance of Japanese Greetings
Saying hello as well as other greetings in Japanese is easy to learn and essential before visiting the country or conversing with native speakers. Mastering these greetings is also a great early step in learning the language. Knowing the correct way to greet others in Japanese demonstrates respect and an interest in the language and culture, where proper social etiquette is of prime importance.
Ohayou Gozaimasu (Good Morning)
If you are speaking to a friend or find yourself in a casual setting, you would use the word ohayou (おはよう) to say good morning. However, if you were on your way into the office and ran into your boss or another supervisor, you would want to use ohayou gozaimasu (おはようございます), which is a more formal greeting.
Konnichiwa (Good Afternoon)
Although Westerners sometimes think the word konnichiwa (こんばんは) is a general greeting to be used at any time of day, it actually means “good afternoon.” Today, it’s a colloquial greeting used by anyone, but it can be part of the more formal greeting: Konnichi wa gokiken ikaga desu ka? (今日はご機嫌いかがですか?). This phrase loosely translates into English as “How are you feeling today?”
Konbanwa (Good Evening)
Just as you would use one phrase to greet someone during the afternoon, the Japanese language has a different word for wishing people a good evening. Konbanwa (こんばんは) is an informal word you can use to address anyone in a friendly manner, though it can also be used as part of a larger and more formal greeting.
Different ways to say “Good Morning” in Japanese
Without a doubt, the first thing when we learn a new language is how to greet people. Friendly greetings are very basic to speaking communication. Especially a cheerful morning greeting makes a day nice and fresh.
Just like English, Good morning/Good afternoon/Good evening/Good night, is standard daily greetings in Japan. Japanese people use おはようございます (ohayou gozaimasu | good morning) from early morning to around 10:30 AM. They then switch to こんにちは (konnichiwa | good afternoon), こんばんは (konbanwa | good evening), and おやすみなさい (oyasuminasai | good night).
However, Japanese people don’t use the phrase good afternoon or hello as much compared to the western world. Instead, they use good morning in broader situations. Let’s start with a basic Japanese greeting おはようございます (ohayou gozaimasu)!
Formal Japanese Greeting
- Ohayou gozaimasu (おはようございます | お早う御座います)
It’s a formal greeting for good morning in Japan. Japanese people use this when talking to older people, the people they respect, and the people they meet for the first time. Also, it’s expected in teacher-students relations or business relations.
Tips for a formal greeting
Although it’s unnecessary, you can bow and greet if you want to show some respect. In that case, don’t bow deeper than 30 degrees. If you want to keep the greeting warm and friendly, just give a slight nod called えしゃく (eshaku | 会釈) instead of a bow, おじぎ (ojigi | お辞儀).
Informal Japanese Greeting
- Ohayou (おはよう | お早う)
The informal greeting is used widely among friends, family members, and coworkers. Usually, good ｍorning greetings between friends are casual and slang-like.
Tips for an informal greeting
If you’re unsure when to speak Japanese informally, you can always follow how the other person communicates. A friendly mood and positive attitude are contagious, so you don’t need to be nervous about using informal Japanese greetings.
Ohayou Gozaimasu: Good Morning in Japanese
Having a good command of Japanese greetings is the first step toward building smooth relationships in Japan. Whether you are coming for a short trip or for a few years, learning how to greet people with confidence in Japanese is the key to leaving good impressions.
Of course, knowing how to say good morning is of great importance if you are working with Japanese. The impression you give is largely determined by the morning greetings.
In Japanese, we have a phrase that encourages initiative.
Aite yori saki ni!
Be earlier than others (to say it)!
Of course, you might not always be the first to notice a colleague or someone you know in the hallways or the elevators. But if you were to be the first, you should greet the person as soon as you notice her presence. You should care to say ohayou gozaimasu regardless of the person’s rank: whether you encounter your chief or the new intern. Actually, even if you were to meet someone who never cares to answer back, you should care to say hello anyway.
Greeting a colleague:
○○ san, ohayou.
Greeting your chief:
○○ kachou, ohayou gozaimasu.
Other Uses of this Japanese Greeting Besides the Morning
Ohayou gozaimasu is not only a way to say good morning, but also to create a certain intimacy and the art of starting a conversation. The easiest common topic is the weather of the day and the season in general.
Japanese also like to speak about sports, news and cultural events. Those small talks are very useful to create a nice atmosphere between people and more than the topic, the conversation itself is the key to getting along with others.
Daily Conversation Example:
Ohayou gozaimasu. Kyou mo asa kara atsui desu ne.
Good morning. Today too, it is hot from the morning.
Ohayou gozaimasu. Kinou no sakkaa- mimashita? Sugokatta desune.
Good morning. Did you watch the football last night? It was really great.
Ohayou gozaimasu. Kinou ha doumo gochisousamadeshita.
Good morning. Thank you for yesterday’s feast.
A Japanese Greeting for a Working Environment
In Japan, especially in the working environment, the importance of greetings is serious. Outside your workplace, if you miss the chance to say ohayou gozaimasu to clients or people who know your company, here’s the Japanese thinking: “the employee of this company did not greet us decently”. Their opinion of the entire company will take a hit!
Another point you might have noticed or heard is that Japanese people bow even when they are on the phone and their interlocutors cannot see them. Bowing is not only a habit but also a way to be respectful at all times and to give a good impression to people around.
How is this greeting used at work?
A: Ohayou gozaimasu.
A: Good morning.
B: Ohayou gozaimasu.
B: Good morning.
A: Kyou wa ii tenki desune.
A: The weather is fine today.
B: Sou desune. Ii tenki desune.
B: Yes, the weather is nice.
The unique thing about おはようございます is that it can be used at any hour of the day. You will notice this in a lot of work environments, like your part-time job.
The first thing you need to say as a greeting when you clock into your shift is おはようございます, even if you are doing a late-night shift.
The reason? It’s because, instead of the exclusively “good morning”, you use おはようございます to greet someone new for the first time that day.
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About This Article
If you want to say “Good morning” to family or friends in Japanese, nod your head slightly as you say “Ohayo,” which is pronounced “oh-high-yoh.” When you’re in a more formal situation or talking with someone who deserves a lot of respect, use the phrase “Ohayo gozaimasu.” Pronounce it as “Ohio go-za-ee-moss,” with the letter “u” silent. Also, make a 30-90 degree bow at the waist when you say it to help convey your respect. To learn how and when it’s appropriate to say “Good morning” in Japanese when you’re in Japan or around Japanese people, read on!
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Good morning, Hi and Hello in Japanese
Now let’s see how to say good morning in Japanese:
- 1 – Ohayou gozaimasu – おはようございます – Good morning – formal;
- 2 – Ohayou – おはよう – Good morning – informal;
- 3 – Kon’nichiwa – こんにちは – Good afternoon / Hello;
- 4 – Konbanwa – こんばんは – Good night (when meeting);
- 5 – Moshi moshi – もしもし – Hello on the phone;
- 6 – Ossu – おっす – Used among close male friends;
- 7 – Yo – よぉ! – A super casual hello used by young people;
- 8 – Yahho! – やっほ ～ – A cute way to say hello, used by girls;
- 9 – Yah! – やぁ! – Similar to the expression yo;
Other greetings in Japanese
- 10 – tadaima! – ただいま! – I’m back – Used only when you get home or somewhere;
- 11 – saikin dou? – 最近どう – What about the news? How have you been lately? (informal);
- 12 – (o) hisashiburi – お久しぶり – How long ago? Some say it directly;
- 13 – (o) genkidesuka – お元気ですか? – It’s all right? How are you? Can be used directly;
- 14 – dou yo – どうよ? – How’s it going? – Do not say this during an action, as you can refer to it;
- 15 – Ooi – おーい – Equivalent to Hey, used a lot when shouting at someone in the distance;
- 16 – Doumo – どうも – A way to say thanks, but it also means hello or bye;
- 17 – Otsukare – お疲れ – A way of thanking you for your work, but it can be a compliment when you haven’t seen your co-worker at the end of the day;
- 18 – Maido – 毎度 – A way of saying welcome to my store (Kansai) or thanking you for your presence (maido ari);
- 19 – Irasshai – いらっしゃい – Welcome – Compliment used by shopkeepers;
- 20 – Dore Dore – どれどれ – An expression that means “What do we have here?”, But is loosely used as hello;
Hi and Hello in Japanese dialects
- 21 – Haisai – ハイサイ – Hello and Hi in the dialect of Ryuukyuu and Okinawa;
- 22 – Niihaou – ニーハオ – Equivalent to Hello in Chinese;
- 23 – Haroo – ハロー – Equivalent to Hello from English;
- 24 – Uissu – ういっす – An alternative way of saying ossu;
- 25 – Hayaina – はやいな (も) – A way of saying ohayou in the dialect of Mie, Wakayama and Aichi;
- 26 – Haeno – はえのー – Good morning in the Miyazaki dialect;
- 27 – Chuusu – チュース – Popular in the 90s, adaptation of the word Tschuss from the German language;
- 28 – Onroo – おんろー – Hello from the Tsugaru dialect;
- 29 – Eetenkidee – ええてんきでぇ ～ – Compliance with the Fukui dialect;
- 30 – Tasshanaka – たっしゃなか – Compliance with the Wakayama dialect;
- 31 – Haenou – はえのう – Compliance with the Miyazaki dialect;
- 32 – Chiwa – ちわっ – Abbreviation of konnichiwa, used by men, gives the idea of hey;
- 33 – Chiwassu! – ちわっす! – Alternative to Chiwa, used by men;
- 34 – Chuu wuganabira – 今日拝なびら – Hello in the Okinawa dialect;
- 35 – Haitai – はいたい – Hello in the Okinawa dialect, used by women;
- 36 – Ukimisoochii – 起きみそーちー – Good morning in the Okinawa dialect;
- 37 – Ohayousan – おはようさん – Good morning in the region and Kansai dialect;
- 38 – Ohayougansu – おはよがんす – Good morning in the Iwate dialect;
- 39 – Koncha – こんちゃ – Abbreviation for konnichiwa;
- 40 – ncha – んちゃ – Another abbreviation for konnichiwa;
Ohayou in the 48 regions of Japan
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The video in English below shows 10 ways to say hi and greet:
I hope you enjoyed this article. Do you know another way to say hi, hello or good morning in Japanese? We appreciate comments and shares. We also recommend reading:
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