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TYJ Greetings

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This article is in the series Teach Yourself Japanese
6. Greetings



English:Hello. / Good afternoon.
Kana:こんにちは。
Romanization:Ko n ni ti wa*


* This is a single-kana postposition whose actual sound is わ. We later learn it as the topic marker.

Note: It is uncommon to use this phrase for your family members.



English:Good bye.
Kana:さようなら。
Romanization:Sa yô na ra .


Note: In colloquial Japanese, this phrase is often shortened to さよなら "sayonara".



English:Good morning.
Kana:おはようございます。
Romanization:O ha yô go za i ma su .


Note: The phrase shown here is polite. You can say おはよう "ohayô" if politeness is not required. It should be the first greeting between you and a person you talk to in the morning. It is not so common to use it twice a day for the same person, while in English some people use "Good morning" to mean "Goodbye" in the morning.



English:Good evening.
Kana:こんばんは。
Romanization:Ko n ba n wa* .


* This is also the topic marker.

Note: It is uncommon to use this phrase for your family members.



English:Good night.
Kana:おやすみなさい。
Romanization:O ya su mi na sa i .


Note: This phrase is used only when you are expected to go to bed in a few hours, perhaps past 9 p.m. or so. You can also say おやすみ "oyasumi", which is more casual. It should be the last greeting between you and a person you talk to in the night. It is not so common to use it twice a day for the same person, while in English some people use "Good night" to mean "Goodbye" in the evening.



English:Thank you very much.
Kana:ありがとうございます。
Romanization:A ri ga tô go za i ma su .


Note: The phrase shown here is polite. You can merely say ありがとう "arigatô" if politeness is not required.

You can add the word どうも "mo" before them, such as どうもありがとうございます "mo arigatô gozaimasu" and どうも ありがとう "mo arigatô". The word どうも "mo" itself can be used as a simple version of "thank you."



English:You are welcome. (as a reply to thank you)
Kana:どういたしまして。
Romanization: i ta si ma si te .




English: (none)
Kana:いただきます。
Romanization:I ta da ki ma su.


Note: It is good manners to say this phrase before you have a meal. The literal translation is "I begin to eat," but it means "thank you for the meal."



English: (none)
Kana:ごちそうさまでした。
Romanization:Go ti sô sa ma de si ta.


Note: It's good manners to say this phrase after you have a meal. The literal translation is "it was a delicious meal," but it means "thank you for the meal."



English:I'm sorry.
Kana:ごめんなさい。
Romanization:Go me n na sa i .


Note: Saying this phrase does not necessarily mean admitting that you are to blame. In Japanese culture, it is important to say some apology before blaming someone.



English:Excuse me.
Kana:すみません。
Romanization:Su mi ma se n.


Note: This phrase is similar to the previous one but lighter in meaning. It is often used to talk to someone you don't know. In colloquial Japanese, it often becomes すいません "suimasen".



English:A happy new year.
Kana:あけましておめでとうございます。
Romanization:A ke ma si te o me de tô go za i ma su


Note: The phrase shown here is polite. You can say あけましておめでとう "akemasite omedetô" if politeness is not required. In Japan, the new year is much more important than Christmas because few Japanese people are Christian. People mail ねんがじょう "nengazyô" (new year cards) in late December, and the post office delivers them on the new year day, which is the busiest day for the post office. Some people even write hundreds of new year cards for all of their acquaintances.

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Takasugi
My name is TAKASUGI Shinji. TAKASUGI is my family name, and Shinji is my given name; a family name is placed before a given name in Japan, as in other Asian nations. My family name is capitalized to avoid misunderstanding.

I have been living in Yokohama since I was born. Yokohama is the second largest city in Japan, which is just 30 kilometers away from the biggest city Tôkyô. It takes 30 minutes to go by train from home to Shibuya, which is the hottest town now in Tôkyô.

I work as a display engineer.

One of my hobbies is creating things with computers; creating programs, computer graphics and web pages is the thing I spent a lot of time doing. I am also interested in a wide range of sciences, and linguistics is my favorite. I like English and I like using it, but my focus is mainly on Japanese, which is my native language. I'm proud of knowing the language, and the difference between English and Japanese has been fascinating me. I have been thinking whether I can introduce it to people outside of Japan. My attempt of introducing Japanese with some Java applets has had more than 1 million visitors.

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