Greeting in Japanese


目次 (Mokuji) Table of contents
This time, we will take a look at how to greet in Japanese.

Your students are nervous at the beginning of lessons. If you can greet them in Japanese, you would be able to let them feel more relaxed, making them stay with your lessons longer.

They are basic, yet very important ones. Let’s get it started!

Should you ever have any trouble translating JP ⇔ EN, our dictionary might help.

How to read this page
あOriginal Japanese expression
EEnglish translation
吹き出しのアイコン15 (2)Pronunciation
クエスチョンマーク (2)Notes

Also, if ever you have trouble understanding Japanese expressions or words in this content, kindly visit our site: weblio dictionary.

Now lets begin!

Expression Examples
Good morning = Ohayou gozaimasu
Good morning.
ohayou gozaimasu
ohayou = a polite form of “early”
gozaimasu = “it is” , “there is” , “you are” etc.
which means, when you say “ohayo gozaimasu,” you are saying “it is early in the morning” or “you wake up very early in the morning” paying a kind of compliment to your listener.

Good afternoon = Konnichiwa
Good afternoon.
kon = this
nichi = day
wa = a kind of grammatical component that is called “case particle” which functions to support a subject in a sentence.
So by saying “konnichiwa” you mean “this day is” which would originally be followed by ogenki desu ka? (how are you?) or ii tenki desu ne (nice whether) or things as such.

Good evening = Konbanwa
Good evening
kon = this
ban = evening
wa = a kind of grammatical component that is called “case particle” which functions to support a subject in a sentence.
This is close to “Konnichiwa,” and stands for “this evening is (…something).” But since it’s long to complete one sentence, they omitted the rest.

How are you? = Genki desu ka?
How are you?
Genki desu ka?
Genki = (physically) fine, energetic
desu = a polite form of “is” “are” “am” etc.
ka = a sentence-ending particle that makes a sentence interrogative.
NOTE that we don’t really ask how our listeners are as it could possibly be impolite in Japanese culture, where people try to keep some distance between each other. You may ask this when you are talking to someone really familiar or intimate.

Good work = Otsukare sama deshita
Good work.
Otsukare sama deshita.
Otsukare = tiring, tired
Sama = Mr., Ms., Sir, Ma’am etc. that functions as a honorific title.
Deshita = you were, it was, etc. a subject + a past form of a verb.
So literally translated, otsukare sama deshita = “sir/ma’am, you did something tiring” or “you did something tiring” or “you did something sir/ma’am. you must be tired.”

Good bye = Sayounara
Good bye
sayou = so, such
nara = if … is …, then … (functions in a conditional sentence/s)
In this case, sayounara means “if so, then” which would originally be followed by “good bye” “good luck” “farewell” or anything you would say when you separate with someone else.

Why don’t we complete our sentences?
One of the reasons why we don’t complete our sentences is because it’s too long and eventually kills momentum of our conversation.
Second reasons is because sentences that usually follows those expressions are obvious so we don’t have to say that.
Third one would be; if we say something too explicitly, it’s not interesting or, let’s say, not considered as stylish.
You might be able to feel some difference between our understanding on the way we conceive beauty of our language here; the less obvious, the better.

Dialogue Examples
Greeting in the morning.
Tutor: Good morning.
Student: Good morning.
Tutor: How are you?
Student: I’m fine. Thank you.
Tutor: Ohayou gozai masu.
Student: Ohayou gozai masu.
Tutor: Genki desu ka?
Student: Genki desu. Arigatou gozai masu.
In a usual English lesson situation, asking how your student is perfectly be acceptable. Ask them that and give them good impression!

Greeting before the end of a class.
Tutor: Good work.
Student: Thank you.
Tutor: Thank you, too.
Student: Good bye.
Tutor: Otsukare sama deshita.
Student: Arigatou gozai mashita.
Tutor: Kochira koso, arigatou gozai mashita.
Student: Sayounara.
Kochira koso = me too

Well, how did you like the contents this time?

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