Japanese »  Basic »  Greetings

In this lesson you will learn about Greetings.

ohayo gozaimasu

[ Good morning]

Good morning - ohayo gozaimasu.

Basic Japanese: Meetings and Greetings

Learning to greet people is an essential part of learning a new language.

Japan is a highly structured and traditional society. Great importance is placed on loyalty, politeness, personal responsibility and on everyone working together for the good of the larger group. Education, ambition, hard work, patience and determination are held in the highest regard.

A greeting is considered to be of utmost importance in Japan when two people meet. It is the base level of politeness in the Japanese society and is considered to be an indicator of who you are as a person. A greeting with energy and vigour that is delivered loudly and proudly will positively create a good impression of you as person. On the other hand, a lazy greeting and the act of just leaving without any notice is considered disdainful.

A handshake is appropriate upon meeting. The Japanese handshake is limp and with little or no eye contact. Some Japanese bow and shake hands. The bow is a highly regarded greeting to show respect and is appreciated by the Japanese. A slight bow to show courtesy is acceptable.

Nodding is very important. When listening to Japanese speak, especially in English, you should nod to show you are listening and understanding the speaker. Silence is a natural and expected form of non-verbal communication. Do not feel a need to chatter. Do not stand close to a Japanese person. Avoid touching.

Don’t show affection, such as hugging or shoulder slapping, in public. Etiquette and harmony are very important. "Saving face" is a key concept. Japanese are anxious to avoid unpleasantness and confrontation. Try to avoid saying "no." Instead, say, "This could be very difficult," allowing colleagues to save face.

The Japanese may ask personal questions. This is not intended to be rude, but rather a polite way to show interest. You may give vague or general answers if you feel a question is too personal. Do not expect a Japanese person to say "no." "Maybe" generally means "no."

Good morning: おはようございます (Ohayōgozaimasu)

Good afternoon: 今日は。(Kyō wa)

Good evening: 今晩は。(Konban wa.)

Good night: おやすみなさい!(Oyasuminasai!)

You are welcome: どういたしまして (dou itashimashite)

How are you?: おげんきですか (o genki desu ka)

I'm fine: 大丈夫だよ (Daijōbudayo)

I am sorry / Excuse me: すみません (sumimasen)

Good-bye: さようなら (sayounara)

Congratulations: おめでとうございます (omedetou gozaimasu)

See you tomorrow: またあした (mata ashita)

See you: ではまた (dewa mata)

Have a good trip: 良いご旅行を (Yoi go ryokō o)

Enjoy your meal: お食事をお楽しみ下さい! (O shokuji o o tanoshimi kudasai!)

Happy Birthday: お誕生日おめでとうございます!(Otanjōbiomedetōgozaimasu!)

Merry Christmas: メリークリスマス!(Merīkurisumasu!)

Happy New Year: 明けましておめでとうございます!(Gingashin'nen!)

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