Japanese Aisatsu (Japanese Common Greetings)

Common Greetings

おはよう ohayou: Good Morning (from sunrise to 10.00)
おはようございます ohayou gozaimasu: Good Morning (more polite)
こんにちは konnichiwa: Good Evening (from 10.00 to dark)
こんばんは konbanwa: Good Night (once dark)
あきましておめでとう akimashite omedetou: Happy new year (used only after 1st of Jan).
お誕生日おめでとう otanjoubi omedetou: Happy birthday
おめでとう omedetou: Congratulations
おめでとうございます omedetou gozaimasu: Congratulations (more polite)
もしもし moshi moshi: Hello (only used on phone)

Saying Goodbye

おやすみなさい oyasuminasai: Have a good night sleep / good night (when someone about to sleep)
さようなら sayounara: Goodbye (for a long time)
じゃまた ja mata: Okay, bye!
また後で mata ato de: See you next time
また明日 mata ashita: See you tomorrow


初めまして hajimemashite: Nice to meet you (used in the first meeting)
よろしくお願いします yoroshiku onegaishimasu: Please take care of me (used at the end of a self-introduction)

Cultural Greeting at home

行ってきます ittekimasu: I’m leaving (used when going outside the house. Literally means “I will go and come back”)
行ってらしゃい itterasshai: Proper response for 行ってきます (ittekimasu), literally means “please go and come back”.

ただいま tadaima: Translated as “I’m back”.
おかえり okaeri: Translated as “Welcome home”. Proper response for ただいま (tadaima).
おかえりなさい okaerinasai: A more polite version of おかえり (okaeri).

いただきます itadakimasu: Thanks for the food! (Used when you’re about to eat).
ごちそうさまでした gochisousama deshita: What a well prepared dish! (Used after you eat as a compliment to the one who prepared it).
おじゃまします ojamashimasu:Sorry for intruding (Used when entering other people’s house)
気をつけてください ki o tsukete kudasai: Please be careful.
気をつけて! ki o tsukete!: Be careful!

Thank you & Sorry

ありがとう arigatou: Thank you
ありがとうございます arigatou gozaimasu: Thank you (more polite)
ごめんなさい gomennasai: I’m sorry (often used for someone equal or lower status)
ごめん gomen: Less polite version of ごめんなさい (gomennasai)
すみません sumimasen: Excuse me / Sorry (a polite word)
申し訳ありません moushiwake arimasen: I apologize (a formal apology used by worker when apologizing to guest. Literally means “I have no excuse”)
おまたせしました omataseshimashita: Thanks for waiting (used by worker to guest)

Work related and other useful phrases

どうぞゆっくりしてください douzo yukkuri shite kudasai: Please take your time.
おかげさまです okagesama desu: It all thanks to you. (common greeting used when you’re about to leave from work or after you finish some work with someone).
お先に osaki ni: This phrase is used as a goodbye greeting when you’re about to leave the office before someone else.
お願いします onegaishimasu : Please.

頑張ってください ganbatte kudasai: Good luck! (used to give encouragement to people so they can do well on something)
頑張って ganbatte: Good luck! (less polite version).
お元気で ogenki de: Take care of your health
お元気です ogenki desu: I’m doing good / I’m well
どうぞ douzo: A phrase used to let someone do something or when you give something to someone.

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