10 Useful Phrases to Say “Hello” in Japanese!

10 Useful Phrases to Say “Hello” in Japanese!

Learning the Japanese language has the double purpose of learning about the terms and phrases, and about the customs and culture within the context of communication. Hello is a common global greeting when meeting someone, on e-mails and on the phone. Hello in Japanese can be expressed in many terms or phrases depending on the level of respect and the given situation.



 

10 Useful Phrases to Say “Hello” in Japanese!

 

1. Konnichiwa

Konnichiwa is hello in Japanese. This is a formal greeting for older people, people recently acquainted to or people on the street in general. This also means good day. Ohayo is hello in Japanese for people of the same age group, friends and family. Konbanwa means good evening and like Konnichiwa has a certain formality.

 

2. Doumo

Doumo is a term which can be used as a greeting: hello, thank you and excuse me. This term is used as hello in Japanese when meeting an acquaintance on the street. It is a versatile and practical term in the Japanese language with multipurpose use.

 

3. Maido

Maido is from the Osakan dialect called Osaka-ben. Maido, maido is hello in Japanese when greeting a customer or client, entering or exiting a shop or office. This greeting literally means “thank you for your continued patronage”. This term is exclusively used by men in business.

 

4. Gokigenyou

Gokigenyou is a very formal greeting of hello in Japanese. This is an old fashion greeting which is not restricted to any specific time. This is used both as a hello and farewell. It is a traditional greeting for royalties and dignitaries.

 

5. Hisashiburi

Hisashiburi is used as a greeting for a friend or acquaintance which you haven’t seen for a long time. Hisashiburi is hello in Japanese for long time friends and acquaintance which literally means “long time no see”. For a more formal greeting for a former/present boss or older person: Ohisashiburi desu.

 

 

6. Ojama shimasu

Ojama shimasu is hello in Japanese when visiting or entering the home of friend. This literally means “I will disturb you”. When leaving the person’s house: Ojama shimashita (I have disturbed you). O – Prefix for politeness, jama – means a bother or an obstacle and shimasu – means to do.

 

7. Osewa ni natte orimasu

Osewa ni natte orimasu is a polite expression of greeting and gratitude. The phrase is hello in Japanese expressing thankfulness for being taken cared for. The more informal term for this hello in Japanese is: Osewa ni narimasu (Thank you for your support, kindness, work and cooperation (in advance)).

 

8. O – i

O-i is a very informal hello in Japanese. It literally means “hey” and it is used to get someone’s attention. Another informal hello in Japanese is Ossu or Osu. Both terms are used as informal greetings between male friends and can’t be used by female, or to the opposite sex. This is used for people of similar age and literally means “hey dude!” or “hey man”!

 

9. Moshi moshi

Moshi moshi is hello in Japanese used when greeting someone on the phone. It literally means hello and is also used when getting the attention of someone who’s spacing out: Moshi moshi? (Hello, is anyone there?). Another telephone greeting is “hai” (yes). In greeting on the phone: Moshi moshi, Ana desu… (Hello, this is Ana…).

 

10. Yoroshiku

Yoroshiku is a term in Japanese with no exact or literal translation. This term is hello in Japanese and may mean “nice to meet you”. A more formal phrase is: Yoroshiku onegaishimasu. This phrase is an expression of greeting, gratitude, apology, explanation or other expression of something that will happen in the future.

 

Conclusion

Hello in Japanese may be expressed with different terms and level of respect. Mi no hodo o shire! (Know your place!) Being mindful who you are talking to and giving them the proper respect is very important to the Japanese. Express this through Japanese terms and phrases proper to the person you are talking with.

 

10 Useful Phrases to Say “Hello” in Japanese!

1. Konnichiwa
2. Doumo
3. Maido
4. Gokigenyou
5. Hisashiburi
6. Ojama shimasu
7. Osewa ni natte orimasu
8. O – i
9. Moshi moshi
10. Yoroshiku