Hello and Good-Bye
The English word “Hello” is very convenient because you can use it at any time of the day but unfortunately there isn’t such a word in Japanese. We use different words depending on the time of the day and who they are talking to. The following video will help you learn these greeting words.
There are 7 phrases in this video, but the most important ones for you are:
|English equivalent||Hiragana||Roomaji||When to use it.|
|Good Morning||おはよう ございます||Ohayou gozaimasu||Polite|
Dawn till around 10 am
Dawn till around 10 am
|Good Day, Good Afternoon||こんにちは||Konnichiwa||After 10 am till dusk.|
|Good Evening||こんばんは||Konbanwa||After dark|
|Good Bye||さようなら||Sayounara||Any time of the day. However, it has a bit of “final” feel about it, so use it carefully.|
By the say, when we answer the phone, we always say もしもし instead of ”Hello.” This is only done on the phone.
If you are to learn only one phrase in a foreign language, I think it should be “Thank you”! When you are travelling and if you can say “Thank you” in the local language, it will take you very far!
First, please watch this video.
|どうも ありがとう||doumo arigatou||Thank you very much.|
|ありがとう ございました||arigatou gozaimashita||(polite) Thank you very much for something that is done to you already|
|ありがとう ございます||arigatou gozaimasu||(polite) Thank you very much for something that is ongoing or something yet to be completed|
How to Call your Family Members
Some people call their parents with their first name but most people would use a word like “Mum,” “Mother,” or something like that.
In Japanese, we usually do the same to all the members of your family who were born before you.
|grand -parents||obaa_san |
|[his name] only, or |
[his name] + ちゃん
|[her name] only, or |
[her name] + ちゃん
Young children call their dad パパ and mum ママ. Some keep that habit into their adulthood.
For pronunciation of these words, watch this video.
Remember these words are to use to talk to them. You need to use a different set of words when you are talking to people outside your family about your own family.
How to address other people in Japanese – Use their Name with a suffix
Most dictionaries list あなた for the English word “you” but I try to avoid using that word as much as I can because it sounds like I am looking down on the other person.
So the best option for addressing a single person is to use the person’s name with a suffix. The most versatile suffix is ～さん and it can be used for both male and female, and for a surname and a given name. Remember that not using any suffix is called 呼び捨て and it is considered VERY RUDE in Japan.
For a customer, you can use –さま. For somebody very close or very young, you can use –ちゃん also.
If you are addressing multiple people in one go, you can use みなさん or みなさま.
Good morning, Mother!
Thank you, Big Bro.
Hello, Mr. Tanaka.
Good evening, Grandpa!
- Every time you greet or thank someone in English, think of the way how you say that in Japanese.