Useful Japanese greetings

Do you know how to say hello in Japanese? How about some other useful Japanese greetings? After this free audio lesson for beginners you’ll know more than just a simple konnichiwa!


Listen to the native speakers greeting each other, and then go ahead and practice saying each Japanese phrase aloud. Once you’re feeling confident with Japanese greetings you’ll learn some different ways to say goodbye in Japanese as well. It’s important to get the basics right, and the Japanese people you meet will really appreciate your efforts. You know you’re saying it correctly if they keep talking, expecting you to keep up!

How to pronounce Japanese greetings

As hard as you try, without helpful feedback your Japanese pronunciation is never going to be the same as a native speaker’s. If you've found it difficult to perfect the way you say Japanese words and phrases, this lesson will help you.

 

Using the blue Rocket Record buttons you can record the way you say each greeting or farewell, and compare it with the way a Japanese native speaker does. That’s right, with Rocket Japanese voice mapping technology you can record your voice as many times as you need until your pronunciation matches the Japanese speaker


And when you are ready test yourself using My Level and really power up your learning and recall. Just click the "My Level" tab above to get started!

  • Formal greetings in Japanese

Greetings like “good morning” or “good afternoon” are incredibly important in Japanese. As the Japanese culture is more formal, going through the ritual of greeting another person is an important way of showing respect. Japanese tend to bow while saying “Ohayō gozaimasu”, “Konnichiwa” or “Konbanwa” depending on the time of the day. Bows can be divided into informal-15 degree angle, formal-30 degree angle, and very formal, deeper angle bows. You are expected to greet every person individually, even if they’re in a group. That means that if you’re walking along the road and pass a group of five people, you’ll have to say, “Konnichiwa,” and bow five times!

Download
こんにちわ
-
Konnichiwa Konnichiwa Konnichiwa Konnichiwa…
Hello, hello, hello, hello...
When addressing an unknown person or someone above you, one should start with an apology, “Sumimasen”. Also, remember to add the polite suffix –san after the name of the person. Listen to the link below to hear formal Japanese greetings…

Download
おはよう ございます
お早う 御座います
Ohayō gozaimasu!
Good morning!
Download
こんにちわ
-
Konnichiwa!
Good afternoon!
Download
こんばんわ
-
Konbanwa!
Good evening!
Download
おやすみなさい
お休みなさい
Oyasuminasai!
Good night!
Nowadays it is quite common to use short greetings, like “” and “”, however, it is more common to say nothing between close friends. They just start talking without greetings. Listen to the link below to hear some informal Japanese greetings…

Download
やあ
-
Yâ!
Hello
Download
よう
-
Yô!
Hi
Download
さいきん どう
最近 どう
Saikin dō?
What’s up?
There are some greetings that you will only hear in certain regions.

Download
まいど
毎度
Maido
Hello
Download
おはよう さま
お早う 様
Ohayō sama
Good Morning
  • Hello in Japanese
In the Kansai region of Japan, they have a distinct dialect called the “Kansai-ben” which is characterized as being more melodic and harsher. Within Kansai, there are greeting words that are restricted to Osaka, such as “Mokarimakka”, roughly translated “how’s business”, to which the answer is “Bochi bochi denna”.

Download
もうかりまっか
儲かりまっか
Mokarimakka
How’s business?
You have probably heard “Sayōnara” before, which is the most common form of saying “Good-bye”. You may have also heard “Shitsurei shimasu”, another formal farewell phrase which translates literally to “I’m being rude by leaving your presence”.

Download
さようなら
-
Sayōnara
Goodbye
Download
しつれい します
失礼 します
Shitsurei shimasu
Goodbye (formal)
Let’s listen to some casual farewells…

Download
じゃあ / じゃあ ね
-
Jya or Jya ne
Bye
Download
また ね
-
Mata ne
See you soon
Download
じゃあ また
-
Ja matta
See you again
Download
また あした
また 明日
Mata ashita
See you tomorrow
Download
げんき で
元気 で
Genki de!
Be well!
That’s it for today’s lesson. Using different greetings will make you sound more fluent, so try to remember as many as you can.

Ja matta!

Signature
Sayaka Matsuura
Rocket Japanese

Testing!

Test yourself with the Rocket Japanese testing tools! Improve your knowledge of Japanese and earn points for your badges along the way!

Note that the tests below are listed from easiest to hardest. Also, when a test is successfully rated the rating icon will at the top right of this page will show that rating.

comments powered by Disqus

Over 1,200,000 people love Rocket Languages

Here's what Rocket Languages members have to say:

Andrei
Freeman

Pennsylvania, USA

Rudi
Kopp

USA

Carmen
Franceschino

Pennsylvania, USA

Kelly
Scali

Chicago, USA

Mark
Waddel

Auckland, NZ

William
McGill

Florida, USA

Probably the best language tool I've come across. Actually love it more than Rosetta Stone and Duolingo

Choose either the Rocket Japanese 6 Day trial or the Guest User trial

?>