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.

How to pronounce Japanese greetings

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!

Formal greetings in Japanese
Formal greetings in Japanese

Informal Japanese Greetings

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…

 

Regional Japanese Greetings

There are some greetings that you will only hear in certain regions.

 

Hello in Japanese
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”.

Saying Goodbye

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”.

Casual Farewells

Let’s listen to some casual farewells…

 

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.

Jā matta!

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Sayaka Matsuura
Rocket Japanese


Testing!

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Write it! helps you to improve your written Japanese and your understanding of sentence structures. Just listen to the audio and type in what you hear!

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