How are you in Japanese

How do you ask How are you? in Japanese? And how do you reply? This free Japanese lesson is essential for your Japanese language survival kit, whether you’re traveling to Japan or getting to know Japanese people closer to home.

Resources for further reading:

Pronouncing How are you? in Japanese

For someone you just met or more senior people, you would say:

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おげんき です か?

Ogenki desu ka?

How are you?

For friends, you would greet them with a simple げんき? (Genki?) or さいきん どう? (Saikin dō?):




How are you?


さいきん どう?

Saikin dō?

How are things going lately?

If you're asked "how are you" in Japanese, how would you answer? Well, it depends on how you feel! Here are some possible answers:


はい、 げんき です。 ありがとう ございます。

Hai, genki desu. Arigatō gozaimasu.

Yes, (I) am well. Thank you.


おかげさま で げんき です。

Okagesama de genki desu.

(I) am well, thanks to you.


とても げんき です。

Totemo genki desu.

(I) am very well.


かわり ない です。

Kawari nai desu.

As always. / No change.


ちょっと つかれて います。

Chotto tsukarete imasu.

(I) am a little tired.


ぐあい が わるい です

Guai ga warui desu.

(I) am unwell.



mā mā

so-so / average


なん とか

nan toka

barely (coping) / (managing) somehow




not (so good)

A common follow-up question is, “And you?” あなた は? (Anata wa?). You can also ask how the other person is by addressing them by their name, followed by さん は (san wa); or for a more informal way, their name and くん (kun) or ちゃん (chan), followed by (wa):


あなた は?

Anata wa?

(And) you?


よしこ は?

Yoshiko wa?

(And you), Yoshiko?

If someone tells you that he or she is not well, you could say one of the following:


おだいじ に。

Odaiji ni.

Take care.


たいへん です ね。

Taihen desu ne.

That's awful, isn't it.


おき の どく に。

Oki no doku ni.

My sympathies.

If someone is feeling great, try saying the following:


それ は よかった です。

Sore wa yokatta desu.

That is good.

Feeling confident with these basic Japanese words and phrases will make such a positive difference to your experiences with Japanese people. Remember, a stranger is just a friend you haven’t met yet!

Find out all about asking Japanese questions in this series of lessons. Make sure you listen to the audio and practice your Japanese pronunciation. And do the Japanese tests at the end of each lesson to reinforce your knowledge of Japanese questions!

よく できました! (Yoku dekimashita!)

Sayaka Matsuura: Rocket Japanese

Make It Stick With Rocket Reinforcement

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