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.
Resources for further reading:
Rocket Record lets you perfect your Japanese pronunciation. Just listen to the native speaker audio and then use the microphone icon to record yourself. Once you’re done, you’ll get a score out of 100 on your pronunciation and can listen to your own audio playback. (Use a headset mic for best results.) Problems? Click here!
Hello / Good day
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!
Nowadays it is quite common to use short greetings, like “yā” and “yō,” 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…
Hey / Yo (informal greeting)
There are some greetings that you will only hear in certain regions.
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.”
Let’s listen to some casual farewells…
じゃあ / じゃあ ね
Jā / Jā ne
See you soon
See you again
See you tomorrow
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.
If you want more lessons on Japanese salutations then I recommend that you check out the following:
Sayaka Matsuura: Rocket Japanese
Reinforce your learning from this lesson with the Rocket Reinforcement activities!