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Polite Japanese words

After today’s free Rocket Japanese lesson you’ll be able to say "thank you" in Japanese, "excuse me," "sorry," and use other polite Japanese words and phrases with confidence.

A little can go a long way when you’re a beginner, and the Rocket Japanese team wants you to feel comfortable around native speakers right from the start. We’ll show you the difference between formal and informal expressions, so you can be sure you’re using the right tone for the situation.

Resources for further reading:

How to pronounce polite Japanese words correctly

Practice Your Pronunciation With Rocket Record

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!

すみません

Sumimasen...

Excuse me. (formal)

あの

Ano...

Excuse me. (casual)

失礼します

しつれい します

Shitsurei shimasu.

Excuse me. (very polite)

ごめん なさい / すみません

Gomen nasai / Sumimasen

Sorry / Excuse me (apologetic)

それはお気の毒に

それは おきのどくに

Sorewa okinodokuni.

I'm sorry about that.

お忙しいところ、失礼しました

おいそがしい ところ、 しつれい しました

Oisogashī tokoro, shitsurei shimashita

Thank you for your time, sorry for disturbing you. (formal)

Polite Japanese women

忙しいとこ、有難う

いそがしい とこ、 ありがとう

Isogashī toko, arigatō

Thanks for your time. (casual)

どうも有難う御座います

どうも ありがとう ございます

Domo arigatō gozaimasu.

Thanks a lot.

とても感謝しています

とても かんしゃ して います

Totemo kansha shite imasu.

Many thanks.

どう いたし まして

どう いたし まして

Dō itashi mashite.

You're welcome

ご親切にどうも

ご しんせつ に どうも

Go shinsetsu ni dōmo.

That is very kind

親切に有難う

しんせつ に ありがとう

Shinsetsu ni arigatō.

How kind of you. (casual)

有難いです

ありがたい です

Arigatai desu

I am grateful to you

Listen carefully to the audio and practice saying the Japanese phrases aloud – you’ll have these mastered in no time! Just as in your native language, speaking to Japanese people in a polite manner will win you friends and gain you respect, so it’s worth making the effort!

That’s it for today’s lesson.

If you want more lessons on Japanese salutations then I recommend that you check out the following:

Sayōnara!

Sayaka Matsuura: Rocket Japanese

Make It Stick With Rocket Reinforcement

Reinforce your learning from this lesson with the Rocket Reinforcement activities!