Regular Greetings

*standard *casual form

Ohayou gozai masu / Ohayou = Good morning

Konnichiwa  = Good afternoon / Hello

Konbanwa = Good evening

Oyasumi nasai / Oyasumi = Good night


*All of these greetings include the nuance of “how are you?” That is why we don’t additionally ask “how are you?” for people we see often. We often use “how are you?” for people we haven’t seen for a while. (please take a look at the part: [Reunion Greetings])


Sayonara = Good-bye

Dewa mata / Ja mata (ne) / mata ne = see you later

Bai bai = Bye


*Sayonara sounds more formal and has the nuance “good-bye “forever”, which is why we avoid this phrase for people we are expecting to see again soon.


Reunion Greetings


O hisashiburi desu / Hisashiburi = Long time no see

Genki desu ka? / Genki? = how are you? / how have you been?


First-meeting Greetings


Hajimemashite (Douzo yoroshiku onegai shimasu) = Nice to meet you


At the End of  the first meeting


Douzo yoroshiku onegai shimasu / Douzo yoroshiku = Nice meeting you / Let’s stay in touch / I look forward to working with you in the future


*Douzo yoroshiku onegai shimasu can be used when you ask someone’s favour. In the case, it means “Thank you (in advance).”


Thank you & Sorry


Arigatou gozaimasu / Arigatou = Thank you / Thanks


As a response to “Arigato gozaimasu,” we don’t often say “Dou itashi mashite” = You’re welcome. Instead, we say “Ieie” (No no) and “Yokatta desu” (It was good.)


Sumimasen* = I’m sorry

Gomen nasai / Gomen = Sorry

(As a response) you can say, “Daijoobu desu / Daijoobu” = I’m alright/no problem


*You can also use “Sumimasen” as “Excuse me” in English