If you want to start a conversation in Japanese, you need to know how to greet in Japanese! Here are the most common ways to say Hi in Japanese in informal and formal ways. Words are very short and easy to memorize, so have fun learning and greeting!
Here are some very casual words for greeting. Some of them are informal slang and you might be surprised to know how short the words are. If you have some close friends, it will be cool to communicate using them.
It is used casually between friends especially when you want to say like, “Hi, I’m here/I just got here”.
It is like saying “Hey!” . It is a slang to greet other guys so girls don’t use this word and guys don’t usually say it to girls.
Depending on the situation, the meaning of this word changes. It could mean hello, good-bye, thank you, very much, somehow, just.
A:やあ (Yaa) B: やあ、どうも(Yaa, Doumo)
(A:Hi. B:Hi, how are you?)
A:お先に失礼します(Osakini shitsurei shimasu) B:どうも(Doumo)
(A:I’m leaving ahead of you. B:Good-bye)
・To say thanks
A:これ、どうぞ (Kore, Douzo) B:あー、どうも(Ah, Doumo)
(A:This is for you. B:Ah,Thanks.)
・To say “Very”
A:遅れて、どうもすみません。 B:大丈夫です（Daijobu desu)
(A:I’m very sorry to be late. B:It’s OK)
(Shinsetsu ni doumo arigatougozaimasu)
B:とんでもないです（Tondemo nai desu)
(A:Thank you very much for your kindness. B:It’s nothing)
・Used with negative
どうも理解できません。(Doumo rikai dekimasen)
(I just can’t understand)
どうもあの人は気に入らない。(Doumo ano hito wa kiniiranai)
(I don’t like that person somehow)
These are used to get someone’s attention and the meaning is the same as in English. It is common for guys to greet friends saying like this but some girls also use them.
These are the most common ways to say “How are you?”.
If you just say “Genki?”, it gets more informal than saying “Genki desuka?”. They are used between friends or someone close to you, and not to your boss. To ask “How are things going?” ,we say
調子はどうですか? (Chousi wa dou desu ka).
I think every Japanese learner knows these famous words.
They are all formal and mean “Good morning/Good afternoon/Good evening”. People often say just “おはよう(Ohayou)” to greet a little more casually. The time when you use Konnichiwa and Konbanwa is different depending on the person. Some people use Konnichiwa at all times (Even in the morning) and Ohayou Gozaimasu in the evening. This is because the kind of job he/she has. If the person starts work very early, they feel that the morning time is afternoon. And if the person wakes up in the afternoon and starts working in the evening (like at a nightclub), evening time is morning for him/her.
In addition to those common words ahove, the phrase we use when starting a conversation on the phone is もしもし (Moshi moshi), meaning “Hello?(Are you there?)”, and we use お久しぶりです/久しぶり (Ohisashiburi desu/Hisashiburi) to say hello to someone you have not met for some time.
It’s really fun to learn a different language, isn’t it?
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See you next time!
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