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How To Say Hi In Japanese

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  • Post category:FAQs / How To
  • Post last modified:June 8, 2023
  • Reading time:4 mins read

If you’re interested in learning Japanese or planning to visit Japan, knowing how to greet people is an essential first step in any conversation. In Japanese culture, greetings are an important part of social interaction and are often seen as a reflection of a person’s manners and respect for others. Knowing how to say “hi” or “hello” in Japanese is not only useful for initiating a conversation, but it can also help to make a good impression on the people you meet. In this brief guide, we will cover some of the most common ways to say “hi” in Japanese and provide you with some tips to help you use these greetings appropriately in different situations.

The most common way to say “hi” in Japanese is こんにちは (konnichiwa).

As one of the most polite and respectful cultures in the world, Japanese people place great importance on greetings and other forms of social etiquette. Therefore, knowing how to say “hi” or “hello” in Japanese is an important first step in any conversation or interaction. In this article, we will explore the different ways to say “hi” in Japanese, when and where to use them, and some tips to help you use them appropriately.

  1. こんにちは (konnichiwa)

This is one of the most commonly used greetings in Japanese and is often the first word learners of the language are taught. It literally means “this day is” and is used to say “hello” or “good day.” This greeting is appropriate for use in any formal or informal setting during the day. For example, you could use it when meeting someone for the first time, when greeting a coworker, or when entering a shop or restaurant during the day.

  1. おはようございます (ohayou gozaimasu)

This greeting is used to say “good morning” in Japanese and is appropriate for use until around midday. It is considered more polite than the more casual “ohayou” and is often used in more formal settings, such as at work or in school. It’s important to note that this greeting is only used in the morning and should not be used in the afternoon or evening.

  1. こんばんは (konbanwa)

This greeting is used to say “good evening” in Japanese and is appropriate for use from late afternoon until night time. It can be used in both formal and informal settings, and is a polite way to greet someone in the evening. You could use this greeting when meeting friends for dinner or when entering a restaurant in the evening.

  1. やあ (yaa)

This is a casual greeting that is often used among friends and peers. It is an informal way to say “hi” and is typically only used in social situations. You wouldn’t use this greeting with someone you have just met or in a formal setting. It is similar to the English greeting “hey” in its informal and casual tone.

  1. どうも (doumo)

This is another casual greeting that can be used in a variety of situations. It can mean “hello,” “thank you,” or “excuse me” depending on the context. It is commonly used among friends and peers and is not typically used in formal settings. It is a versatile greeting that can be used to express gratitude or to get someone’s attention.

In summary, learning how to say “hi” in Japanese is an important first step in any conversation or interaction with Japanese speakers. Depending on the time of day and the setting, there are different greetings that are appropriate to use. By knowing these different greetings and when to use them, you can show your respect and understanding of Japanese culture and make a positive impression on the people you meet. Remember, when in doubt, it’s always better to err on the side of formality in Japanese social situations.


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