What is a good evening in Japanese

Hello in Japanese: That's the right way to greet you

The greeting is an important part of the conversation in any language and also one of the first things you learn in a foreign language. Greetings start a social interaction, express courtesy and respect and give a first impression.

Especially in Japanese, where the language style changes depending on the context and status of the person you're talking to, there are many different types of greetings. So let's take a look at how to properly say hello in Japanese.

Greetings

Ohayouお は よ う - Good morning
They say early in the morning ohayou to friends, family and equals. For strangers and higher-ups, the formal version becomes ohayou gozaimasu (お は よ う ご ざ い ま す) used.

Konnichiwa こ ん に ち は - Good afternoon
During the day you greet with konnichiwa. Perhaps already known to many and probably the first to learn about the Japanese language and also the most common way of saying hello in Japanese. Note: The last syllable is pronounced wa わ, but is written with the hiragana ha は.

Konbanwa こ ん ば ん は - Good evening
In the evening it continues with konbanwa, thus corresponds to the German "Guten Abend". Here, too, the last syllable wa わ is spoken, but ha は is written.

Farewell formulas

There are also different ways of saying goodbye to say goodbye.

Sayounara さ よ う な ら
Corresponds to the German “Auf Wiedersehen” and is more formal, but is used comparatively little.

Otsukaresama desu お 疲 れ 様 で す (お つ か れ さ ま で す)
On the other hand, it is very common otsukaresama desu Saying goodbye, what should express thanks for the hard work after a long, tiring day.

Jya ne じ ゃ ね
That means “bye” and is a slang version of sayounara, so should only be said to friends or family. Is synonymous with this mata ne ま た ね.

Colloquial language

Of course, there are a lot of informal expressions and slang in the Japanese language as well. Here are two examples of how you can say hello to friends in Japanese.

Yaho ヤ ッ ホ
A very common form of greeting, mainly used by girls. Yaho is written in katakana because it is more of a phrase than a real word.

Ossu お っ す
Ossu is mostly only used by men and is nothing more than a greatly abbreviated form of ohayou gozaimasu. Originally a military idiom, it is now used in informal situations to friends or relatives.

Greet in Japanese

While you are learning Japanese, or are coming to Japan on a student visa or during a language trip to study, you will get to know a lot more greetings and farewell formulas and how to use them correctly depending on the context and situation.

If you want to know more about the topic, check out our article on Japanese salutation. Follow us on YouTube, Facebook and Instagram and feel free to contact us by email if you have any questions about living and learning in Japan.