Want to say hello in Japanese?
Good! Greetings are the first thing you should KNOW if you’re learning Japanese. And if you’re not learning… leave!
So, today, you get a big Japanese greetings list with 24 ways to say Hello in Japanese and explanations for each one.
So, let’s get into all the Japanese words for hello.
1. Good Morning. おはよう
Okay, let’s start with the morning. You’re awake somewhere between 6AM and 10:59AM. And you see a friend. How do you greet them? Here’s how:
- Good morning (casual)
By the way, you should also hear real Japanese and how it sounds.
So, if you’re interested, here’s a quick lesson greetings fromJapanesePod101.com (a Japanese learning app).
Just press the play button on the player below to listen and learn to say hello in Japanese with the audio lesson.
- Japanese Lesson – How to Say Hello in Japanese (No Matter Time of Day)
- Click here to get more fun Japanese lessons at JapanesePod101.
2. Good Morning (polite) Ohayou gozaimasu
Now, there’s a polite way to say good morning in Japanese. You simply take the phrase above and add “gozaimasu.” Pretty much pronounced “go-zai-mas” (zai rhymes with eye). Use this for strangers and people of higher rank.
- Ohayou gozaimasu
- Good morning (formal)
|Want to learn how to write in Japanese? Download your FREE Japanese Alphabet eBook here.|
3. Hello or Good Day. こんにちは
So after morning is over… which is when? 11:00AM? Yes, after morning’s over, you should say “Hello” or “Good Day.” That’s where “konnichiwa” comes in. It’s one of the most recognized words and a super common Japanese greeting. For many learners, “konnichiwa” is their very first word.
But remember, it’s for the daytime.
- Hello (Good day)
4. Good Evening. こんばんは
When’s evening start? Let’s say 6PM. So after 6PM, you shouldn’t say “konnichiwa” anymore. We switch over to a good evening greeting. That’s the proper way of saying hello in Japanese at night.
- Good evening
5. “Yo!” よぉ!
Now this is super casual way to say hello in Japanese among young guys. That’s right, you probably use “yo” in English in the same way. Well, you can do it in Japanese. Not much of a pronunciation difference.
6. Yahho~ やっほ～
Girls only say this. There’s no special meaning and it’s not directly translatable. It’s just “hi” but it’s a cute way to say hello in Japanese. However, knowing Japanese how Japanese works – they probably took a longer word and shortened or switched it around.
7. Hello (on the phone). もしもし
Yes, this is a way to say hello in Japanese. However, it’s only used for answering the phone. Nothing else.
Do you pronounce this as “mooshy mooshy”? Please don’t. The “mo” is like mo in morning. And more often then not, it’s said as “moshi mosh” where the “i” in the second word is not pronounced.
- Moshi moshi
- Hello (when on the phone)
8. Ossu! おっす!
This is another young-guy way to say “hey” or hello in Japanese. The “U” is silent in this word.
Where does “Ossu” come from? Well, it comes from pre-occupied Japan times from Kyoto and more specifically from martial arts students. They went from greeting each other with “ohayo gozaimasu” to “ohayo-ssu” and eventually brought it down to “ossu.” That’s why it’s also commonly used with anyone studying Japanese martial arts.
9. It’s been a while. 久しぶり
This does NOT literally mean hello in Japanese. But, it’s most definitely used as a greeting, in place of hello. And it’s used when you haven’t seen a person in a while. So, yes, this is the first word you can say when you meet someone to greet them.
- It’s been a while
10. I’m home! I’m back! ただいま!
Yes, this can be used to say hello in Japanese. It’s what you say when you come back home. It’s like a “Hello!” or “I’m back” or “I’m home,” and is overall a greeting for when you return home. That’s it. This is one of many Japanese common set-phrases that you should know.
- I’m back!
As a bonus, if you come back home and say “tadaima” whoever is greeting you back needs to say “okaeri” or “welcome back.”
11. How’s it going in Japanese – Dou yo?
- Dou yo?
- How’s it going?
You know thatdou meanshow so here you’re just asking “how things are?” But remember, Japanese language relieson context. If you and someone just took a test together and are talking about it – the listener will think you’re talking about the test.
12. Heeey! おーい！
It’s like Australian “Oy!” It’s one of those ways to say hello in Japanese… especially when yelling from across the street. Good way to get a friend’s attention.
13. How was your day? 今日は、どんな感じ？
- Kyou wa donna kanji?
- How’s your day?
Kyou meaning today, donna meaning how/what kind and kanji is feeling/state/overall condition. Kanji is a pretty versatile word because you can use it in many contexts — like the condition of your day, the taste of some drink, the atmosphere of a tough meeting, and so on. Replace “kyou” with some other subject like … test, wine, person’s name and it will work.
14. It’s nice to meet you. お会いできて光栄です。
- Oai dekite kouei desu.
- It’s nice to meet you.
NO, this is not a substitute for “Hajimemashite.” Just a phrase to say to someone you meet again.. because it’s nice to meet them. Now this phrase is formal. How can you tell? It starts with the “O” in front of the noun Ai (meeting).
15. How have you been? いかがお過ごしですか。
- Ikaga o-sugoshi desu ka.
- How have you been?
Again, another formal phrase so don’t use it with friends but perhaps superiors.Ikaga is a very formal way to sayhow and as you can see, sugoshi (meaning time spent) begins with an o meaning it’s formal.
16. How are you? お元気ですか。
- O-genki desu ka.
- How are you?
Yes, you’re right. “How are you” is not a PURE way to say Hello in Japanese but… people use it as a greeting, right? Then, it’s okay. If “How are you” are the first words to come out of your mouth when meeting a friend in English, it’s the same for Japanese.
Also, this is formal. Drop the O from O-genki and turn it into a casual phrase:
- genki desu ka.
- How are you?
17. Hello. ハロー
Yes, this is the English “Hello.” You can indeed use it in Japanese though it’s super casual. Kids may use it. Adults, maybe not so much unless they’re being super friendly or joking.
18. What’s new? 最近どう
- Saikin dou?
- What’s new?
“Saikin” means recently. And “dou” means “How?” But, this is just another one of many ways of saying “what’s up” or “what’s new” or “what’s recent?”
19. Welcome! いらっしゃいませ
If you enter a store or a business in Japan, they will yell this out. Take it as a “welcome” or a “Come in!” Sometimes, shop staff will yell “irrashaimase” not only to entrants but to people walking by in order to get them to come in. In that case, it’s more of a “Come in!”
20. Anything happen!? なんかあった?
- Nanka atta?
“Nanka” is a shortened version of “nani ka” which means “something” or “anything.” And “Atta” is the past form of the verb “aru” which means to have, be, or happen. So, it is quite literally asking, “did anything happen?”
21. (X) says “Hello” (X) がよろしくって
- (X) がよろしくって
- (X) ga yoroshiku tte
- (X) says “Hello”
Want to tell someone that someone else said hi to them? Like, oh, “hey, John-san says hello to you.” This is how you do it:John-sanがよろしくって. (casual).
21. Hey. どうも
Doumo is a very versatile word. You can use it to say thanks. You can also use it to say hello in Japanese. This word is a shortened version of long greetings used back in the Edo period. It’s very casual so use only with friends.
22. Anything changed? 変わったことある?
- Kawatta koto aru?
- Anything changed?
Yes, this is another way of saying “what’s up” or “what’s new?”
23. Tell X I said Hello. (X) に よろしく言っておいて
- (X) に よろしく言っておいて
- X ni yoroshiku itte oite
- Tell X I said Hello.
Just in case you’d like to pass a hello to someone. (Casual).
24. Tell everyone i said hello. 皆さんに、よろしくお伝え下さい.
- Minasan ni, yoroshiku otsutae kudasai
- Tell everyone i said hello
Just in case you want to say hello in Japanese… to everyone! (Formal)
Conclusion: How to Say Hello in Japanese
Now you know all the fun Japanese greetings.
Now that’ you’re here, how about a quick review, eh?
Take this survey and pick the most important phrase. Doing so will help it stick a bit better.
As a quick review, here are the ways to say hello in Japanese upfront. Check out the image below.
Do you know of other unique ways to say Hello in Japanese?
Leave a comment below and I’ll add it to this list.
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- Next Article: Say BYE in Japanese
– The Main Junkie
P.S. I recommend this for Japanese learners. If you REALLY want to learn to Japanese with effective lessons by real teachers – Sign up for free at JapanesePod101 (click here) and start learning!
How do you say hello in Japanese sound? ›
For example you can say konnichiwa or genki descal.How girls say hi in Japanese? ›
Konnichiwa / Hello or good afternoon (こんにちは)
Konnichiwa is the most common way to say hello in Japanese. You can use it to greet Japanese people in semi-formal situations, regardless of their social status.
If you ever watched at least one anime series, you probably already know this: “hello” in Japanese is Konnichiwa.How can I learn hello in Japan? ›
How to say hello in Japanese konnichiwa hello konnichiwa this translates to good afternoon.How do you say hi in Tokyo? ›
Konnichiwa (pronounced: “kon-nee-chee-wah”) is the basic way to say hello in Japanese; however, it is mostly heard in the afternoon. Konnichiwa is utilized as a respectful-yet-generic way to say hello to pretty much anyone, friend or otherwise.What Moshi Moshi means? ›
Moshi moshi, or もしもし, is a common Japanese phrase that Japanese people use when picking up the phone. It's a casual greeting used for friends and family, like a “hello”, but in fact means something entirely different! In English, it literally means something more like, “to say to say”, or “I speak I speak”.Why do Japanese say yo? ›
“Yo!” in Japanese – よー！
Exactly the same as English. You can greet a close friend informally with a simple yo! You wouldn't say this to anyone older than you, though. This one is also more masculine, but sometimes young girls and women say it, too, to get someone's attention.
It can be written with two different kanji: the traditional 歳 and the simplified and most commonly used 才. To ask someone "how old are you?," you can say: Nan sai desu ka (何歳ですか); Or in a more formal way, O ikutsu desu ka (おいくつですか).What is your name to Japanese? ›
“おなまえは？” (o namae wa?)Are you okay in Japanese? ›
The simplest way to ask “are you okay?” in Japanese is 大丈夫ですか？ (daijōbu desu ka?)
How do u say good day in Japanese? ›
- buenas noches.
- buenos dias.
- good morning.
When someone greets you in Japanese with “Konnichiwa” it is best to respond with the same phrase “Konnichiwa”.How do u say good morning in Japanese? ›
How to Say "Good Morning" | Japanese Lessons - YouTubeHow do you speak Japanese? ›
Learn Japanese in 2 Hours - ALL You Need to Speak ... - YouTubeHow do Japanese greet? ›
In Japan, people greet each other by bowing. A bow can ranges from a small nod of the head to a deep bend at the waist. A deeper, longer bow indicates respect and conversely a small nod with the head is casual and informal. If the greeting takes place on tatami floor, people get on their knees to bow.How do you say thanks in Japanese? ›
3 Ways to Say Thank You in Japanese - YouTubeHow do you greet a Japanese boss? ›
Beginning Japanese Greeting your Boss and Co-workers in the MorningWhat does Ara Ara mean in Japanese? ›
Ara ara (あら あら) is a Japanese expression that is mainly used by older females and means “My my”, “Oh dear”, or “Oh me, oh my”.What is Watashi? ›
However, most Japanese personal pronouns do. Consider for example two words corresponding to the English pronoun "I": 私 (watashi) also means "private" or "personal". 僕 (boku) carries a masculine impression; it is typically used by males, especially those in their youth.Whats desu mean? ›
What does desu mean? Desu is a polite Japanese linking verb meaning “to be” as well other forms of the verb. Western fans of anime and manga sometimes add it to the end of sentences to sound cute and imitate Japanese.
What is desu yo ne? ›
You: ですよね。( DESU YO NE) = That is right. / That is what I thought. ですよね is usually used when you tell someone that you agree with him/her. You (sort of) know what they will say, but you are asking anyway just to make sure.What does Yare Yare? ›
If you already watched or read JoJo's Bizzarre Adventure in Japanese, you would know the iconic phrase by Jotaro Kujo: “やれやれ” -pronounced “Yare Yare”. The phrase is trasnlated to intrepretations such as “well well”, “good grief” and “give me a break.” It is a common expression in Japan used to show disappointment.What is No Ka Japanese? ›
The particle combination のか can be used in everyday Japanese at the end of a sentence in order to give what I would call a “rough” and/or “doubting” feeling.What is Nansai desu ka? ›
nan sai desu ka – 何歳ですか/何才ですか (なんさいですか) : a Japanese expression for 'how old are you?What does 16 mean in Japan? ›
|16||十六(jū roku)||十六番目(jū roku banme)|
|17||十七(jū nana)||十七番目(jū nana banme)|
|18||十八(jū hachi)||十八番目(jū hachi banme)|
|19||十九(jū kyū)||十九番目(jū kyū banme)|
The Japanese language is considered one of the most difficult to learn by many English speakers. With three separate writing systems, an opposite sentence structure to English, and a complicated hierarchy of politeness, it's decidedly complex.What is the name in Japanese? ›
Onamae wa nandesuka? You can also say: Anata no onamae wa? Onamae is "your name" or "the name," and Anata is "you" or "your."How do you reply to Onamae WA? ›
watashi no namae wa – 私の名前は (わたしのなまえは) : a Japanese expression for “my name is”. It can be used to answer the question, “onamae wa nan desu ka?” onamae wo okiki shi te yoroshii deshou ka – お名前をお聞きしてよろしいでしょうか (おなまえをおききしてよろしいでしょうか) : a Japanese expression for 'may I ask your name? ' This is a very polite expression.How do Japanese greet? ›
In Japan, people greet each other by bowing. A bow can ranges from a small nod of the head to a deep bend at the waist. A deeper, longer bow indicates respect and conversely a small nod with the head is casual and informal. If the greeting takes place on tatami floor, people get on their knees to bow.What does konnichiwa mean in? ›
Konnichiwa (こんにちは) is said between late morning (11am) and early evening (5pm) in Japan. It's a formal kind of 'hello!
How do you pronounce konnichiwa? ›
How to Say 'Hello' in Japanese? | Pronounce Konnichiwa - YouTubeHow old are you Japanese? ›
It can be written with two different kanji: the traditional 歳 and the simplified and most commonly used 才. To ask someone "how old are you?," you can say: Nan sai desu ka (何歳ですか); Or in a more formal way, O ikutsu desu ka (おいくつですか).Why do Japanese say san? ›
As a rule of thumb, in Japanese business life, the surname name is always followed by the honorific suffix “san” (meaning “dear” or actually “honorable Mr/Ms.”). There are of course many other options such as “sama” (highly revered customer or company manager) or “sensei” (Dr. or professor).What is Domo arigato? ›
When you buy something at a store, store clerk would say "DOMO ARIGATOU", meaning thank you "very much". You can also use DOMO as a greeting like "hello". And just saying DOMO can mean a casual way of "thank you" like thanks.What is ohayo? ›
Ohayo (おはよう, ohayō) is a colloquial term meaning good morning in Japanese. Ohayo may also refer to: Good Morning (1959 film), 1959 Japanese comedy film by director Yasujirō Ozu. Ohayo Mountain, Catskill Mountains, New York, US. A misspelling of Ohio, a U.S. state.Can you say ohayo at night? ›
Use "Ohayou" from waking to about 12:00, "Konnichiwa" until dusk, "Konbanwa" throughout the evening, and "Oyasumi" only before bed or sleeping.What are 50 ways to say hello? ›
- Hello Beautiful.
- Hey Friend.
- Hey Boo.
- Hey Sunshine.
- Hey Sweetart.
- Hey Girl Hey.
- Hey Luv.
- Spanish – ¡Hola!
- French – Bonjour.
- German – Hallo.
- Italian – Ciao.
- Mandarin Chinese – 你好 (nǐ hǎo)
- Irish – Dia dhuit.
- Portuguese – Olá
- Hindi – नमस्ते (namaste)
The first way to say good morning is ohayō おはよう (pronounced a lot like the state Ohio). This is the casual form, which you'd mainly use with close friends and family members. The second way to say good morning in Japanese is ohayō gozaimasu おはようございます. This is a more formal version.What is your name to Japanese? ›
“おなまえは？” (o namae wa?)
How do you greet a Japanese boss? ›
Beginning Japanese Greeting your Boss and Co-workers in the Morning