When learning Japanese, you will want to know how to talk with people. Learn the different phrases in Japanese for starting a conversation, such as "good morning" and "hello." Also learn why two different phrases are used for "thank you for the meal," depending on when they are said during the meal.
As with every language, we need to know how to converse. Let's start with some phrases that we will use to start a Japanese conversation. The time of day is important when choosing which Japanese phrase to use. For example, if it is before 10 am, we use the phrase:
おはよう (ohayou) Good morning
In more polite situations, we would use the polite version:
おはよう ございます (ohayou gozaimasu).
The rule of thumb is once 10 am has passed, we use the Japanese greeting:
こんにちは (konnichiwa) Good afternoon/hello
At nighttime, the greeting becomes:
こんばんは (konbanwa) Good evening
Now, if this is the first person we have met, we will need to introduce ourselves. In Japanese conversations, two phrases are always used:
はじめまして (hajimemashite) How do you do?
どうぞ よろしく (douzo yoroshiku) Nice to meet you
In between these two phrases, we can tell the other person our name. The easiest is to use the ~です )
After we have had our conversation, we need to know how to end it. To say goodbye in Japanese, we say:
If we are saying good night, we say:
Phrases For Home
Certain Japanese conversational phrases are used when at home. When we are leaving home, we announced to whomever is still in the house that:
いってきます (ittekimasu) I'll go and come back
Whoever is home would say:
いってらっしゃい (itterasshai) Please go and come back
When we return home, we would say:
ただいま (tadaima) I'm home
The response to this phrase is:
おかえりなさい (okaerinasai) Welcome home
There are also special phrases we use when eating in Japanese. While not part of the overall conversation, it is important to say them before and after the meal, for the sake of politeness. Before a meal, we say the phrase:
いただきます (itadakimasu) Thank you for the meal
After the meal, we say:
ごちそうさま (gochisousama) Thank you for the meal
While both of these phrases translate the same in English, the unsaid translation is where in the meal they are said.
Banno, E., Ohno, Y., Sakane, Y. and Shinagawa, C. An Integrated Course in Elementary Japanese. The Japan Times, 1999