Let’s Learn Japanese 1 – Basic Greetings

15 06 2011

Memorized the Hiragana and Katakana already? This will be a good practice. Remember, you don’t have to memorize it all at once. After going through several lessons and reading more and more Kana, you will naturally remember them. Memorization is about the amount of exposure. Print those Kana charts out, and stick it to your toilet door so that you actually have something to do while doing your doo doo. But anyways, basic greetings.

おはよう (ございます) Ohayoo (gozaimasu) Good morning
こんにちは* Konnichiwa* Good afternoon
こんばんは* Konbanwa* Good evening
さようなら Sayoonara Good bye
おやすみ (なさい) Oyasumi (nasai) Good night
ありがとう (ございます) Arigatoo (gozaimasu) Thank you
すみません Sumimasen Excuse me; I’m sorry
いいえ Iie No; not at all
いってきます Ittekimasu I’m going
いってらっしゃい Itterasshai See you later
ただいま Tadaima I’m home
おかえり(なさい) Okaeri (nasai) Welcome home
いただきます Itadakimasu Bon appétit
ごちそうさま Gochisoosama Thanks for the food
はじめまして Hajimemashite How do you do?
(どうぞ)よろしく (Doozo) yoroshiku Nice to meet you

Few comments on these:

  • Notice that the ending of those marked with an * is wa instead of the supposedly ha. This is simply an exception that simply must be memorized.
  • Notice the long vowels (See Hiragana chart and Katakana chart about long vowels).
  • Small tsu (っ)before another consonant makes that consonant long.
  • Words in parentheses are optional. They are meant to make the greeting more polite. Use it when talking to someone older/ higher status than you.
  • Ittekimasu literally means I will go and come back. Similarly, itterasshai means you will go and come back.
  • Itadakimasu literally means I humbly receive, and it is said before a meal. Gochisoosama is said after the meal.
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