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Unit 2

2.2 Greetings

5 min readโ€ขnovember 16, 2020

caroline-koffke

Caroline Koffke

katelyn17

Katelyn Lien


AP Japanese ย ๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ต

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๐Ÿ‘‹ Greetings

Greetings are one of the most important types of interaction between people. Whether it be in person, in writing, or any other format, greetings create and enhance communities all around the world. Read on to learn more about Japanese greetings and how they contribute to the Japanese language and culture.

๐Ÿ‘ฅ Community

Greetings are called aisatsu (ใ‚ใ„ใ•ใค). Depending on the time of day or people involved in an interaction, greetings will differ. However, one aspect that remains constant throughout all interactions is the level of mutual respect and acknowledgment of each other.
โ˜€๏ธ In the morning, the most common greeting is ohayลgozaimasu (ใŠใฏใ‚ˆใ†ใ”ใ–ใ„ใพใ™), which means "Good morning." It is common to greet someone using this formal phrase, even if you don't know them. Even people who do not have close relationships must still acknowledge each other and show their respect. In Japan, it is important to begin the day with proper manners and greet the people you walk by.
๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐ŸŽ“ ๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐ŸŽ“ Students use this formal phrase when they enter the classroom and greet their teacher. They may have a closer relationship than two complete strangers as described above, but there is a difference in authority, so this formal greeting must be used.
Example:
ๅ…ˆ็”Ÿใ€ใŠใฏใ‚ˆใ†ใ”ใ–ใ„ใพใ™๏ผ Teacher, good morning! (Formal greeting)
ใŠใฏใ‚ˆใ†ใ€็ฃฏ้‡Žใใ‚“๏ผ Good morning, Isono-kun! (Informal greeting)
The informal version of this morning greeting is ohayล (ใŠใฏใ‚ˆใ†). This phrase is used among close friends and family. It does not hold as much respect as the formal phrase, but it is still a great way to greet someone in the morning.
One of the most used greetings is konnichiwa (ใ“ใ‚“ใซใกใฏ), which simply means, "Hello." It can be used at any time of day and by all people. It is used in formal and informal settings, so people do not have to worry about offending someone when using this greeting.
If you are meeting someone for the first time, you might use hajimemashite (ใฏใ˜ใ‚ใพใ—ใฆ), which means, "Nice to meet you." This greeting is usually used along with one of the previously mentioned greetings like ใ“ใ‚“ใซใกใฏ or ใŠใฏใ‚ˆใ†ใ”ใ–ใ„ใพใ™.
Example:
ใ“ใ‚“ใซใกใฏใ€‚ Hello.
ใฏใ˜ใ‚ใพใ—ใฆใ€ใฏใ‚‹ใ‹ใจ็”ณใ—ใพใ™ใ€‚ Nice to meet you, my name is Haruka.
๐ŸŒ In the evening or at night, the greeting people use is konbanwa (ใ“ใ‚“ใฐใ‚“ใฏ), which means, "Good Evening." Just like ใ“ใ‚“ใซใกใฏ it can be used by all people regardless of the level of formality of their relationship.
๐ŸŒ™ Lastly, when people leave for the night, they say sayลnara (ใ•ใ‚ˆใ†ใชใ‚‰), which, you guessed it, means "Goodbye." This greeting is pretty well known and you might have known this before you started studying this course. This is the last thing people hear before they go home for the day, so it is nice to be upbeat and leave on a good note!

๐Ÿ“ž Phone Etiquette

Being polite on the phone is just as important as being polite in person. When speaking on the phone, you cannot see the other person's facial expressions or body language, so using respectful greetings is essential to positive community engagements.
โ˜Ž๏ธ When first picking up the phone (้›ป่ฉฑ), the greeting used is moshi moshi (ใ‚‚ใ—ใ‚‚ใ—). The greetings used in person, such as ใ“ใ‚“ใซใกใฏ or ใ“ใ‚“ใฐใ‚“ใฏ are not used. If you must place someone on hold or are busy at the moment, you could say shล shล omachikudasai (ๅฐ‘ใ€…ใŠๅพ…ใกไธ‹ใ•ใ„). This means please wait for a moment, and the other person would know to be patient for a little bit.
๐Ÿ“ฑWhen ending the phone call, two different greetings are used depending on the formality of the call. If the call was very formal or a request was made, it is respectful to end with shitsurei shimasu (ๅคฑ็คผใ—ใพใ™). This implies that you are grateful for being able to have the conversation and would like to thank the other person for taking time out of their day to participate in the call.
For an informal call, you could end with jฤne (ใ˜ใ‚ƒใ‚ใญ) or matane (ใพใŸใญ), which both mean, "Bye, see you soon."
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Image Courtesy of Pixabay

๐Ÿก At Home

Greetings at home are used to maintain unity amongst all family members. Unity is one of the main Japanese family values. Using these greetings on a daily basis ensures that everyone in the family feels connected and loved.
  • Ittekimasu (ใ„ใฃใฆใใพใ™): I am leaving
    • Used by all family members when leaving home
    • Lets everyone else know of their departure
  • Itterasshai (ใ„ใฃใฆใ‚‰ใฃใ—ใ‚ƒใ„): Bye, travel safe *no literal translation
    • Used by all family members in response to the person leaving
    • Shows that all are aware of a family member's departure
  • Tadaima (ใŸใ ใ„ใพ): I am home
    • Used by all family members when they first come home
  • Okaeri (ใŠๅธฐใ‚Š): Welcome back
    • Used by all family members in response to a person returning home
Example:
ใŸใ ใ„ใพใ€‚ I am home.
ใŠๅธฐใ‚Šใ€‚ไปŠๆ—ฅใฏ็–ฒใ‚ŒใŸ๏ผŸ Welcome home. Are you tired?

๐Ÿ”‘ Key Words

  • Aisatsu (ใ‚ใ„ใ•ใค): Greeting
  • Ohayลgozaimasu (ใŠใฏใ‚ˆใ†ใ”ใ–ใ„ใพใ™): Good Morning (formal)
  • Ohayล (ใŠใฏใ‚ˆใ†): Good Morning (informal)
  • Konnichiwa (ใ“ใ‚“ใซใกใฏ): Hello
  • Hajimemashite (ใฏใ˜ใ‚ใพใ—ใฆ): Nice to meet you
  • Konbanwa (ใ“ใ‚“ใฐใ‚“ใฏ): Good Evening
  • Sayลnara (ใ•ใ‚ˆใ†ใชใ‚‰): Good bye
  • Denwa (้›ป่ฉฑ): phone
  • Moshi moshi (ใ‚‚ใ—ใ‚‚ใ—): Hello (used during phone calls)
  • Shล shล omachikudasai (ๅฐ‘ใ€…ใŠๅพ…ใกไธ‹ใ•ใ„): Please wait for a moment
  • Shitsurei shimasu (ๅคฑ็คผใ—ใพใ™): Thank you, good bye (formal)
  • Jฤne (ใ˜ใ‚ƒใ‚ใญ), Matane (ใพใŸใญ): Bye (informal)

๐Ÿ’ฅ Strive for a Five Vocabulary

  • Hyลgen (่กจ็พ): expression
  • Gozen (ๅˆๅ‰): a.m.
  • Gogo (ๅˆๅพŒ): p.m.
  • Asa (ๆœ): morning
  • Yoru (ๅคœ): night
  • Au (ไผšใ†): to meet a person
  • Ie ni kaeru (ๅฎถใซๅธฐใ‚‹): to go home
  • Tลi (้ ใ„): far
  • Chikai (่ฟ‘ใ„): close
  • Kojin (ๅ€‹ไบบ): individual
  • Kankei (้–ขไฟ‚): relationship

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