How do I say hello and goodbye in Japanese?

Maybe you have Japanese friends or wish to make some by suddenly impressing them with greetings from their native language. Well here is the knowledge you need. Like most languages Japan has a lot of different ways to greet. The most common of which you’ll probably already know.

Hello

Hello is commonly translated to Konnichiwa (Kon-ee-chee-wa).

This is basically correct. Although in Japan greetings are more strongly based on the time of day than say English. In the morning on meeting someone you know – a Japanese person is highly unlikely to say “konnicihwa”. Instead they will say the equivalent of good morning.

Hello said in the morning (like “good morning) is Ohaiyou Gozaimasu (O-hi-yo Go-za-eye-mass).

Hello said around noon is good old, Konnichiwa.

Hello said after noon (like “good afternoon”) is Konbanwa (Kon-ban-wa).

That’s pretty much all the greetings you’ll need. If you’re answering the phone, rather, than saying one of the above you say “Moshi, Moshi” (mosh-ee, mosh-ee).

It you haven’t seen each other in a long time then something a little like, “long time no see” is commonly said – Sashiburi (sa-she-bu-ree)

Goodbye

I’m sure most people are familiar with goodbye it’s Sayonara (Sa-yo-na-ra).

If you’re a close friend the casual way of saying goodbye is Ja-ne (like jar-neigh!)

Japanese people will also say “bai – bai” can you imagine how this is pronounced? (Pro-tip: Bye bye)

If it’s very late then you will be more likely to say “Good Night” this is “Oyasuminasai” (Oi!-ya-sue-me-naa-sa-eye).

You are now are an expert greeter and can have that job as a door man that you’ve always secretly longed for.

Edit: There have been a few comments about さよなら having a う as in さようなら。Both spellings are used see (http://language.tiu.ac.jp/materials/jpn/yomi/yomi02.html). In this page I've tried to give the a spelling so that some coming from English would be more likely to pronounce it recognisably.

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