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Japanese Greetings for Special Occasions

Japanese Greetings for Special Occasions

Using the correct greeting in Japan is important, especially when meeting people for the first time in a social situation.

Celebrations

  • Happy Birthday.
    O-tanjoubi omedetou gozaimasu. (formal)
    お誕生日おめでとうございます。 Tanjoubi omedetou. (casual)
    誕生日おめでとう。
  • Congratulations.
    Omedetou gozaimasu.
    おめでとうございます。
    Omedetou. (casual)
    おめでとう。

The form "gozaimasu(ございます)" is more formal. It is added when you are talking with somebody who is not a family member or a close friend. To reply, "Arigatou gozaimasu(ありがとうございます)" or "Arigatou(ありがとう)" is used.

  • Congratulations on your wedding.
    Go-kekkon omedetou gozaimasu. (formal)
    ご結婚おめでとうございます。
    Kekkon omedetou. (casual)
    結婚おめでとう。

The honorific "o (お)" or "go (ご)" can be attached to the front of some nouns as a formal way of saying "your". It is very polite.

When Speaking With Somebody Who Is Sick

  • How are you feeling?
    Guai wa ikaga desu ka.
    具合はいかがですか。
  • How is your cold?
    Kaze wa dou desu ka.
    風邪はどうですか。
  • Thanks to your help, I have gotten better.
    Okagesama de yoku narimashita.
    おかげさまでよくなりました。

"Okagesama de(おかげさまで)" can be used whenever you announce good news in answer to someone's concerned inquiry.

  • Please take care of yourself.
    Odaiji ni.
    お大事に。

To reply "Odaiji ni (お大事に)", "Arigatou gozaimasu (ありがとうございます)" is used.

Click this link to learn how to say "Happy New Year" in Japanese.


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