How to Say Hello in Japanese

By ken cannon - 12:21 AM

Screenshot of teaching Japanese greetings
How to say "Hello" in Japanese

Hello is one of the first things you say to a new person, so to help you make a great first impression here's how to say hello in Japanese!

To learn more Japanese greetings head over to my newsletter for new weekly videos!

Ken Cannon

Video Transcript

Hey this is Ken Cannon and  welcome to my first video in like 12 years, sorry to keep you waiting, but I've really had a lot of good excuses. Some I'm even pretty proud of; it took me a while to come up with them too. But to spare to guys the shame of a chronic procrastinator I’ll just jump into today's lesson.
Today I’m gonna be talking about, how to say hello in Japanese.
Ok I know you're probably thinking two things,
one, what kind of teacher teaches how to swear before he teaches how to say hello.
And two, since when did he get so damn boring?
Ok, well the reason I’m teaching you this now is that in anime, drama, or manga, which is what I focus this channel towards, they don’t really greet each other all that much. In fact greetings are boring, which is why everybody knows that cussing is much more useful.
Ok I’m kidding, but today what I want to teach is 10 different ways to say hello.
Because just like in English, there’s hello, but theres also, what's up, how's it going, how's your mama, there's many different ways to greet each other in Japanese. And I’ve come up with the top ten ways. I know I do like my top tens, it just sounds so much more official than, uh yea dude, heres some different ways to say hello…
Number 1 way!
This actually means good morning, but in Japan this is the general term you use to greet people all the way up till 11. Unfortunately I never get to use this one since I usually wake up around 3…
(Pronunciation guide)
Now if you wanna get fancy, you can add "gozaimasu" to the end of this. To make ohaiyo gozaimasu. Saying it this way is more formal, so you'd generally use it with, teachers, seniors or anyone you'd want to impress…
Ohaiyo gozaimasu!! Miley!
(Picture of Miley Cyrus)
Ok number 2
Now this is the term you use from 11 to about 6, so you could equate it to the English good afternoon.
(Pronunciation guide)
This one also has a cute lil variation, koncha! Its really more like a contraction of sorts, created from people saying konnichiwa really fast. This is something you’d use if you’re an 8 year old girl, (picture of fat man)
OK number 3
Here it is, I know you’ve been waiting for it, this is what you use anywhere from 6 to… well, bed time, or well, whenever the naked girl in the cake goes home.
(Pronunciation guide)
This one is a bit formal, so like "gozaimasu" youd use it when you want to impress someone. When you might use this is when your like going over to meet a girl's parents or something.
Konbanwa! Miley no otosan! (picture of fat man)
And here we have number 5
Moshi moshi!
This one is a lot closer to the actually English “hello,” since this is strictly used on the phone!
(pronunciation guide)
Now the legend goes that this phrase was developed by the Japanese to keep foxes from calling them, because as everybody knows, foxes can’t say moshi moshi. I mean come on.
“moshi moshi”
“Hora, moshi moshi wo ittemi” ne, moshi  moshi” give phone to cat
 “Hora ne, kitsuni tte baka dakara”
Alright on to Number 6
Ok im a liar, yoroshiku doesn’t mean hello, it actually means something like “give me your best regards” which is so much simpler..
“Pronunciation guide”
Now just like ohaiyo, you can add a formality to the end of it to make it well… more formal. Onegaishimasu. However since this is such a weird word, I’ll give you a couple examples of when you’d want to “give them their best regards”
I'm a new student here, yoroshiku
Lets make this the best lemonade stand ever guys! Yoroshiku
Im a new employee here, yoroshiku
OK on to number 7
This one is used for more tough guys, kinda like an english "yo." It’s also used a lot by guys who do judo and stuff.
(Pronunciation guide)
Apparently this came from people saying, ohaiyogozaimasu really fast. And then it just got shortened. But now it's used for anytime of the day among other equally tough guys.
Picture of Sakura, and chikan.
This also has several little variations: ussu, wiiss. But all mean the same and just said for cool purposes.
Number 8!
This can also mean thank you, and yes it’s the domo from Domo Arigato Mr. Robato. But you can also use this as a greeting, it definetly has an air of formality. I probably wouldn’t use this with my friend, but it’s not as stuffy as adding gozaimasu or onegaishimasu.
So I suppose formality wise it fits in about here….
(hard gay)
Number 9!
This is for the cool guys, definitely wouldn’t use this with your teacher. So basically it works just like the English "yo," with a bit more of a drawn out tone.
(Pronunciation guide)
"Yo" is also a sentence ender particle, meaning you can stick it at the end of a sentence to make a verbal exclaimation point.
Watch out Yo!!!
(Abunai yo)
Ok and number 10
This is probably the least common, but you wil hear it, especially amoung… fruitier characters? Ok whatever the oppsitie of tough guy is that doesnt make me sound like a jackass…
(Pronunciation guide)
So like I said it's used amoung more fruitier charcters, so basically people like this guy…
(ken cannon) yaaa…
Alright! That was it for the top ten ways to say hello in Japanese, as always thanks for all your support and you can also go over to Japanese Through Anime, there should be a link in the down bar for a bunch more greeting and hello related words.

Ken Cannon

  • Share:

You Might Also Like