The usage of Domo

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Joined: Sun 11.20.2011 8:16 pm
Native language: english

The usage of Domo

Post by tgsc » Tue 02.07.2012 12:43 pm

Can\Should “Domo” be used as a way of saying Hello\Hi?

I’ve heard it used a number of times as a way of saying Hello\Hi in the Japanese media that I’m currently watching.

My understanding is that “Domo” means thanks you in Japanese, but if it can be used for both then it’s going to become my new favourite word. :D

Thanks Tgsc

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Joined: Tue 08.09.2011 12:54 pm
Native language: English

Re: The usage of Domo

Post by SomeCallMeChris » Tue 02.07.2012 2:03 pm

「どうも」 (dou mo) is two words, not one - or technically a word and a postposition particle, if you prefer - and is pretty much impossible to give a literal translation to it, but you could say it means something like 'how very much'.

So it can be idiomatically used as if you were saying 'very much' as the short form of 'thank you very much', or 'very' as the short form of 'very pleased to see you' - which are usually translated as 'thanks' and 'howdy'.

Because these forms are both idiomatic and casual (and どうも can mean a number of other things as well in other contexts), it shouldn't be used as 'a word that means thank you' or 'a word that means hello', because it isn't. Unless you're quite sure it's the appropriate idiomatic expression for the situation, you're better off to choose a word that actually means what you want to say.

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