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How to say hello in Japanese

Hello in Japanese! All the Japanese greetings you need to know with sound files.

First things first, the most common way to say "hello" in Japanese is:

こんにちは!

konnichiwa!
Hello

This literally means, "as for this day" and it is used through most of the day, particularly in the late morning through the afternoon.

Here are some other "hello" words in Japanese you should know. The following two sound files are used in the morning. "Good morning." The second one is more polite. This literally means, "early."

おはよう

ohayou
Good morning

おはようございます

ohayou gozaimasu
Good morning (more polite)

In general, the longer the phrase in Japanese, the more polite.

Now that you know good morning and hello (or good afternoon) in Japanese, let's learn how to say "good evening" and then "good night" (before you go to bed).

こんばんは

konbanwa
Good evening

おやすみ

oyasumi
Good night (said before bed)

おやすみなさい

oyasumi nasai
Good night (more polite)

Let's look at one more common "hello." This is used when answering the phone. Most English speakers answer the phone with a "hello," but in Japanese it is:

もしもし

moshi moshi
hello (for the phone)

Want more basic beginner words and phrases with sound? See our Basic Japanese Phrases page.

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