[Conversational Japanese] Greetings “When we meet”

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When walking around Japan you will have noticed Japanese people bowing to each other while conversing. Here in Japan greetings are a very important aspect of everyday life. In Japan, others often judge the type of person you are by your manners. In Japanese there are everyday expressions used amongst friends and there is “Keigo” which means “honorific” expressions. “Keigo” is used to convey respect to others when they are older than you or your superior.

About greetings in Japan

In Japanese, greetings depend on the situation. There are greetings used when meeting or acknowledging others which have formal, almost ceremonial, actions to go along with them.
There are greetings to show appreciation when you are shown favour. There are manners to convey sincere apologies when you have inconvenienced others. This is shown by particular “words” and “gestures”.
Greetings vary depending on regional dialects and age groups.
I would like to show you some commonly used greetings.

(1) “Greetings when meeting Polite version”

I will introduce you to polite version of greetings in everyday life here.
Please try saying the greetings below aloud, while performing “Ojigi”, the action of tilting your head about 15 degrees downward and smiling.

Morning: “Ohayou gozaimasu” Good morning

Daytime: “Konnichiwa” Hello

(Can be used from 10 am-dusk)

Night: “Konbanwa” Good evening

Before bed: “Oyasuminasai” Good night

When people part: “Sayounara” Good bye