[Conversational Japanese] “Saying Thank You”

Written by Editorial department
11 Dec 2016
Last update :

In the first installment of “GOOD LUCK TRIP JAPAN – Conversational Japanese,” we introduced phrases to use when meeting someone. In this second installment, we will introduce words that express gratitude.

Saying Thank You

“Always feel gratitude” is a Japanese saying. To the polite Japanese people, expressing gratitude is incredibly important.

ありがとうございます / “Arigatou gozaimasu”

“Arigatou gozaimasu” is used to express gratitude to your superiors and colleagues. In addition, for the most part, regardless of status or age, women tend to use this phrase. It is also good to use this phrase while bowing.

“Arigatou gozaimasu” By children♡

ありがとう / “arigatou.”

When thanking family or close friends, use “arigatou.”

“arigatou” By children♡

本当にありがとうございます / “hontou ni arigatou gozaimasu.”

In addition, when you want to express even stronger gratitude, you emphasize it by saying “hontou ni arigatou gozaimasu.” Adding “hontou ni” at the start highlights the level of gratitude. You would use this, for example, when thanking someone who saved you.

すみません&すみません / “Sumimasen” & “Suimasen”

Furthermore, there are various situations in which you would use “sumimasen,” an apologetic phrase, while expressing gratitude. (The third installment of Conversational Japanese will cover apologies.) This is a bit lighter than using “arigatou gozaimasu.” For example, you could use “sumimasen” when receiving change from a clerk at a convenience store, when someone lights your cigarette for you, or when someone moves out of your way. “Sumimasen” and “suimasen” both mean the same thing, with the latter being slightly easier to pronounce.

“Sumimasen” By children♡

All of the above are common ways to express gratitude.

Next, as a bonus, we will introduce phrases often used between young people!