We will now take a deeper look at the greetings we have already learned in a previous lesson, and introduce you to other greetings. Greeting in Japanese is aisatsu (あいさつ).

Saying goodbye

   There are a lot of different ways you can say goodbye in Japanese depending on who you're talking to, where you are going and the length of time you will be gone for.

   The word mata (また) means again. Ja is close to the English word then or well. You will also see the particle ne used bellow which adds a friendly emphasis to the situation.

   (see you) again tomorrow = mata ashita ne (また明日ね)

   well (see you) again = ja mata ne (じゃまたね)

   (see you) again = mata ne (またね)

   then (see you) again = ja mata (じゃまた)

   then (bye) = ja (じゃ)

   Sometimes instead of ja you will see the word dewa (では) used. In these cases they both mean the same thing and are interchangeable. There are also many other combinations you can put together just like the examples above.

Coming and going

   In Japanese there are set phrases that are used when someone leaves their home. When you leave you say ittekimasu (行ってきます). The casual form is ittekuru (行って来る). This word literally means will go and come, but it's used in the same way as the English phrases;

   ● I am leaving now
   ● I'm going out
   ● Be right back

   When someone leaves their home usually the other people in that home would say itterasshai (いってらっしゃい), which literally means to go and welcome. It is kind of like the English phrases;

   ● Come back soon
   ● See you when you get back
   ● We await your return

   When you return home you say tadaima (ただいま). This word means any of the following;

   ● I'm back now
   ● I'm home now
   ● I've returned

   When you welcome someone home you say okaeri (お帰り) which means welcome home. You can also say okaeri nasai (お帰りなさい) in formal situations.

   Nowadays not everyone in Japan says these set phrases each time. Some families rarely use these phrases and others use them often. It all depends on the family and the persons personality.

How are you

   Because Japanese is a different language from English, we don't use the same greetings as there are in English. Instead of asking how are you in Japanese, we would ask if someone is genki.

   Genki (元気) is a word that doesn't have an English translation but it roughly corresponds to being healthy, full of energy and in good spirits. When you say this word to someone else, adding the honorable o before it can make it polite.

   Are (you) genki? = ogenki desu ka (お元気ですか)

   Are (you) genki? = genki desu ka (元気ですか)

   In casual conversations it is most common to ask this with just a rise in intonation. To reply you can reply the exact way except without the rise in intonation.

   (Are you) genki? = genki? (元気?)

   (I am) genki = genki (元気)

   (I am) so-so = maa maa desu (まあまあです)