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How to Greet the Locals for Your Next Trip to Japan

Just like in the English language, there are various ways to greet a person in Japanese. The main greetings of good morning, good afternoon, and good evening are chosen based on the time of day. Hereís a brief rundown to get you started:

Good morning

The Japanese word for ìgood morningî is ìohayouî.  The ending ìgozaimasuî can be added for politeness, extending the phrase to ìohayou gozaimasuî. Pronounced: Oh-high-yoh go-zeye-ee-moss.

Hello / Good afternoon

For a more generic greeting meaning ìhelloî, the Japanese say ìkonnichiwaî. This is used in the late morning hours and through to the late afternoon. Pronounced: Kohn-nee-chee-wah.

Good evening

During the evening hours, the Japanese say, ìkonbanwaî which translates to ìgood eveningî in English. Pronounced: Kohn-bahn-wah.

As you can see, choosing the proper Japanese greeting is as easy as determining the time of day. So the next time you travel to Japan, youíll have no trouble greeting the Japanese people in their own language.


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