Greetings in Japanese

22 Jun

I sometimes question myself if there’s any point that I have to make learning Japanese videos by myself when there are so many free videos and lessons available online. But at a moment I’m doing this as per request or when I think it’s easier than I explain by text. In other words, if you request that you want me to make such and such video about Japanese, I’ll do that for you by first come first served basis. ๐Ÿ™‚

Today it’s about greetings in Japanese. For those who study intermediate or advanced Japanese, greetings sound too easy. But I’m trying to refer to the cultural background of why we say so. Well actually it can be said to any posts of this blog. For example, those who are not interested in fashion can also enjoy Tokyo Kawaii TV for example because it refers to something more than fashion. (Some of my blog readers try to watch it without reading my English summary in order to practice listening Japanese spoken at a natural speed, and then read my English summary for better understandings.)

Kotodama…Kotodama thoughts from wiki
We think this way. Speaking out “Ittekimasu” means that the kotodama protects that person, because he said itte (going) and kimasu (coming back safe and sound). Thus speaking ill of others or speaking out negative things will be harmful in terms of Kotodama thoughts.

Finally, I’m trying to modify Learn Japanese page. As a native Japanese speaker, what do you think I can offer to you in this blog? Answering questions from time to time is not very proactive. I want my “Learn Japanese” page as active as other pages such as Health and Beauty. But I cannot come up with the good questions myself because I never learned Japanese as a second language or a foreign language. It’s a mother language, I don’t know what you find hard or confused. Do you know what I mean? It’s just like that I am often confused in English especially between “a” or “the” or no article needed. Singular or plural, prepositions such as “on” or “in” and “in” or “at”, possessive pronoun such as “our” or “their” or nothing needed…^ ^; At first I was having hard time understanding be type of verb and other verbs. ^ ^;

Please help me improve my Learn Japanese page. Your comments under the comment section or opinions and suggestions from contact page are highly welcomed. Thank you for your participation. ๐Ÿ˜€


36 Responses to “Greetings in Japanese”

  1. Amanda June 22, 2010 at 9:11 am #

    That was really interesting! I already knew the words but I hadn't heard about ่จ€้œŠ before. Japanese spirituality is so interesting. ^_^

    • kirin June 22, 2010 at 11:37 pm #

      I thought this is too easy and might be boring to you considered from your Japanese level, but it's good to know that you learn something new from it. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Megan June 22, 2010 at 10:22 pm #

    Hello Kirin, I like the way you explain things in English, so your "Learning Japanese" videos are very helpful. One thing I do not understand in Japanese grammar is when to use the particles ใฏ or ใŒ. Also, I'm a bit confused with the lack of pronoun usage (he, she, they) in the Japanese language. (^_^ ; ) Do you really not use them at all?


    • kirin June 22, 2010 at 11:43 pm #

      Oh really? If you find my videos are helpful, I'd be happy to create them more. ใฏ and ใŒ…I see. I wonder how I decide which is appropriate when I speak Japanese…:p I'll think about that. Yeah in Japanese we often skip subjects but we understand most of the time. Thank you for suggesting your problems, I'll try to think of how I can explain them and if possible I will make videos on those topics in the future. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Thomas Gantz June 22, 2010 at 11:03 pm #

    That’s very kind of you to make those videos for people interested in improving their Japanese. I hope those people can give you nice feedback so that you know people out their are benefiting from them and so then you have motivation to make more.

    • kirin June 22, 2010 at 11:48 pm #

      Thank you. I wish I had another me who study how to edit and make a cool video including pictures and music too. I have so many things I want to do along with this blog…XD Yes you're right, motivation is the only thing that has made me keep writing new posts and updating new videos.

  4. Steven Stier June 23, 2010 at 4:27 am #

    Yes there are many websites and youtube videos which teach Japanese. However, for me, I need to hear the same information over and over again before it stays in my memory. And It is more interesting to study when that repetition comes from various sources. So please continue to do videos on the Japanese language. Because of you I now know about "Kotodama" Which to you is common knowledge but to me, even after several years of study, is a surprise. Domo Arigauto Gozaimashta.

    • kirin June 23, 2010 at 1:31 pm #

      Thank you for your comment. ๐Ÿ™‚
      OK then I will try to make my Japanese videos like this more in the future. It was a surprise to me that many of those who have studied Japanese are not familiar with kotodama. Maybe such thing is more likely to be omitted. ^ ^;

  5. Momoko June 23, 2010 at 8:27 am #

    Thank you for the video! It was really helpful! Furthermore it was interesting to hear that you say "sorry" more often than "thank you". In Europe it's considered polite to say thank you as often as possible whereas barely anyone says "sorry". People are averse from saying sorry as it kind of implies that something wrong has already been said or made. That's why you only say sorry when you've made a mistake.

    • kirin June 23, 2010 at 1:37 pm #

      Japanese people say sorry very easily, and unlike western (especially the US) society, saying sorry doesn't always admit his faults. For example, we are strongly told that we should be very careful not to say sorry so easily just like we do in Japan especially when when we have a car accident in the U.S. In Japanese society people easily say sorry each other to care for each other. Just saying sorry doesn't simply mean he admits it was his mistake. When I get used to this, I feel so frustrated to see how people do not say sorry in the U.S even when the person is apparently doing something wrongly and that apparently causes me a problem. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

  6. demi June 23, 2010 at 1:23 pm #

    hi, Kirin. I enjoy very much your blog, thank you for sharing so many interesting things!^^
    i liked this video ,too.
    i understood that between friends you wouldn't say " konnichiwa "or" konnbanwa", but will they say instead of them?
    also, i heard about gomenasai and gomen kudasai.from your video i see that "gomen" is a word used between friends. no? but how about gomenasai and gomen kudasai , when are they used?
    when you told the example about making a call, i remembered about "moshi moshi". i think it would be great to know when and how to use it, and what it actually means…
    thank you very much!^^

    • kirin June 23, 2010 at 1:50 pm #

      Between friends, we just ask "moshi moshi~? Ima Daijoubu?" (Hello can I talk to you now?)
      Gomennasai is something inbetween polite and impolite.
      Moushiwake gozaimasen > Moushiwake arimasen > Sumimasen > Gomen nasai > Gomen
      Gomenkudasai is like, "Excuse me, is anyone there?" But…we don't use it often…I guess.

      OK~, next (actually next after next) video is about moshi moshi and telephone manner. ๐Ÿ˜€ I'll tell you something important such as when you should not use it. Stay tuned!

  7. Troo June 23, 2010 at 2:43 pm #

    You may not have learned Japanese as a second language, but you have learned a second language. So think about what confounded you in learning English, because I guarantee it's the reverse of those problems that the English speakers find difficult about Japanese. For example, English has singular and plural versions of words. Japanese has only one version and relies on context to impart numbers. English tends to be more subject-specific, whereas Japanese speakers will tend to drop the subject once the subject is known, and rely on context for a conversation. English doesn't really have particles other than prepositions and postpositions, so particles are baffling to the English-speaker, etc.

    • kirin June 25, 2010 at 4:36 am #

      Oh how well you explain things. I sometimes like that we can skip subjects in Japanese when I am not sure if it was he or she…for example. On the other hand, in English it's useful we can use "you" instead of his or her name. We have to keep adressing to friends with his or her name everytime in Japanese.

  8. Molly June 23, 2010 at 2:53 pm #

    I have always wondered what I should say when a clerk says "irrashaimase." In America when the clerks say "hi," it would be weird or even suspicious not to say anything, so I usually say "hi" back. Thanks for this video. Even though I've bee studying Japanese for 3 years it was still interesting and useful.

    • kirin June 25, 2010 at 4:37 am #

      I know what you mean. But in Japan shop assistants would not expect you to reply to them at all. So don't worry! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  9. Simon June 23, 2010 at 2:59 pm #

    I know about the casual and formal talk differences, but I always wonder at wat point people switch from formal to casual. For example, when you first meet a workmate, you'd use formal speech, right? Over the days, they begin to make friends with one another. At what point would you change from formal to casual?

    Also, you said that sumimasen was a formal "sorry", and gomen(ne) was casual. When is gomenasai used? Is that when you've done something REALLY bad? ๐Ÿ˜›

    Thank you for teaching me about Kotodama! It's very interesting. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • kirin June 25, 2010 at 4:43 am #

      Interesting question! From formal to casual, you'll see the small changes of how your workmates speak to you. When they start to mix up with casual form, you may want to do the same. Little by little. Don't just switch it to casual way over night, which is not natural.

      Sorry I didn't cover Gomennasai. Gomennasai is politer than Gomen or Gomenne, but it's not as polite as Sumimasen. Moushiwake gozaimasen is extremely polite, BTW.

  10. Miki June 24, 2010 at 1:19 am #

    Ah, thank you for sharing this! I am so interested in learning Japanese language (I will hopefully be taking a course soon from a native Japanese) and I find this video very VERY helpful! Thank you so much!

    • kirin June 25, 2010 at 4:44 am #

      Thank you. It's cool to have a chance to learn it from a native speaker!

  11. Ilaria June 24, 2010 at 1:07 pm #

    Hi Kirin!
    I didn't know about Kotodama, it's really interesting!
    Even if I already knew the words your video is useful, 'cause unlike other languages I studied sometimes depending on situation I don't know what to say and which form (polite/unpolite) use. Maybe it's because I don't practice spoken language at all! xD
    I think that telephone manner will be very useful too!!
    And, maybe, some casual expression too will be interesting, what they don't teach you in class!!

    • kirin June 25, 2010 at 4:45 am #

      Thank you Ilaria, I'll cover telephone conversation later. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  12. Nami June 25, 2010 at 8:45 pm #

    I think your videos are always very helpful. I knew these phrases although I did know about kotodama, that was very interesting! Also, the thing about "konnichiwa" was very interesting and helpful. I think it would be great if you could teach us some things like how real locals speak, because in learning books "konnichiwa" is pretty much explained as "hi", so it was really helpful to hear that locals don't use it that way! Perhaps you could explain some grammar to us and such, I hope you'll make more videos in the future~!

    • kirin June 26, 2010 at 12:26 am #

      Thank you for your opinion!!!
      HOW REAL LOCALS SPEAK! This is it! I've noticed that people learn as "hi" = "konnichiwa" and I hear foreign friends talk to me "Konnichiwa!" but…I had to feel something awkward againt that, especially when we meet up or when we are getting very close, it sounds weird to me to hear her saying that to me, but I was not sure what I can do for that.

      Thank you so much for sharing your opinion, which will be very helpful to make more videos in the future! ๐Ÿ˜€

  13. sel June 28, 2010 at 9:17 am #

    Hi Kirin,

    I liked your video. I think intonation is another important issue. Your intonations are for women learners, aren’t they? Should we guys be careful? If so, can you mention how men and women talk in Japanese, and the differences?

    • kirin June 29, 2010 at 2:31 pm #

      Good point, sel.
      But guys can also say "Ohayou" "Gomenne" "Sumimasen" "Itadakimasu" "Okaeri" "Irasshaimase"…anything mentioned in this video. Old men may not say "Gomenne" but these days Japanese guys are becoming…womanly. (Please read this post that describes things better.

      I'll make a video telling how men/women speak differently later. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Thank you for your comment.

  14. Brenda January 4, 2011 at 11:13 pm #

    Hello Kirin!!:D

    I think it's fine to get used to this if you see the greetings as they have to be, but I can't understand on why it would be either weird to act polite with friends such as ใŠใฏใ‚ˆใ†ใ”ใ–ใ„ใพใ™ instead of ใŠใฏใ‚ˆใ†.

    Or why can't you be ไป–ใฎๅธ‚ and ใ‹ใฃใ“ใ„ to a boss or an elder.

    I mean, I'm 13 years old and I love Japanese culture for some reason, and I believe I had to be a Japanese in my past life (If there is one).

    Ha, ha:)

    But, I can and I think I do understand the high respect in Japan (I've read about it), yet isn't there a way to fit in with the elders by being casual?

    If there isn't a way, I will understand the culture behind it.

    I just need to know because I plan to live in Japan when I'm about 20, and I want to learn.

    Also, will I always be seen as a "GAIJIN" (Foreigner), even if I've lived my whole life in Japan, and have learned and done everything concerning and understanding Japanese culture?

    Please help!!

    ~Thanks! -Brenda โค

    • kirin January 5, 2011 at 6:45 am #

      Hi Brenda.
      Thank you for your comment. ๐Ÿ™‚
      I have no idea how Japan will have changed by the time you come to Japan several years later, but I don't think the day will come when we speak in a casual manner to the elder or the people who we are not so close to or the people at work. We are used to it, it's our culture, and natual for us. Between friends if you say ใŠใฏใ‚ˆใ†ใ”ใ–ใ„ใพใ™, that doesn't sound like you are friends, that's more like you work for the friend or you are younger than the friend.

      There are more and more Ganjin in Japan. If you behave like us, speak like us, cook Japanese cuisine well, follow our culture, get a permanet visa or something, and name yourself in Kanji and have it registered and approved in Japan, you will not be regarded as Gaijin any more. Indeed, some foreign athletes have became Japanese and we will not think they are foreigners any more.

  15. Anna January 8, 2011 at 5:27 pm #

    I am in the process of learning the Japanese language. I have done some simple training for greeting, but your tips really helped me. Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚

    • kirin January 9, 2011 at 3:58 am #

      Thank you for your comment, Anna!
      All the best for your Japanese study. ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. sora June 29, 2011 at 3:21 pm #

    thank you very much for that or should i say "arigato guzaimasu" (^w^)that was so helpful u explained so well that i had the wrong idea bout Japanese conversation like what to use and what not X3 ….

    • kirin June 30, 2011 at 1:08 pm #

      Thank you for your comment! ^ ^
      Ah…it's been a long time since I made this video. I was planning to make more but I didn't have enough time to do that. >_<;;

  17. Phil September 26, 2011 at 6:27 pm #

    Hi Kirin, My wife is Japanese so I am trying to learn the language.
    I need to start with the basics so I found your video very helpfull.
    I also like that the translation comes up on the screen too.
    Phil ๐Ÿ˜€

    • kirin September 27, 2011 at 8:54 am #

      Hi Phil. Thank you for your comment. I'm wondering what kind of videos I can make for the people who learn Japanese. But it was nice to know that you liked the pop up translation. ^ ^ I'll try to include that in my Japanese videos that I may create in the future.

  18. Dennis October 2, 2011 at 11:36 pm #

    Arigato gozaimasu!

    Very helpful.

    • kirin October 3, 2011 at 1:10 pm #

      Douitashimashite. ^ ^

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