CONTINUATION OF LESSON 1
Are you ready to learn some greetings and expressions? I'm sure that even if you've never learned Japanese before, some of them will be familiar.
So let's get started!
First of all, let's explain some things about the Japanese language. There different ways to speak in Japanese. Three of them are - plain, formal and informal.
It's very important to know that there is a difference because in Japanese society, politeness is held in high regard. They value politeness and if you inappropriately use informal (aka casual) lanugage, then it could be taken as rude or offensive. You don't want to piss off potential clients or business partners!
Plain style is the neutral form and is accepted in society, that is until you learn more Japanese and can distinguish when to use the formal style (it's called 'keigo' in Japanese).
This style is standard textbook language and newscasters on Japanese TV speak in this style as well.
Informal style is a casual form of speaking that should only be used in close relationships such as with friends or family members.
Informal may be tempting to use because in most cases it's a shorter way of saying different expressions (example: ohayou gozaimasu, informal: ohayou), but it's best to only use them outside of your business environment.
Formal style (keigo) is incredibly polite. You can't get more polite than with keigo. It's mainly used when talking to someone who is highly respected or has high status.
GOOD TO KNOW: It's important to know that in Japanese, there are no lower-case or upper-case letters. There are also no spaces in between words.
You may be wondering how you will even be able to tell what's what in a sentence, but not to worry. As you get used to things more and more and expand your knowledge of the language as time goes on, by the time we get to that stuff, you'll be prepared.
Hello. or Good afternoon.
It depends on when and how it's used.
TIP: Pronounce 'n' and 'ni' speparately.
Hello, Mr. Smith.
TIP: The last vowel in gozaimasu is not pronounced.
Pronounced as go-zai-mas
TIP: Used at the beginning of a conversation, not at the end.
TIP: Used only if you won't be seeing the other person for some time.
TIP: To thank for a small favor.
Thank you very much.
Dōmo arigatō gozaimasu.
Thank you very much.
TIP: Use when you want to emphasize how thankful you are.
You are welcome.
TIP: Used when you talk to someone, and to apologize for small faults.
Lit. trans. I accept (the food)
TIP: Used when you start eating as a signal “Let's start.”
Also can be said to the person who is treating you the meal.
Lit. trans. It was a wonderful feast.
TIP: Used when you finished eating.
You can say this to thank the person who treated you the meal.
*Hai. Unlike in English, 'hai' can be used in many different contexts.
Example: It can also be used to answer someone's call.
**Iie. Unlike in English, 'iie' can be used in many different contexts.
It can mean “Don't mention it.” by raising the end of the word when something's not a big deal.
If someone is apologizing for something small, you can say “iie” as in to say “Don't be sorry.”, “No problem.”
If you feel like knowing a bit more besides yes and no, check out these words:
Ariuru koto desu.