Monday, 11 July 2011

Greetings!

Its very rare that greeting someone isn't the very first thing one learns when learning a language so I thought I'd shed some light on the initial greeting. I'm assuming you are well versed with the 46 Hiragana syllabary but in case you aren't, I'll just use Romaji along with Hiragana.
Two of the languages I'm familiar with have no distinctive form of greeting depending on the time of the day so it did come to me as a surprise when I found out it wasn't the same with the Japanese.

Good Morning -  おはよう ございます!(the "す" at the end is cut down to an "s" when pronouncing)
 Romaji - Ohayoo gozaimasu!

Good Afternoon - こんにちは!(the "は" at the end is a particle so it pronounced as "wa")
Romaji - Konnichiwa!

Good evening - こんばんは!(It literally means "as for this night")
Romaji - Konbanwa!
You'll learn more about particles as you get to learn Japanese grammar.

As an added bonus, here are some manners as well -

Thank You - ありがとう ございます!(Again "す" is cut down to "s" when pronouncing, applies for all words ending with masu and desu).
Romaji - Arigatou gozaimasu!

Excuse me/ Sorry - すみません (This word can be used when you need some one's attention or a formal way of saying sorry).
Romaji - Sumimasen.

Sorry - ごめん なさい (This is the word you use when you're really trying to apologize to someone than just a passable "sumimasen")
Romaji - Gomen nasai!

Well, that's it for this update, I hope you don't go blank when a Japanese greets you. Want some more? here's a tip, don't push yourself too hard when learning vocabulary, learn a few words on a daily basis and you'll be surprised with how much your vocabulary's been improved after a while.

Note - There are no spaces between words in Japanese however, for your convenience I made an exception.
 Edit -  Konbanwa literally means "as for this night" rather than "that's it for tonight".

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