Are you looking for different ways to say thank you in Japanese? Aside from the standard ありがとう(pronounced as arigatou), there are several formal and casual words/phrases that you can use when in conversation with the locals. In this post, we will discuss all the polite expressions used by the Japanese people so that you can bravely express gratitude while preventing miscommunication. After all, the Japanese culture dictates that the locals are very particular about using the right words to carry various meanings depending on the context. Get to know more about this by reading below.
No matter where you are in the world, it is impossible not to find an opportunity to thank someone. As humans, it is natural for us to go through the trouble just so we can provide help to a friend or even a stranger. And if you are someone who basically received help, the best way to show your appreciation is by giving them a sweet “thank you” in a language close to their hearts.
In the case of the Japanese people, please note that it is natural for them to always say thank you or sorry. In fact, they say it so often, to the point that some expressions for saying sorry are also used for saying thank you. For instance, when you get invited to a Japanese home, and you give your omiyage, you can see them bow almost instantly and hear the other person saying すみません or sumimasen. Technically, this specific word has the same meaning as “sorry” or “excuse me” but is also used for showing appreciation.
Are you ready to be aware of the ways you can say thanks? Read on below.
Practice How To Say Thank You In Japanese
Suppose you plan to walk the streets of Tokyo or experience the Japanese culture and real life in the Kansai area. In that case, you need to get ready with some of the best expressions and greeting in the Japanese language, which can make your whole travel experience much more accessible and fun. To help you get started, we are listing below the 10 easy ways to say thank you in Japanese, including words and phrases with a polite form, slang version, and formal version. If you are ready to make some friends, take note of the examples below.
- ありがとう ご ざ い ます- Arigatou Gozaimasu
- どもありがとう ご ざ い ます – Domo Arigatou Gozaimasu
- ありがとう- Arigatou
- どうも – Doumo
- あざす – Azasu
- すみません – Sumimasen
- おそれいります- Osore Irimasu
- おおきにありがとう- Ookini Arigatou
- ありがとうございました – Arigatou Gozaimashita
- 拝謝申し上げます- Haisha Moushiagemasu
When speaking politely with someone of higher social status than you (like a government official or policeman), you can always say arigatou gozaimasu. It is the most basic polite form there is. For the locals, it is also fine to use when you are speaking with your employer or a teacher. If you are thinking of visiting Japan and not trouble yourself with the other ways to say thank you in Japanese, you can just memorize this form, as this can be used for both casual and formal situations.
Also known as doumo arigatou gozaimasu, this expression is particularly useful for formal interactions and when someone has truly made an effort to help you. By adding the word doumo or domo, you are basically saying “thank you very much,” which helps you emphasize how truly grateful you are. This is best used with your superiors, employers, or even family members.
Arigatou is perhaps the most commonly used expression for saying thanks, but please note that this is casual and best used only among close friends or Japanese people of the same social class. Since this is mainly used by characters in anime when talking, we bet that this is one of the words you can recognize the most!
If you do not want to use a long casual phrase, you may consider using doumo or domo instead. As a rule of thumb, please do not forget that it is considered a slang form of saying thank you, which is why it is best used with really close friends. By using this when thanking your bosses, they might get offended.
You probably want to feel closer to the Japanese slang and learn its version of saying thank you. In that case, you can use azasu, but only with your friends or siblings, as slang is a colloquial word that you can use only in informal conversations. So, azasu is one of the Japanese words that you should absolutely avoid using in business situations, or you can get in trouble with your boss!
As we have discussed before, sumimasen is a catchall word that can mean thank you and sorry. This is perfect for formal interactions with Japanese citizens. Japanese is all about feelings, after all. For example, you would use sumimasen when you feel gratitude towards someone who was inconvenienced or has gone out of their way to help you.
If you want to know a specific way of saying thank you in Japanese for special occasions and business situations, you can express gratitude by saying osore irimasu. While you can also use this with friends, it may look unnatural, so reserve it only for when you are talking with someone of higher social status or who has greatly helped you.
This is basically the same with domo arigatou and is mainly used in the Kansai area. Like sumimasen, this word also has another meaning and can be used to say “please” in Japanese.
If you want to say thanks in the past tense, you can remove the “gozaimasu” in the Arigatou Gozaimasu and change it to Gozaimashita.
Social class is important in the Japanese way of life. If you want to exhibit respect when speaking with the locals, you can sincerely express gratitude by saying “Haisha Moushiagemasu.”
Now Keep Practicing!
Now that you know different ways to say ‘thank you’ in Japanese, you are ready to start your trip and engage in valuable conversations with natives!
Does any of these words sound similar to your language? Let us know in the comment section below!
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