As you know, politeness is a big part of Japanese culture. In fact, it would be impolite in Japanese if you didn’t respond to a “thank you” with “you are welcome”. I assume you all know how to say thank you in Japanese, which is ありがとう (arigatō), but do you know how to say you are welcome in Japanese?
Well, now you can learn the different ways to say you are welcome in Japanese. Don’t worry, we’re sure you’ll memorize them in a few hours because they are super easy! Let’s start learning Japanese!
The Most Common Phrase To Say You Are Welcome In Japanese
When you look up the phrase in a Japanese dictionary, you’ll probably see this word どう致しまして (dou itashimashite) translated as you’re welcome. However, this is not typically used by native speakers in Japan since it is too formal.
So, let’s take a look at some other phrases with multiple meanings!
Phrases To Use In A Casual Situation
1. いえいえ (Ie ie)
This phrase actually means “no, no”. Japanese people use this phrase when people express gratitude to you, but you think it is no big deal and are trying to be humble.
2. とんでもない (Tondemo nai)
This phrase is the same as “it’s nothing” in English. Make sure that you only use this phrase with those close to you.
3. よかった (Yokatta)
The English translation for this phrase is “I’m glad”. You can either use this on its own or with another sentence such as よかった助けになれて (I am glad, I was able to help you).
4. 気にしないで (Ki ni shinaide)
This phrase means “no worries” which you can replace with you’re welcome in Japanese. Let’s say someone says something like “Thank you so much, is there anything I can do to repay you a favor?” in Japanese. In this context, you can use this phrase to respond to them “It’s okay, no worries”.
5. いえいえ、いつでも声かけて (Ie ie, itsudemo koe kakete)
We’ve already talked about いえいえ in the first phrase so let me explain the latter part of the sentence. This can be translated into English as “Let me know if you need help again”.
Phrases To Use In A Formal Situation
1. 恐縮でございます (Kyoushuku de gozaimasu)
This phrase is used in pretty formal situations and it translates into something along the lines of “I am obliged”.
2. お役に立ってよかった(Oyakunitatte yokatta)
This phrase means “I am glad that I was of use to you”. 役に立って (Yakunitatte) refers to being helpful or useful. With the honorific prefix “お (O)” at the beginning of the word, it becomes more polite and formal. By now, you should already be familiar with よかった (Yokatta) which means I’m glad.
3. こちらこそ (Kochirakoso)
The best translation for this phrase would be “I, who should say so”. You can say this when someone thanks you but you think you are the one who should be thanking them.
こちら (Kochira) actually means “over here” but it can be used to refer to “me” or “myself” as in this phrase.
4. お力になれて幸いです (Ochikara Ni Narete Saiwai Desu)
This phrase is a great way to express how happy you are to be able to help someone. This sentence can be translated as “I’m happy I could be your strength”. This phrase is commonly used in emails, not in person.
5. お役に立てて、光栄です (O Yaku Ni Tate Te, Kouei Desu)
役に立つ (yaku ni tatsu) means to be useful and 光栄です (kouei desu) means deeply honored, so this sentence literally translates to “I’m deeply honored to have been useful”. The closest English equivalent to this phrase is “I’m delighted to have been of service” in terms of meaning and context.
How to Say “You’re Welcome” In Other Dialects
There are different dialects in every country. In the US, there are Northern dialects, Southern dialects, and so on. Japan is the same. Depending on where you travel in Japan, you may hear other dialects besides the standard Tokyo dialect which is referred to as 東京弁 (toukyou-ben).
Other than Tokyo-ben, there is Kansai-ben from Osaka and Kyoto, Hokkaido-ben from the north, and Okinawa-ben from the south.
Let’s look at how different Japanese dialects say you are welcome!
You’re Welcome In Hokkaido Dialect
In the Hokkaido dialect, なんもなんも (nanmo, nanmo) means “you are welcome”. You can also shorten this phrase and say it once instead of twice.
You’re Welcome In Kansai Dialect
関西弁 (Kansai-ben) is notorious among Japanese people. Kansai, which is an area that includes touristic areas such as Osaka and Kyoto, is known for its heavily-accented dialect. That’s why many Japanese comedians make use of this dialect in their jokes.
“You’re welcome” is かまへん (kamahen), or ええから (ee kara) in the Kansai dialect.
You’re Welcome In Okinawa Dialect
The beautiful Okinawan islands in Japan’s southernmost territory have a really unique dialect that probably won’t even sound Japanese to you because it’s actually not! Okinawa used to be another country called The Ryukyu Kingdom.
“You’re welcome” in Okinawan dialect is ぐぶりーさびたん (guburii sabitan).
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