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Greetings for Special Occasions

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Using the correct greeting in Japan is important when meeting people for the first time in social situations.

Celebrations

  • Happy Birthday.
    O-tanjoubi omedetou gozaimasu. (formal)
    お誕生日おめでとうございます。 

    Tanjoubi omedetou. (casual)
    誕生日おめでとう。

  • Congratulations.
    Omedetou gozaimasu.
    おめでとうございます。
    Omedetou. (casual)
    おめでとう。
  • The form "gozaimasu (ございます)" is more polite. It is added when you are talking with somebody who is not a family members or a close friend. To reply, "Arigatou gozaimasu (ありがとうございます)" or "Arigatou (ありがとう)" is used.

  • Congratulations on your wedding.
    Go-kekkon omedetou gozaimasu. (formal)
    ご結婚おめでとうございます。
    Kekkon omedetou. (casual)
    結婚おめでとう。
  • The honorific "o (お)" or "go (ご)" can be attached to the front of some nouns as a formal way of saying "your". It is very polite.

    To somebody who is sick

  • How are you feeling? 
    Guai wa ikaga desu ka.
    具合はいかがですか。

  • How is your cold?
    Kaze wa dou desu ka.
    風邪はどうですか。

  • Thanks to your help, I have gotten better.
    Okagesama de yoku narimashita.
    おかげさまでよくなりました。
  • "Okagesama de (おかげさまで)" can be used whenever you announce good news in answer to someone's concerned inquiry. 

  • Please take care of yourself.
    Odaiji ni.
    お大事に。
  • To reply "Odaiji ni (お大事に)", "Arigatou gozaimasu (ありがとうございます)" is used. 

    Related Video
    Learn Japanese:  Greetings for Special Occasions
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