Episode 13: Greetings

Good manners and proper etiquette is a cultural value very important to Japanese society. Key components of this are greetings said throughout the day and in various situations, such as “good morning” or “good evening”. Knowing these greetings and when to say them will be quite useful when speaking with Japanese or visiting Japan. Not only will Japanese appreciate your knowledge of these greetings and will think that you have good manners, they might even be impressed or shocked that you know them. Either way, one thing is for certain, knowing some of these phrases and using them at the appropriate moment will impress the average Japanese person. The word for greetings in Japanese is “aisatsu”.

Episode Topics:
Phrases for: meeting people, greeting people at different times of day, greeting people whom you have not seen in a long time, parting or ending a conversation, leaving from and returning to your home, someone else’s home or room, leaving work, welcome, thanks, apology, offering guests refreshments, meal times.

Kaa-chan Corner:
Topic: Japanese government (a brief overview of the system).

Vocabulary List:
(Taro) Aso – current prime minister of Japan. (since September 2008)
麻生太郎 [あそうたろう]
baton tacchi – “baton touch”, pass the baton. バトンタッチ
bikkuri shita – was surprised. びっくり
daitouryou – president. 大統領 [だいとうりょう]
igai – besides (such and such), in addition to (such and such). 以外 [いがい]
iikagen na shigoto shinai – won’t be irresponsible at the job. いい加減な仕事しない [いいかげんなしごとしない]
jimintou – Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). 自民党 [じみんとう]
kazu – numbers. 数 [かず]
kokujin – black person. 黒人 [こくじん]
meiji jidai: Meiji period (1868-1912). 明治時代 [めいじじだい]
mezurashii – rare. 珍しい [めずらしい]
minshutou – Democratic Party of Japan. 民主党 [みんしゅとう]
motenai – can’t have/hold. 持てない [もてない]
mukashi – a long time ago. 昔 [むかし]
nigiru – grasp. 握る [にぎる]
ninzuu – number of people. 人数 [にんずう]
ooi – more of (something). 多い [おおい]
saikin – recently. 最近 [さいきん]
seifu – government. 政府 [せいふ]
seiken – political power, right to run government. 政権 [せいけん]
seitou – political party. 政党 [せいとう]
senkyo – election. 選挙 [せんきょ]
shushou – prime minister. 首相 [しゅしょう]
yameru – quit, resign. 辞める [やめる]

Further Reading:
Greetings at about.com
Greetings at learn-japanese.info
Greetings at ABC Brisbane
Gomenkudasai example
Japanese Bowing
Bowing etiquette in Japan
How to politely bow in Japan
Wikipedia entry on the Liberal Democratic Party
Wikipedia entry on the Democratic Party of Japan

Episode transcript PDF (Japanese portion includes furigana) (interview not transcribed)

Download Podcast:
Episode 13 – Greetings

2 Responses to “Episode 13: Greetings”

  • Just wondering if you will be publishing any episodes beyond Episode 13? Love your work and would like to hear more. Thanks…

  • Thank you so much for this series. I listen to them repeatedly and have found them all to be very helpful. I greatly enjoyed the Kaa-chan corner section, particularly the one in which your mother explained some Japanese customs around funerals.

    Thank you again, I could listen to なるほど podcasts all day

    With kind regards from the UK


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