Japanese

“Have A Good Day” In Japanese

If you want to learn how to say have a good day in Japanese, then you’re in the right place. I’m going to be covering this phrase in detail down below along with some alternative phrases that you can use as well.

The reason why I’m giving you multiple phrases in today’s post is because some of them are more appropriate to use than others depending on where you find yourself in the moment.

For example, there is a different phrase for when you leave work and when you leave the house. It might also get boring to only use one type of farewell, so learning a little variety is a good thing. Keep on reading to learn them now!

Have A Good Day In Japanese

How often do you tell someone to have a good day in English? If you’re like me, it’s quite a bit. Especially when you have a full-time job and you see the same people over and over again. It’s a good idea to say on good terms with them.

At any rate, the Japanese equivalent for this common English phrase is:

  • 良い一日をお過ごしください
  • yoi ichinichi o sugoshi kudasai
  • have a good day

But as it turns out there is a shorter version of this phrase which can be used in place of it. All you have to do is drop the verb ending and instead say:

  • 良い一日をお
  • yoi ichinichi o
  • good day (to you)

Japanese people will know what you mean when using this shorter phrase. But that being said, it’s actually not common to say either of these phrases to Japanese people!

This is another one of those differences in communication style between Western culture and the Japanese. It’s kind of similar to how Japanese people don’t ask “How’s it going?” every day like an American would.

One of the reasons is because it’s a phrase that is seen more often in writing, and hence a formal correspondence with its own rules and customs, rather than during conversation.

Although you might hear this phrase in certain situations on TV, it’s actually best to avoid using this phrase when you wish to part with someone in Japan (japango.life).

Instead, try using one of the options below.

Leaving Home

When you’re leaving home, there is a set phrase that you typically say to your family members who are still in the house.

  • 行ってきます!
  • itte kimasu!
  • I’m off; See you later!

This phrase literally says “I’m going and coming back” which makes sense because you know that you’re going to return home once you’re done with work, school, or what whatever else is on your agenda.

Then the people who are still at home respond with another set phrase that can be understood to mean “have a good day” in Japanese. It’s not a translation of that English phrase, but rather an equivalent meaning of wishing someone well as they depart.

  • 行ってらっしゃい!
  • itte rasshai!
  • Have a good day; Take care!

The thing to keep in mind with these phrases is that the first one is used by the person leaving home, and the second one is used by the person remaining at home.

Due to this limited situation where these phrases can be used, I don’t want to spend too much more time going over them. So let’s take a look at some other situations now.

Leaving Work

When you’re at work, you spend a lot of time with your co-workers. Because of this, you build relationships with them that are based on trust and mutual need.

Partly due to that, and also due to the group consciousness of the culture, the typical Japanese phrase that you would use when leaving is:

  • お先に失礼します
  • o saki ni shitsurei shimasu
  • pardon me for leaving (first)

This is a phrase where you’re admitting that you are leaving the office before others, and potentially causing them to have to do more work, so you’re apologizing for being rude (失礼).

In an American office, we don’t really think this way and so telling you’re co-workers “have a good day” or “night” would be a typical thing to say as you leave.

Getting back to Japanese, this phrase also has a response like the “home” phrase did. In this case people who remain at work will say:

  • お疲れ様でした
  • otsukare sama deshita
  • thank you for your hard work

This is a way of acknowledging the person who is leaving for their hard word that they put in that day. Again, we might just say “have a good night” in English, but the Japanese way is not the same as Westerners.

What about a situation where you’re not leaving work or your home? Let’s take a look at that now.

Saying Goodbye

To be honest, the most common parting in Japanese is a simple form of saying good bye.

This could be a quick じゃまた (ja mata) or even a またね (mata ne) between friends when they go their separate ways. Both of these phrases mean “see you later” and are pretty casual ways to leave someone.

An alternative that you could use if you wanted to would be the phrase ご機嫌よう (go kigen you) which is a really interesting one because it can be used as both a greeting and a farewell.

I won’t go into the details for using it to greet someone, but as for the parting-half of it, it basically means “adieu; farewell” and is a good phrase to use when you want to politely wish an acquaintance or a stranger well as you leave them.

Now We Must Part

That’s all that I’ve got for you in today’s lesson on wishing someone a good day.

Like I mentioned before, it’s not really the same situation in Japanese so we have to use alternative strategies in order to leave someone with a nice parting word or phrase.

If you have any questions about the words and phrases that we covered today, then please feel free to let me know by asking them down below in the comments section.

Otherwise I will catch you all next time!

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