Greetings for Special Occasions

How to Say Happy Birthday in Japanese

Happy birthday
andresr / Getty Images

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

Celebrations

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.

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

"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. 

Click this link to learn how to say "Happy New Year" in Japanese.