Ever wondered how to say it in Japanese? Here are different ways to say you are welcome in Japanese
In a country full of people who are highly grateful and respectful, the word, Thank you can be heard echoing down the streets, at homes or even at work. Reciprocating the Japanese’s goodwill can be a little more harder than you thought.
You see, when you look up the a Japanese Dictionary, the first word that pops up to reply to a thank you would be: Dou itashimashite または どう致しまして which means ‘You are welcome.’
However, this is not used so frequently by natives in casual conversations. Did you know there are different ways to say ‘You’re Welcome’ to someone who thanked you in Japanese.
In this article, we will be breaking down the different ways to say “You are welcome ‘’ in Japanese based on the level of their formality.
Different Ways To Say You are Welcome In Japanese
Common Ways to Say ‘You are welcome’:
If you are new in Japan, the most politest expression you can say is:
Dou itashimashite or どう致しまして, for non-Japanese speakers it can be broken down in the following way for proper pronunciation: dou – i – ta – shi – ma – shi – te.
This is commonly used with your family, friends and peers. Keep in mind that this cannot be sued in a formal or business situation.
Let us say for example you treat your japanese friend out for a drink and they thank you, then it’s alright to respond with dou itashimashite.
On the other hand, if you are at an office party and your Japanese boss is thanking you, it might be better to use a more formal phrase.
Different Ways to Say You Are Welcome in A Formal Setting:
When you are being thanked by an older person or a superior, it is best to respond with polite phrases and expressions such as-
Tondemo arimasen ( (とんでもありません )
Don’t mention it/ not at all/ its my pleasure
Although the English translation sounds very informal, the Japanese version is considered very polite to reply to bosses, professionals, seniors, professionals and people with a higher social standing.
O Yaku Ni Tate Te, Kouei Desu ( お役に立てて、光栄です)
I’m deeply honored to have been useful
The above phrase shows politeness and respect while offering a subtle sense of appreciation back to the other person. Another English equivalent to this expression is: ‘I am delighted to have been of service.’
Kyoshukudesu ( (きょうしゅくです) )
I am obliged
This is a shorter version of the expression Koushoku de gozaimasu or 恐縮でございます which is a humble and respectful way to say that there is no need for the person to be thanked because it was their responsibility in the first place to fulfill the task.
It is applicable in formal and business settings but not with helping elderly people with their bags.
Ochikara Ni Narete Saiwai Desu ( お力になれて幸いです。 )
I’m happy I could be your strength
This phrase is an elegant way to express your happiness in helping another person. It is commonly used in emails because it is a polite phrase, but it is not used in person.
Hoka ni mo nanika otetsudai dekiru koto wa arimasen ka? ( ほかにもなにかおてつだいできることはありませんか )
This polite sentence can be used to ask another person if there is anything else that they need help with. It can be used by tourists who want to leave a nice impression on the Japanese locals.
Just like responding to your seniors at work, responding to your coworkers or colleagues in any form of appreciation and gratitude must be done with an adequate sense of politeness. Some common phrases that can be used between coworkers to say you are welcome or also can be used by tourists when conversing with strangers and acquaintances-
Kochira koso ( こちらこそ )
I, who should say so
This phrase can also translate into ‘likewise’ in English. It is the English equivalent of- I should be the one thanking you.’ This can be applicable only to certain scenarios.
You can say this when someone thanks you but you feel like you should be the one thanking them. Common examples would be two co-workers working on a company project or two students helping each other study for an exam.
Ie-ie ( いえいえ )
This is a polite and humble way of declining any form of payment for a favor that has been done. Common examples are when another person offers to pay for the bill or when a busboy offers to carry one’s bags.
Un, itsu demo koe kakete ( ううん、いつでも声こえかけて )
No problem, feel free to let me know if I can help you out
This phrase is used to let a person know that doing the favor was not any trouble and that they should never hesitate to approach the other whenever help is needed for the future.
Enri yoshinaide ( えんりょしないで. )
This is another polite way of telling a person to not be so formal and that they need not say thank you. This is mainly appropriate for budding friendships that doing any favor may not be a problem.
O Ki Ni Nasaranaide Kudasai (お気になさらないでください。)
Please, it’s not a big deal/Don’t mention it
By adding nasaranaide, the phrase becomes quite formal or else it can be used for friends and peers.
Different Ways to Say You Are Welcome in A Casual Setting
In the beginning of this article, I had already mentioned that dōitashimashite is the most common and also casual way to say you are welcome.
Believe it or not, this term is not this term is not frequently used by local Japanese speakers, especially when they speak to family or friends.
When it comes to friends, a person can say you are welcome very casually by using various terms that can range from a single syllable to a slight mouthful of words.
I-yo (いいよー )
This phrase is the shorter version of ‘ki ni shinaide.’ It can also be used to tell somebody that it is simply just okay.
Un ( うん )
No problem/ sure
This is equivalent to the english version of saying yes and it is said with a lot of enthusiasm.
Ki ni shinaide ( きにしないで )
This phrase is often used in a good way to let your friend or family know that they do not have to worry about repaying the favor.
Tasuke ni narete yokatta ( 助たすけになれてよかった )
I was happy to be your help/It’s my pleasure
Although it sounds a little formal when translated into English, the Japanese phrase is used commonly among family and friends, regardless of how close they are.
Wa-i ( はーい )
This is very similar to ‘Un’ and means yes or yeah when translated into English. It also implies to your friend that doing the favor was not a problem in any way.
Ie ie, itsudemo koe kakete ( いえいえ、いつでも声かけて )
Let me know if you need help again
The phrase is used to express gratitude to someone , and is a short and sweet way of saying you are welcome to your friend.
You Are Welcome Translation in Japanese: FAQs
What other common Japanese phrases can we keep in mind?
A few common Japanese phrases to keep in mind include:
– オハヨウゴザイマス means good morning, can be shortened to ‘ohayou’ which means good morning and is acceptable during the afternoon and evening.
– O genki de means Take care, good luck or stay healthy.
– Jaa mata is a casual way of saying goodbye, jaa ne means see ya and jaa mata ashita ne means see you tomorrow.
– omennasai means “I’m sorry” and is used casually for friends and family.
– スミマセン means excuse me or a way to express gratitude during troublesome situations.
Why is it important to learn and understand the different ways to say you are welcome?
-It is no surprise that politeness is a big part of Japanese culture so it is impolite if you didn’t respond to a ‘thank you’ with ‘you are welcome’ In Japan.Their language is structured politely, both written and spoken. So, it is better to brush up on your Japanese vocabulary skills if you ever plan to visit Japan anytime soon.
There you have it, there are tons of ways to tell someone: ‘You are welcome’ in Japanese no matter what the situation. I hope this article was helpful to you to get a better understanding on how to accept gratitude in Japanese.
Keep in mind that although Dou itashimashite is usually the go-to term, it may not technically be the politest way of saying ‘You are welcome.’
If you are serious about learning more Japanese phrases, you can always look up free courses online or tutorials on Youtube.
Remember, it is always a great idea to learn more about Japanese culture and traditions because they can inspire us to express gratitude and manners properly.
We hope the above different ways to say You are welcome in Japanese will help make your stay in the Land of the Rising Sun more enjoyable and pleasant.
Thank you for reading! Sayonara for now!