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When I'm contacting a colleague for the first time and we're communicating online, I can use はじめまして as part of my greeting. Likewise, if I'm meeting someone for the first time and it is an in-person meeting, I can say はじめまして during my introduction.

However, if I talk with someone online and then we meet in person for the first time, is はじめまして still appropriate? Or is there some other typical greeting for this situation?

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I would say はじめまして (again)--- 「どうも~」「はじめまして~」「こんにちは~」を全部言いそう。 –  Choko Feb 13 at 8:13
    
an exclusive greeting for meeting in person: "初めてお目にかかり、光栄です". –  kingyo Feb 14 at 0:41
    
There is no "rule" regarding this if you want to know the truth. –  l'électeur Feb 17 at 8:59

4 Answers 4

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It doesn't matter. Feel it out based on your relationship with that person and whatever feels right. I have to imagine that if you had contact with someone before and you said 初めまして upon meeting them in person it would be accompanied by that kind of weak laugh of shared awkwardness like "what do I say in this situation?" In other words, meeting people from the internet is still a relatively new phenomenon, and while I'm sure there must have been people who had met by correspondence in the past, there is not some universally accepted cultural norm for what to do in this situation. I think you can compare it pretty directly to how the situation would play out in English.

So basically, I don't think there's a specifically Japanese way to do it. The meeting will probably be awkward and fumbling for the first few moments anyway. Personally I'd make a comment along the lines of "nice to finally meet you in person," as I would in English, but that's just me. Just go for what feels right.

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I am not a native speaker but based on my experience supported by the comments above from native speakers, I would say it again, just as I might say "pleased to meet you" in English.

It might partly depend on the context and the nature of your previous contact: When you meet finally F2F, there may be a "first time feel" to the occasion and it comes very naturally. You might even say it after swapping e-mails for long period and then seeing the person for the first time on AV.

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I would typically say はじめまして again when meeting for the first time and I get greeted in a similar way.

Instead of よろしくお願いします, I would say 改めて{あらためて}よろしくお願{ねが}いします which acknowledges that I have said it before.

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My answer would be No. 「始めまして」 is literally only used the first time that you encounter a person and introductions are in order. If you plan to meet in person after already introducing yourselves online, you only need to greet with 「こんにちは」 or whatever's appropriate for the time of the day. However, if after your 「こにちは」 you wish to re-state your name, feel free to!

I learned this when meeting my Japanese tutor online first, then in person.

In addition, after meeting in person this way with a colleague, saying 「よろしくお願いします」 (yoroshiku onegai shimasu, "Please be kind to me") is also appropriate.

Hope this helps!

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