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Let's say a group of friends from different countries are in a Skype call. For me, perhaps it's morning, while others are in midday or nighttime hours in their respective countries.

When in a one-on-one chat, I'm aware it's best to use the correct greeting for your recipient's time zone. However, this quickly gets more complicated when you have multiple recipients in varying time zones and times of day.

As someone joining this theoretical group conversation, how can I say hello without sounding strange to anyone? Is it best to use something like こんにちは? Should I use the greeting for my own time zone? Or, is there some other way I should greet the group?

  • Japanese speaking people scattered around the world plus non-speaking you forming a chatroom? Anyway, you can say いらっしゃい "welcome" or maybe よろしくおねがいします/よろしく/よろ/おつかれさまです/おつかれ/おつ/はじめまして/どうも/ども/etc... depending on various situations. – isayamag Mar 7 '15 at 1:06
  • @isayamag They're mostly language groups, so there's a few natives and the rest are people trying to learn the language from many different countries. Are those various terms used differently for formality? – Eric Mar 7 '15 at 1:08
  • Ah I understand! Now I made an answer to you question below. – isayamag Mar 7 '15 at 1:39
  • Some Youtubers (I guess originally were in Niconico) are fond of おはこんばんちは – broccoli forest Jan 17 at 15:42
  • I feel like, as @isayamag said, どうも is a good option if you know somehow the people in the chat or the usual こんにちは can be used at any time as a general and polite greeting otherwise. – N Gillain Jan 18 at 14:06
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Well, as for the phrases I cited in the comment:

  1. よろしくおねがいします* "Thank you for everything in advance." / よろしく** / よろ***
  2. おつかれさまです* "Thank you for everything." / おつかれ** / おつ***
  3. はじめまして* "Nice to meet you."
  4. どうも** "Hi" (but with slightly inactive impression) / ども***
  • items marked an * are the polite full wordings.
  • ** are more colloquial lighter versions commonly used among friends, colleagues, etc.
  • *** are kind of internet slang or something similar.

All examples except #3 are highly culture-dependent and hard-to-translate expressions, as you know. I believe you are going to learn their usages through gaining experiences in conversation.

However when talking to a new joiner to a group, I would recommend saying いらっしゃい "Welcome" for first place candidate, it seems fairly versatile and very suitable for expressing your welcoming attitude.

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There is a similar problem in English. There really ins't an elegant answering in English or Japanese.

I've started a call saying "Good evening and Good Morning" with a smile. There is no way you couldn't do the same in Japanese and say something like "みんな、こんばんは、おはようございます". I'm sure the participants will realise that there are people across different timezones.

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