Despite its being one of the most basic element of daily-life Japanese, I often find myself looking for a proper way to end certain phone conversations.

Of course, I know the standard: [それでは]失礼します, or: よろしく[お願いします]...

But somehow, neither of these seems quite right when ending a (somewhat formal) conversation where I am the customer (e.g. making a restaurant reservation). I often opt for a basic ありがとうございました, but I don't think it is a very idiomatic way to end such phone conversations.

What would be a good phrase, beside the ones above, to end a phone conversation with a stranger?

Update: So from Tsyoshi's comments, it sounds like 失礼します is just the way to end all phone conversations, service people included. But Dave MG's はい、どうも provides a nice alternative (and he's the only answer), so I'll accept it.

  • 2
    “失礼します” (not しましす) and “よろしくお願いします” both sound appropriate as a way to close a phone conversation as a customer. “ありがとうございました” sounds a little strange. Aug 27 '11 at 16:45
  • @Tsuyoshi: I know it's technically correct, it just that it makes me feel like I am the "intruding one" (asking a favour etc.) when it feels like this type of call should be more neutral. Anyway, just wondering if there are any other ways to close a phone conversation... (btw: typo fixed, thanks!)
    – Dave
    Aug 27 '11 at 16:56
  • 失礼します seems to mean something like "I have been disrespectful"...? o_O Aug 27 '11 at 21:22
  • @Karl: Its original meaning may be something like that, but it does not mean that. Aug 28 '11 at 0:24
  • @Dave: I am not talking about technical correctness. Aug 28 '11 at 0:27

For my money, 「はい、どうも」 just can't be beat.

What's that? Too informal, you say?

Far from it, my good man. 「はい、どうも」 isn't a replacement for よろしく or 宜しくお願いします when you're winding down the conversation.

But there's always that awkwardness that sets in - happens in English, too - when you and the person on the other end are saying conversation-ending-phrases and no one knows who is going to be the person who actually hangs up. I find I get into the goodbye-vortex even more with customer service people because... well, I don't know why for sure but I suspect they think it's rude to hang up on me.

That's where 「はい、どうも」 comes in. You've been polite all conversation, you've thrown in a few 「失礼します」 where appropriate, and now it's time to just get off the phone.

You throw out a 「はい、どうも」, and then BAM, you slam down the receiver (even though it's a smart phone and you already pressed the button on the screen - we're doing this old school, baby!), then you raise your hands in flawless victory.


  • Well, it made me laugh, anyway... Aug 27 '11 at 21:25
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    +1 on the awkwardness of trying to end a conversation and who's gonna be the one to hang up.
    – Dave
    Aug 28 '11 at 2:59

According to Tsuyoshi Ito in the comments,

“失礼します” (not しましす) and “よろしくお願いします” both sound appropriate as a way to close a phone conversation as a customer. “ありがとうございました” sounds a little strange.

  • Question was asked in 2011. Hopefully in the intervening 3 years Dave has figured it out.
    – paul
    Jun 17 '14 at 14:11
  • @paul Hopefully. It's good to have alternate answers as answers rather than comments anyway, so that they can be both upvoted and downvoted.
    – senshin
    Jun 17 '14 at 21:29

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