English (and other languages) speakers often use "How are you?", "What's up?", "How's it going?" and similar phrases as greetings. Other language speakers and cultures will refrain from asking such a question unless they are genuinely interested in the answer and have a reason to ask, so typically not as part of greeting someone.

Is 「お元気ですか」 acceptable to use in a similar way, such as greeting someone with 「おはようございます。お元気ですか。」?

If it is, how common is it?

Does it sound weird to native speakers?


It is weird if it's the first phase you open with. First you need an opener. If you're a guy you might say, おい、元気? ("Oi" or オッス "Ossu" is not really a word, it's more like a sound, or like "hey!" preceding a "what's up" in English.) But just like "what's up, this is between pals, casual not for your big boss or strangers. Women tend to say 久しぶり、元気?or even a cute ハイハイ! 元気? There are many different combos, but I've never heard a conversation just start with straight up "Genki?"

  • It's not required of course, but it'd be nice to have a reason why someone is downvoting.
    – Z Kubota
    Feb 4 '20 at 2:52

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