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36 votes
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Does 左様なら (sayōnara) have Chinese roots?

Let's dive into this etymology. (My reference, unless otherwise stated, is Shogakukan's 国語大辞典. I've got a dead-tree copy, and there's also a decent online version available for free via Kotobank. ...
Eiríkr Útlendi's user avatar
15 votes
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Meaning of ちはース

This is just "Hi". こんちゃ/こんちわ/ちわ/ちは/etc is a very casual version of こんにちは. Of course this は is pronounced "wa". For "ーす", see: What does っす at the end of a sentence mean? Jisho.org also has an entry ...
naruto's user avatar
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13 votes

Does 左様なら (sayōnara) have Chinese roots?

I agree with @MichaelChirico and @Earthliŋ♦. Let me add a different viewpoint. To say goodbye we often use many variant versions of "sayonara" such as: じゃーね それじゃーね それならね さらば These have basically ...
Mitsutoshi Watanabe's user avatar
11 votes

Does 左様なら (sayōnara) have Chinese roots?

I also feel that only 様【よう】 could somehow be viewed as "ultimately from Chinese", but the other parts, namely 然【さ】 (now usually written with ateji 左) and なら, are of Japanese origin. Thus it would seem ...
Earthliŋ's user avatar
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9 votes

"fancy meeting you here"

A common word for this is 奇遇【きぐう】 (not to be confused with 奇偶: oddness and evenness (of numbers)). 奇遇ですね is an idiomatic phrase worth memorizing as-is. こんなところで会うとは奇遇ですね。 What a coincidence to ...
naruto's user avatar
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9 votes
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How to reply to 「いま、すごく幸せです?」

I guess he is asking me about my well being. In fact, I don't think so. 幸せ usually doesn't mean normal well-being but only the full-of-joy state, that like whoever has their child. It's not a word ...
broccoli forest's user avatar
7 votes
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Saying goodbye to a store clerk

It isn't common, especially in those mass selling stores. Not I'm highly introvert, but most Japanese don't say anything, or just nod a little (which is a slightest form of bowing). Of course, they ...
broccoli forest's user avatar
7 votes
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Which form is はじめまして?

To break it down, はじめまして is the て form of はじめます, and はじめます is the polite form of はじめる. はじめまして is a fixed expression. You'll see ~~まして in some fixed expressions such as: あけましておめでとうございます。-- ...
chocolate's user avatar
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7 votes
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Congratulating someone on the new Era/Emperor

No, there's no such greeting. In the last 150 years or so, a new era has been associated with the previous Emperor's demise, so it's not a happy event in the first place. This time is an exception, ...
naruto's user avatar
  • 321k
6 votes

"お休みなさい" not appropriate between male neighbours?

"お休みなさい" is appropriate for both genders. Maybe your male neighbors are the people who don't greet in that situation. That's it. If they greeted orally when leaving, they might say "お休みなさい", too. ...
sii's user avatar
  • 627
6 votes

Other than はじめまして, what can we say in our introduction?

はじめまして is a good start. This is how you open the conversation. It's roughly equivalent to "How do you do?" (which people don't really say anymore). You're indicating that it's your first meeting, so ...
Robert's user avatar
  • 1,728
6 votes

"Good day" as "良い一日": Yoi ichi-nichi vs Yoi tsuitachi?

The tsuitachi reading is restricted in meaning, and can only be used to express "the first day of the month". It's spelled 一日 ("one; first" + "day") in kanji, but it ...
Eiríkr Útlendi's user avatar
5 votes
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Respect for the Aged Greeting

I don't consider myself an authoritative source, but I did a little searching and found this link that has a bunch of phrases to say on respect for the aged day (敬老の日): http://www.wajyutu.com/?%BD%CB%...
Locksleyu's user avatar
  • 6,022
5 votes

Can "mata itsuka" be used in casual conversation?

Whether the exchange is bittersweet or not will depend on them and their relationship. But yes, it is usable, although I never really had the chance to hear it myself. It does show a rather high ...
stack reader's user avatar
  • 5,691
5 votes
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How to say hello and goodbye in shops?

Normally Japanese people ignore the store and restaurant clerks, especially this generic "Irasshaimase" that travels through the whole store every time a customer enters. It depends a lot on ...
a20's user avatar
  • 2,202
5 votes
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Is 「お元気ですか」 an acceptable/common greeting?

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!" ...
Z Kubota's user avatar
5 votes

Is it appropriate (and friendly) to say こんにちは to random people?

It's ok if: You are hiking, or climbing You know them or the social circle is small enough that you'll see them fairly often (like in a small village, same block, or in an apartment) Otherwise it ...
Enno Shioji's user avatar
  • 16.2k
5 votes
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Greeting when meeting somebody a second time in the day?

If I were in that situation, I wouldn't repeat こんにちは but instead say... どうも。 先ほどはどうも。 先ほどは(どうも)ありがとうございました。 何度もお世話になります。 (また)お世話になります。 etc...
chocolate's user avatar
  • 65.6k
4 votes
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Is またね OK even if I don't literally expect to see them again?

It is odd that you say またね to strangers whom you don't expect to see again. I think それでは、じゃ、では、失礼します are appropriate in the situation.
Yuuichi Tam's user avatar
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4 votes
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"お休みなさい" not appropriate between male neighbours?

I don’t think it anything inappropriate to say “お休みなさい“ to a male neighbor when you leave the elevator in the evening. “お休みなさい“ is a non-gender greeting word as well as “お早うございます,” “こんにちは,” and ”さようなら....
Yoichi Oishi's user avatar
  • 9,545
4 votes
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What is the recommended timing for あけおめ ことよろ?

Both is OK. When you feel your interlocutor put a pause, you can reply it. The following has no problem. Interlocutor:明けましておめでとうございます。 Me:明けましておめでとうございます。今年もよろしくお願いします。 Interlocutor:(こちらこそ)...
Sonny365 TANAKA's user avatar
4 votes
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Is おはようです just weird

I wondered, if おはようございます is okay then why not おはようです? Grammatically, おはよう is a contraction of おはようございます, which is a Western dialect form otherwise should be おはやくございます in Standard Japanese. Since おはよう ...
broccoli forest's user avatar
3 votes
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how to make clear that your japanese is bad?

You: すいません、私の日本語は下手です… 相手の日本人: えっ?ちゃんと喋{しゃべ}れるじゃないですか。それで十分ですよ。 If you can't follow the full sentence, say the sentence to the point where you can understand following "なんですか?" with a troubled face....
Sonny365 TANAKA's user avatar
3 votes

Casual wedding greetings for friends

"結婚おめでとう、末永くお幸せに!" maybe better!
mtdkki's user avatar
  • 51
3 votes
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What is the correct response to "Osoreirimasu"?

恐れ入ります, used by itself, is a catch-all kind of word. It can be used either as a manner of apology or as a way of thanking a person. Therefore, the response to it really depends on the context in which ...
BJCUAI's user avatar
  • 7,220
3 votes

"fancy meeting you here"

If I meet someone in an unexpected place in an unexpected time, I would say; これは、これは - wow, Jesus! (こんな場所でお会いするとは)これはまた、奇遇(偶然)ですね - It's really coincidence (to meet you in such a place) おや(あら)、まあ - ...
Yoichi Oishi's user avatar
  • 9,545
3 votes
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What's the difference between じゃあね and またね?

また means "again", and じゃあ means something like "so", "okay", or "then". Thus, またね is closer to "see you again" or "see you next time", ...
naruto's user avatar
  • 321k
3 votes
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Shortened Greeting?

This is simply こんにちは + a highly reduced です. (EDIT: I claimed this isn't common in real life speech, but I'll defer to l'électeur's experience and remove that claim.)
jogloran's user avatar
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3 votes
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Why does 「...ことと思います」mean "I hope that ..."?

ことと思います is one of the polite variants of ことだろう/ことでしょう. よい週末を過ごしたことでしょう is equally fine in this context. This type of こと adds an exclamatory feeling and/or the level of certainty to an inferential ...
naruto's user avatar
  • 321k

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