How do you say nice to meet you in Japanese?
Great question, here’s the answer:
The #1 phrase is “hajimemashite.” That’s it.
But, if you’re a smart language learner and want to know more, keep reading. This guide teaches you how to say nice to meet you in Japanese fluently and actually understand what you’re saying and why you’re saying it.
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Now… When you meet someone for the first time and want to introduce yourself in Japanese, the following two phrases are best.
Let’s start with the one you know.
This greeting word, “Hajimemashite” (初めまして) is originated from the word “Hajimete”(初めて）which means “for the first time”.
“Hajimemashite” is an acknowledgement of meeting someone for the first time. You use it at the beginning of your introduction and it’s one of the first phrases you use when you meet someone new. Hajimemashite is a simple and polite phrase that is suitable to use when meeting anyone, regardless of age or status.
By the way, scroll down to the bottom for a FREE AUDIO LESSON where you can HEAR these words used in Japanese conversation.
“Dōzo yoroshiku onegaishimasu”
This phrase is used after the previous phrase “Hajimeshimashite”.
“Dōzo yoroshiku onegaishimasu” is a unique phrase that does not have a direct English translation. It’s one of the common Japanese set phrases.
One of its meanings is commonly understood as “Nice to meet you” in Japanese.
Now, there are some variations of this phrase based on politeness.
The most polite way is:
- “Dōzo yoroshiku onegai itashimasu”
The general, everyday polite way that you should know and use is:
- “ yoroshiku onegaishimasu”
A casual way would be one of the two ways:
- “ Dōzo yoroshiku”
- “yoroshiku ”
Let’s look deeper into this phrase now. “Yoroshiku” is an adverb that literally means “well”. “Dōzo onegaishimasu” (どうぞお願いします）or “onegaishimasu” (お願いします）is an expression that is used to ask someone to do something for you. With that being said, “Dōzo youroshiku onegaishimasu” (どうぞよろしくお願いします）can be translated as “Please treat me well”, or “Please take care of me” , and some can even translate it as “ Don’t be too harsh on me.”
After the phrases above, when you wish to express your happiness to meet this person, after introducing yourself, you can add these following phrases depending on the formality and situation.
- “Omeni kakarete ureshii desu”
- “Omeni kakarete kōei desu”
- “Oai dekite ureshii desu”
“Oai dekite ureshii desu”
These literally can be translated as “I am happy to be able to meet you.” It is a nice gesture to let someone know that you are delighted to meet them.
“Oai”(お会い) is the conjugation from the verb “Aimasu” (会います) to meet, to see someone. “dekite” is from modal auxiliary verb of “dekimasu” (できます）which means “can” or “be able to”. “Ureshii desu” (嬉しいです）means “I’m happy.” This phrase implies that you have been wanting to meet this person as well.
If you meet this person for the second time or more times, you can add the word “mata” (また) which means “again” and use the phrase as “Mata oai dekite ureshii desu” (またお会いできて嬉しいです) and it naturally becomes the sentence of “ I am pleased to see you again”.
“Omeni kakarete ureshii desu”
This phrase is a more polite version of the previous phrase. “Omeni kakarete ” (お目にかかれて）is the conjugation of the verb “Omeni kakaru,” which means “to meet” and is a humble form. It is an expression of respect for the other party by humbling oneself. This expression is suitable to use when you meet someone superior to you, or older than you.
“Omeni kakarete kōei desu”
The word “kōei desu” (光栄です）means “to be honored” or “to be proud of”. It is a more polite way to express your delightedness to meet someone than using the word “ureshii desu” (嬉しいです). It can be used in a formal meeting/ situation. The word “kōei desu” (光栄です）is very useful when you need to express your appreciation in a humble way. It is also used when one’s work or achievements are recognized or praised. Japanese people normally do not reply by saying “Thank you” when you are praised, instead we reply with “kōei desu” (光栄です).
Replying to Hajimemashite
After someone says nice to meet you in Japanese…
Yes, there is a way to respond. You just need this magical response word:
- Meaning: Likewise
“Kochirakoso” (こちらこそ）is such a useful word to respond to all the above expressions like “Dōzo yoroshiku onegaishimasu” (どうぞよろしくお願いします）or “Oai dekite ureshii desu” (お会いできて嬉しいです）and so on. “Kochira” (こちら) is demonstrative pronoun used to refer to something close to the speaker politely.
It can be translated as “me, us” and so on. “koso” (こそ）is a particle used to emphasize the preceding word. We use this expression when we want to say the same thing someone has just said, but from the opposite perspective. So, this is very similar to English phrases like “you, too”, “me, too”, “ likewise” and so on.
Read This Last
Now you know how to say nice to meet you in Japanese.
By the way… you should also LISTEN to real Japanese people saying these phrases.
So, below is a free audio lesson from JapanesePod101, a popular online learning program. Just press play and listen along.
- All About #1 – Introduction to Japanese
- lesson by JapanesePod101.
- Click here to get MORE free fun lessons at JapanesePod101
So, now, leave a comment and tell me nice to meet you in Japanese.
Using the phrase will help it stick better in your brain.
– The Main Lingua Junkie