Japan – Useful Phrases

The Japanese language is often considered difficult in particular because the writing system
is a mixture of hiragana characters, katakana characters, kanji, and Roman letters. Also
many people find it difficult to understand or use polite phrasing called keigo (Honorific
forms). It’s even difficult for Japanese people to use keigo properly. However, here are some useful phrases.

Many phrases are not easily translated into English as these phrases reflect the culture
and custom of respect.

In this article, we will show some of the more useful phrases that one may use in a
business setting

Perhaps Japanese pronunciation is easier than the writing, so it might be best to commit
these phrases to memory in order to have them readily available for use.

お世話になります。(osewani narimasu)

Thank you for your support, kind assistance, work, cooperation in advance.

Often used at the beginning of a business email after the addressee’s name, but can
also be used at the beginning of a business phone call to show an appreciation for the

いつもお世話になっております。(itsumo osewani natteorimasu)

Thank you for your continuous support and care.

An even more polite version of the phrase above, again often used at the beginning of
a business email after the addressee’s name, and at the beginning of a business phone
call. Itsumo means always.

お疲れ様です。(otsukaresama desu)

This phrase is said at the end of the working day. It also can be said after some difficult
task is completed, The meaning conveyed is“You have worked hard, thank you.”

失礼します。(shitsurei shimasu)

Excuse my interrupting. Excuse my leaving.

This phrase is used as a politeness when entering a room in the office or when leaving
the office. When entering someone’s home, “ojyama shimasu” will be used instead of
“shitsurei shimasu” which literally means “I’m going to get in your way” or “I will
disturb you.”

よろしくお願いします。(yoroshiku onegaishimasu)

Kind regards. Literally – Please take care of this for me. Be kind to me.

This phrase has many meanings and usages. It can be used after making a request
and thanking the person before they help you. This phrase is almost always used at
the end of business emails just before the writer’s name, similar to best regards or kind
regards. It is also used as a farewell statement when seeing a visitor out of the office
similar to “goodbye”.