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4 Must know Simple Japanese phrases to show your etiquette at work Posted by on Aug 8, 2016 in Culture, Grammar

Business Japanese – 4 words for etiquette



Day to day, we are busy with our work, some days are easier. You are more open to new ideas, and willing to accept others and come to work ready to interact with anyone that you might need to, to get your job done. Other days are not so easy. For some reason, you are not feeling well that day, and just saying, “hi, good morning” seems like something you don’t want to care so much. However, work is work,  you as a professional, want to express an appropriate etiquette professionally.

With that said, here are some Japanese words/expressions that we often use at work. There are very simple expressions /phrases that you want to use over and over at an appropriate time and every day. Also, these are essential words that if you work with any Japanese professional at work using Japanese, you would want to know..


1.おはようございます。(Ohayo-gozaimasu)-Good morning


Start the day with greetings. If you work in the office, make sure to smile when you greet someone, even though that might be the only moment you might smile for that day. If you work with other members who are in remote locations, then, let’s send a quick chat message saying “good morning (おはよう ございます。)



2. 今日もどうぞ、よろしくお願いします。

(Kyoumo douzo yoroshiku onegai shimasu.) – 

I look forward to working with you today. or I appreciate your cooperation today. I appreciate your support today. 


This goes hand in hand with the first greetings. This expression can be translated into multiple different ways, but they all pretty much mean the same thing. I like to translate this expression as “I appreciate for your support and look forward to working with you day.”



3. お疲れ様です。(Otsukare sama desu) –  Thank you for your hard work.


In English, it’s a bit awkward to say,  “Thank you for your hard work” to someone. Perhaps, this is similar to something like, “thank you for your help”. In Japanese, we often say Otsukare sama desu(お疲れ様です) to friends and co-workers if you know that the person you are talking to is doing some type of work.  For example, when you need to ask a question to your co-worker, before you start asking him/her, you would start your conversation saying, “Otsukare sama desu(お疲れ様です)”, first.



4. お疲れ様でした。(Otsukare sama deshita) –  Thank you for your hard work. Have a nice evening. See you tomorrow. 

At the end of the day, it’s a must to tell someone “Otsukare sama deshita” especially, your boss or managers. We often end the day by saying this to co-workers as well. Although this is much like the above expression, note that the ending is “deshita” meaning past tense. By saying this, you mean “Have a nice evening, see you tomorrow”. as well.


There 4 expressions are must know phrases since you would be using on a daily basis. Remember, if you start your day late, your greeting might be “Kon nichi wa (こんにちは)”.


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About the Author: keiko

Born and raised in Japan. She currently lives in U.S. with her husband and two kids.


  1. A.R.Diwan:

    Very much impressed by teaching style,it is appreciable and help learners