The Various Ways to Saying “You’re Welcome” in Japanese!
The Most Common Way to Say “You’re Welcome!”
In a country brimming with respectful people, the word “Thank You!” can often be heard along the streets or even at one’s workplace! However, reciprocating the Japanese’s goodwill may prove to be one of the challenges that most beginners would initially face. As such, today we’ll cover a few ways in which you can say “You’re Welcome!” to someone who thanked you in Japanese!
More often than not, when we look up a Japanese Dictionary, this may be the first word that pops up: どう致しまして (Dou itashimashite).
The meaning of the word would be somewhere along the lines of “You are Welcome!” in Japanese. However, the phrase is not so frequently used in Casual Conversations amongst the Native Speakers. With these in mind, let’s take a look at some other ways in which you can say you’re welcome in Japanese!
Saying “You’re Welcome!” in a more Casual Situation
First up, let’s take a look at “いえいえ (Ieie)“. When taken literally, the phrase itself means “No, No”. This is typically used when someone is expressing their innermost gratitude towards you but all you wanted to tell them was something along the lines of “Nah, don’t mention it”.
Next, we take a look at “とんでもない (Tondemonai)“, a phrase that is usually used to indicate that “It’s nothing” in a casual conversation. More often than not, you might see some Japanese use this as an informal way of saying “You’re Welcome” as well so there’s no need to be surprised!
Next up, we have “よかった (Yokatta)“. This phrase would usually go along the lines of “I’m glad”. When placed following the Te-form of a word (E.g. 好きで/助けになれて), it can mean something along the lines of “I’m glad you liked it/I was able to be of help to you“, whatever you’d feel would be appropriate or relevant to the context of the conversation.
Another word that’s used from time to time would be “気にしないで (Kinishinaide)“. The phrase itself means “No Worries” but can also very much be used in certain contexts to say “You’re Welcome”. For example, someone may go on to say something like “Oh my, thank you so much, is there anything I can do to repay you a favour?” in Japanese. In this case, you can simply use the word “気にしないで (Kinishinaide)” to tell them “It’s okay, no worries”.
Lastly, we look at a phrase known as “いえいえ、いつでも声かけて (Ieie, itsudemo koe kakete)“. The phrase itself is composed of “いえいえ” and “いつでも声かけて”. Of which, the former we had covered in an earlier part of this section. As such let’s take a look at the latter, “いつでも声かけて”. The second part to this phrase would mean something along the lines of “I’m here for you if you need help” or “Let me know if you need help again”. Putting the two together would then make the phrase mean “It’s fine, let me know if you ever need help again!”
In a more Formal Situation…
But then again, there must be some other alternatives when it comes to a more formal and business context right? This is where the next 3 phrases and expressions come in.
The first of which would be “恐縮でございます (Kyoushuku de gozaimasu)“. The word “恐縮 (Kyoushuku)” refers to feeling obliged. As for the word “でございます (de gozaimasu)”, on the other hand, refers to “Being”. When put together, the phrase would, in turn, refer to “I am Obliged” or so you would say in a formal situation when somebody thanks you.
Moving on, we take a look at the phrase: お役に立ってよかった(Oyakunitatte yokatta). “役に立って (Yakunitatte)” refers to being helpful or useful. By adding the Honorific Prefix “お (O)” to the front of the word, we can, in turn, make it sound more polite towards the other party. As for “よかった (Yokatta)”, it can be translated to “I’m glad” as mentioned in the earlier section. By combining the two, the phrase/expression in itself somehow holds the meaning of “I am glad that I was of use to you”.
Last but not least, another phrase in which you can use is: こちらこそ (Kochirakoso). “こちら (Kochira)” refers to over here but can also be used to refer to me, Myself. “こそ (Koso)”, refers to for sure and can be used to place emphasis on the preceding word. When the words are put together, it would mean “(Surely it should be me) It is I, who should say so” and can often be used when someone thanks you for something but you would like to thank them back as well.
With these words, phrases and expressions up your sleeves, are you finally ready to put them to good use in your daily Japanese conversations?