Saying Goodnight in Japanese – Oyasumi (おやすみ)
Generally, the Japanese expression for saying”good night is “おやすみ“(Oyasumi). However, it may be inappropriate to use it sometimes depending on the situation.
In this article, you will be learning how to to use the expression “oyasumi” in different situations.
Situation 1: When Someone is Going to Bed
Similar to you saying “goodnight” when your friend(or someone who are close to you) is going to bed, you can use “Oyasumi” to wish goodnight to your friend. You can also say “oyasumi” to your friend when you are about to sleep.
For Example: When you are on the phone with your friend.
Your Friend: “そろそろ寝(ね)るね、おやすみ。”
sorosoro nerune, oyasumi
I’m about to sleep, goodnight.
*When your friend says”oyasumi” to you, you should also reply to your friend with “oyasumi”.
When wishing goodnight to someone who is superior to you, instead of saying “oyasumi”, you should use the more formal form “おやすみなさい”
For example, when you are on a business trip with your supervisor and he is going to sleep.
Your Supervisor: 今日はちょっと疲れたから、先に寝るよ, おやすみ。
Kyouwa chotto tsukaretakara, sakini neruyo, oyasumi
I am going to sleep first because I’m a little bit tired today, goodnight.
You: はい, おやすみなさい！
Situation 2: When Leaving to Go Home Late at Night
Oyasumi can also be used when it is late at night and someone is leaving to go home.
For example, when you and your colleagues are on the last train, your friend is alighting before you.
You can say” 今日は一日お疲れ様でした、おやすみなさい。”
Kyowa ichinichi otsukaresamadeshita, oyasuminasai
Thanks for your work today, good night.
unless you are very close with him, do not use “おやすみ(oyasumi)” to someone superior to you as it may be considered as impolite. Use the more formal form: “おやすみなさい” instead.
It is rarely the case that some people may find”おやすみなさい” inappropriate to be said to a superior person. This is because, in the strict sense, “おやすみなさい(oyasuminasai)” does not belong to any type of the Japanese Keigo.
To avoid trouble, alternatives you can use are “お疲れ様でした(otsukaresamadeshita)” or “今日はありがとうございました（kyouwa arigatougozaimashita)” “They both means thank you for your hard work today”
Now that you have learned when and how to say goodnight in Japanese, do you know how to say good morning in Japanese?
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