The Meaning of Konichiwa: What It Is and How To Use It

Do you know the definition of konichiwa? This article will provide you with all of the information you need on the word konichiwa, including its definition, etymology, usage, example sentences, and more!

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What does the word konichiwa mean?

According to Fluent U, the word konichiwa, or konnichiwa, is a Japanese greeting that means hello. In Japanese, the romaji of konnichiwa is written as こんにちは or 今日は. You can use konnichiwa to mean good day, good afternoon, and more. This is a fairly casual, flexible greeting that can be used at many times. It is also part of the full greeting “konnichi wa gokiken ikaga desu ka?” which means “how are you feeling today?’

In America, this can be used in an offensive way. If one says konichiwa to an Asian looking person, or a person who has Asian elements to their facial features, this is considered a stereotype and is very offensive. Avoid the act of stereo-typing.

What are other Japanese greetings?

There are many different Japanese greetings. Some of these you may use with people you are familiar with like close friends and are more informal such as yo, koncha, ossue, yaho, and saikin do, but others are more formal and acceptable for use with strangers, colleagues, a boss, a host you have gratitude for, and the elderly. Some differ for males and females. Take a look at this list from Fluent U.

  • おはよう (Good morning)
    • Rōmaji: “Ohayou.” 
  • 初めまして (はじめまして, Nice to meet you)
    • Rōmaji: “Hajime mashite.”
  • おはようございます (Good morning)
    • Rōmaji: “Ohayou gozaimasu/ohayo gozaimasu.”
  • また会いましょう (また あいましょう, See you again)
    • Rōmaji: “Mata aimashō.”
  • やあ (Hi)
    • Rōmaji: “Yā.”
  •  最近どう? (さいきん どう, What’s up?)
    • Rōmaji: “Saikin dō?”
  • 何かあった?(なんか あった, What’s up?)
    • Rōmaji: “Nan ka atta?”
  •  失礼します (しつれい します, Goodbye)
    • Rōmaji: “Shitsurei shimasu.”
  • お元気ですか? (おげんきですか, How’s it going / Are you healthy?)
    • Rōmaji: “O genki desu ka?”
  • 元気?(げんき, You good / You healthy?)
    • Rōmaji: “Genki?”
  • こんばんは (Good evening)
    • Rōmaji: “Konbanwa.”
  • 元気だった?(げんき だった, How’s it going?)
    • Rōmaji: “Genki datta?”
  • もしもし (Hello?)
    • Rōmaji: “Moshi moshi”
  • 毎度 (まいど, Hello)
    • Rōmaji: “Maido.”
  • さようなら (Goodbye)
    • Rōmaji: “Sayōnara.”
  • いらっしゃいませ! (Welcome!)
    • Rōmaji: “Irasshai mase!”
  • ようこそ! (Welcome home / Welcome to Japan!)
    • Rōmaji: “Yōkoso!”
  • 大丈夫ですか? (だいじょうぶ ですか, Are you alright?)
    • Rōmaji: “Daijōbu desu ka?”
  • ただいま! (I’m home!)
    • Rōmaji: “Tadaima!”
  • おやすみなさい (I’m going to bed / Goodnight)
    • Rōmaji: “Oyasumi nasai.”
  • お疲れ様/お疲れ (Goodbye)
    • Rōmaji: “Otsukaresama/otsukare sama.”
  • いただきます。(Welcome/Come in)
    • Rōmaji: “Itadakimasu.”

What are translations of the word konichiwa?

There are many different ways that someone can refer to a foreigner in many different languages. You may notice that many of these translations look and sound similar to one another. These are called cognates,which are often formed when two words in different languages have the same root or language of origin. This list of translations is provided by Word Sense.

  •  Swahili: jambo‎, salaam‎
  •  Galician: ola‎
  •  Korean: 안녕하십니까‎ (formal) 안녕하세요‎ (neutrally formal), 안녕‎ (informal), 반갑수다‎ (Jeju)
  •  Lezgi: салам‎
  •  Norman: baon-n-jour‎ (Guernsey), banjour‎ (Guernsey), boujouo‎ (continental Normandy), bouônjour‎ (Jersey), bwõju‎ (Sark)
  •  Zapotec: padiull‎
  •  Turkish: merhaba‎, selam‎
  •  Ancient Greek: χαῖρε‎, χαῖρε καί ὑγίαινε‎
  •  Portuguese: oi‎, olá‎, (slang) e aí?‎
  •  Russian: приве́т‎ (informal), здоро́во‎ (colloquial), здра́вствуйте‎ (formal, first “в” is silent), до́брый день‎, здра́вствуй‎ (informal, first “в” is silent), салю́т‎
  •  Igbo: kèdu‎
  •  Uzbek: salom‎
  •  Uyghur: سالام‎
  •  Hakka: 你好‎ (ngì-hó)
  •  Kannada: ತುಳಿಲು‎, ನಮಸ್ಕಾರ‎
  •  French: salut‎ (informal), bonjour‎
  •  Esperanto: saluton‎
  •  Kabardian: уузыншэм‎
  •  Ainu: イランカラㇷ゚テ‎ (irankarapte)
  •  Samoan: talofa‎
  •  Luo: msawa‎
  •  Wu: 儂好‎, 侬好‎ (non hau)
  •  Tigrinya: ሰላም‎
  •  Mandarin: 你好‎ (nǐhǎo), 您好‎ (nínhǎo) (formal), 你們好‎, 你们好‎ (nǐmen hǎo) (to a group of people), 好‎ (hǎo) (following an address form or name), 嗨‎ (hāi), 哈囉‎, 哈啰‎ (hāluó)
  •  Gilbertese: mauri‎
  •  Chichewa: moni‎
  •  Mapudungun: mari mari‎
  •  Laz: გეგაჯგინას‎
  •  Latvian: sveiki‎ (informal to more than one person or people of indeterminate gender), sveiks‎ (to a man), sveika‎ (to a woman), čau‎ (informal)
  •  Aleut: aang‎, draas‎
  •  Maori: kia ora‎ (informal), tēnā koe‎ (formal to one person), tēnā kōrua‎ (formal to two people), tēnā koutou‎ (formal to three or more people)
  •  Palauan: alii‎
  •  Marathi: नमस्कार‎
  •  Ojibwe: boozhoo‎
  •  Archi: салам алейкум‎ (salam alejkum), варчӀами‎ (warčʼami)
  •  Azeri: salam‎, səlam‎
  •  Tibetan: བཀྲ་ཤིས་བདེ་ལེགས‎
  •  Northern Sami: dearvva‎, bures‎
  •  Tajik: салом‎
  •  Hindi: नमस्ते‎, नमस्कार‎, सलाम‎ (used by Muslims), सत श्री अकाल‎ (Sikh, hello/goodbye), हेलो‎, हलो‎, सत्य‎
  •  Greenlandic: aluu‎
  •  Sotho: dumela‎
  •  Gujarati: નમસ્તે‎, નમસ્કાર‎
  •  Lojban: coi‎
  •  Khmer: ជំរាបសួរ‎ (cumriep suǝ), សួស្តី‎ (suəsdəy)
  •  Green Hmong: nyob zoo‎
  •  Bengali: নমস্কার‎, আসসালামুআলাইকুম‎, সালাম‎
  •  West Frisian: hallo‎, hoi‎
  •  German: hallo‎, guten Tag‎, servus‎, grüß Gott‎
  •  Urdu: سلام‎ (salām), نمستے‎ (namasté), نمسکار‎ (namaskār)
  •  Malay: helo‎, apa khabar‎, salam‎
  •  Arabic: اَلسَّلَامُ عَلَيْكُمْ‎, سَلَام‎, مَرْحَبًا‎, أَهْلًا‎
  •  Kabyle: azul‎
  •  Kazakh: сәлем‎, салам‎, сәлеметсіздер‎ (formal)
  •  Telugu: నమసకారం‎, బాగున్నారా‎
  •  Italian: ciao‎, salve‎, buongiorno‎, saluti‎ (masc. pl.)
  •  Faroese: hey‎, halló‎
  •  Hebrew: שָׁלוֹם‎ (shalóm), שָלוֹם עָלֶיכֶם‎ (shalóm aléikhem)
  •  Tamil: வணக்கம்‎
  •  Mohawk: sekoh‎
  •  Ukrainian: приві́т‎ (informal), до́брий день‎ (formal)
  •  Punjabi: ਸਤਿ ਸ਼੍ਰੀ ਅਕਾਲ‎ (sati śrī akāl)
  •  Indonesian: hai‎, salam‎
  •  Tongan: mālō e lelei‎
  •  Iu Mien: yiem longx nyei‎
  •  Nepali: नमस्ते‎, नमस्कार‎
  •  Skolt Sami: tiõrv‎
  •  Turkmen: salam‎
  •  Ido: hola‎
  •  Hawaiian: aloha‎
  •  Pashto: سلام‎ (salām), سلام الېک‎ (slāmālék), السلام عليکم‎ (as-salám alaykúm)
  •  Mingrelian: გომორძგუა‎
  •  Slovene: žívjo‎, zdrávo‎ (informal); dóber dán‎, pozdravljeni‎ (formal)
  •  Alemannic German: grüezi‎
  •  Fijian: bula‎
  •  Zulu: sawubona‎, sanibonani‎ (pl.)
  •  Cantonese: 你好‎ (nei5 hou2), 哈佬‎ (haa1 lou2)
  •  Estonian: tere‎, hei‎
  •  Slovak: ahoj‎, servus‎ (informal), dobrý deň‎ (formal)
  •  Romanian: salut‎, bună‎, noroc‎ (informal), bună ziua‎ (formal), servus‎
  •  Swedish: hallå‎, hej‎, god dag‎ (formal), tjena‎, hejsan‎ (informal), tja‎
  •  Sinhalese: හලෝ‎, ආයුබෝවන්‎
  •  Norwegian: hallo‎, hei‎, god dag‎ (formal), halla‎ (informal), heisann‎
  •  Cyrillic: здраво‎, ћао‎, мерхаба‎, селам‎, бог‎, бок‎
  •  Persian: سلام‎ (salâm); religious: سلام علیکم‎ (salâmo aleykom); literary: درود‎ (dorud); morning: صبح بخیر‎ (sobh bekheyr), afternoon: ظهر بخیر‎ (zohr bekheyr), evening: عصر بخیر‎ (asr bekheyr)
  •  Lak: салам‎
  •  Tatar: сәлам‎
  •  Sicilian: ciao‎, salutamu‎
  •  Finnish: terve‎, moi‎, hei‎, moikka‎
  •  Abkhaz: бзиа збаша‎, мыш бзи‎, (to a man) бзиара убааит‎, (to a woman) бзиара ббааит‎, (to more than one person) бзиара жәбааит‎ (pl.)
  •  Min Nan: 你好‎ (lí hó)
  •  Tswana: dumela (singular, as in dumela, rra, “hello sir”), dumelang (plural, as in dumelang, borra, “hello gentlemen”)
  •  American Sign Language: [email protected] [email protected]
  •  Czech: ahoj‎, nazdar‎ (informal), dobrý den (formal)
  •  Navajo: yáʼátʼééh‎
  •  Lower Sorbian: dobry źeń‎
  •  Macedonian: здра́во‎
  •  Northern Thai:
  •  Hausa: sannu‎
  •  Albanian: tungjatjeta‎
  •  Vietnamese: xin chào‎, chào‎ (ông‎, bà‎, cô‎, anh‎, chị‎, em‎, quí vị‎ — depending on gender and relative social status of person addressed)
  •  Lithuanian: labas‎, sveikas‎ (informal), sveiki‎ (formal)
  •  Tangsa: äshazhoix‎
  •  Michif: Tánishi‎, boñjour‎
  •  Kyrgyz: саламатсыздарбы‎, салам‎
  •  Malayalam: ഹലോ‎, നമസ്തേ‎, നമസ്ക്കാരം‎
  •  Yakut: эҕэрдэ‎, дорообо‎ (informal)
  •  Choctaw: halito‎
  •  Walloon: bondjoû‎, a‎, diewåde‎ (old)
  •  Oriya: ନମସ୍କାର‎ (namaskār)
  •  Thai: สวัสดี‎, สวัสดีครับ‎ (male speaker), สวัสดีค่ะ‎ (female speaker), หวัดดี‎
  •  Maltese: bonġu‎ (before 12:00 p.m.), bonswa‎ (after 12:00 p.m.)
  •  Livonian: tēriņtš‎
  •  Malagasy: manao ahoana‎?, salama‎ (Tsimihety)
  •  Welsh: helo‎, bore da‎ (good morning), dydd da‎ (good day), hylo‎
  •  Neapolitan: uè‎
  •  Haitian Creole: bonjou‎
  •  Bavarian: servus‎, grias di‎
  •  Icelandic: halló‎, hæ‎, góðan dag‎, góðan daginn‎
  •  White Hmong: nyob zoo‎
  •  Chechen: маршалла ду хьоьга‎ (to one person), маршалла ду шуьга‎ (to a group of people), ассаламу ӏалайкум‎, салам‎
  •  Friulian: mandi‎
  •  Kalmyk: мендвт‎, менд‎ (informal)
  •  Burmese: မင်္ဂလာပါ‎
  •  Amharic: ሰላም‎
  •  Alemannic German: sälü‎, hoi‎, hallo‎
  •  Sanskrit: नमस्कार‎, नमस्ते‎, नमो नमः‎ (formal)
  •  Xhosa: molo‎ (sing.), molweni‎ (pl.)
  •  Hungarian: szia‎, sziasztok‎ (pl.) (informal); szervusz‎, szervusztok‎ (pl.) (formal), heló‎
  •  Pitcairn-Norfolk: watawieh‎
  •  Danish: hej‎, dav‎, god dag‎ (formal), hallo‎
  •  Mongolian: сайн уу?‎ (informal), сайн байна уу?‎
  •  Lü: ᦍᦲᧃᦡᦲ‎
  •  Catalan: hola‎
  •  Yup’ik: waqaa‎
  •  Bashkir: сәләм‎
  •  Yiddish: שלום־עליכם‎ (sholem-aleykhem), גוט־מאָרגן‎
  •  Venetian: ciao‎
  •  Interlingua: bon die‎, salute‎
  •  Volapük: glidis‎
  •  Ossetian: салам‎, байрай‎, арфӕ‎
  •  Svan: ხოჩა ლადა̈ღ‎
  •  Cherokee: ᎣᏏᏲ‎
  •  Dungan: ни хо‎ (ni ho)
  •  Roman: selam‎
  •  Inari Sami: tiervâ‎
  •  Zazaki: sılam‎, namaste‎
  •  Spanish: hola‎, buenos días‎, qué tal‎, buenas tardes‎
  •  Irish: Dia dhuit‎ (formal, singular), Dia dhaoibh‎ (formal, plural), Dia’s Muire dhuit‎ (formal, singular, response), Dia’s Muire dhaoibh‎ (formal, plural, response)
  •  Belarusian: прыве́т‎, здаро́ў‎ (colloquial), до́бры дзень‎
  •  Mopan Maya: d’yoos‎
  •  Scottish Gaelic: halò‎ (informal), latha math‎ (formal), (informal) hòigh‎
  •  Dutch: hallo‎, hoi‎, haai‎, hé‎, dag‎ (informal), goeiedag‎, goededag‎, goedendag‎, goeiendag‎ (formal)
  •  Georgian: გამარჯობა‎, სალამი‎
  •  Tagalog: kamusta‎, kumusta‎, hoy‎
  •  Central Atlas Tamazight: ⴰⵣⵓⵍ‎
  •  Latin: salve‎, salvete‎ (pl.), ave‎ , avete‎ (pl.)
  •  Afrikaans: hallo‎
  •  Nahuatl: niltze‎, panoltih‎
  •  Karachay-Balkar: кюнюгюз ашхы болсун‎ (künügüz aşhı bolsun!), ассаламу алейкум‎ (assalamu aleykum)
  •  Armenian: բարև‎, ողջույն‎
  •  Lao: ສະບາຍດີ‎
  •  Bulgarian: здра́сти‎ (familiar), здраве́й‎ (sing.) (familiar), здраве́йте‎ (pl.) (formal)
  •  Krio: kusheh‎
  •  Chamorro: håfa adai‎
  •  Karelian: terveh‎, hei‎
  •  Polish: cześć‎ (informal), witaj‎, witajcie‎, witam‎ (more formal), dzień dobry‎ (formal), siema‎ (informal), halo‎ (on phone)
  •  Greek: γεια‎, γεια σου‎ (sing.), γεια σας‎ (pl.), χαίρετε‎
  •  Tuvan: экии‎
  •  Asturian: hola‎
  •  Basque: kaixo‎
  •  Roman: zdravo‎, ćao‎, merhaba‎, selam‎, bog‎, bok‎

Overall, the word konichiwa means hello. This is a Japanese greeting.

Sources:

  1. Japanese Greetings: 21 for Engaging with Natives on the Fly | Fluent U 
  2. hello: meaning, origin, translation | Word Sense