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How do you say yes in Japanese politely?

1. Introduction

In Japanese culture, politeness is an important part of communication. It is essential to understand the nuances of how to say yes in Japanese politely in order to show respect and maintain good relationships. Whether you are a student learning the language or a businessperson making deals, understanding how to say yes in Japanese politely can help you make a good impression.

2. Understanding Japanese Culture and Etiquette

Japanese culture is based on politeness and respect for others. When it comes to communication, there are certain expectations for how people should interact with each other. This includes using polite language when speaking and understanding the different levels of politeness that can be used when saying yes in Japanese.

Japanese Snack Box

In Japan, there are three main levels of politeness: casual, polite, and honorific. Casual language is used among close friends and family members while polite language is used with strangers or people not as close to you. Honorific language is used when talking to people who have higher social status than you such as teachers or bosses. Knowing which level of politeness to use in different situations can help you communicate more effectively in Japan.

3. Different Ways to Say Yes in Japanese Politely

When it comes to saying yes in Japanese politely, there are several ways that one can express agreement depending on the situation and level of politeness desired. Here are some examples:

Casual: Hai (はい)
Polite: Hai, hai desu (はい、はいです)
Honorific: Hai, hai gozaimasu (はい、はいございます)

4. The Meaning Behind the Words

The word “hai” (はい) means “yes” in Japanese but it can also be used as a greeting or an acknowledgment of what someone has said without actually agreeing with them. The addition of “desu” (です) makes it more formal while “gozaimasu” (ございます) makes it even more formal and respectful.

5. Using Context To Express Your Agreement

In addition to using words like “hai” or “desu” when saying yes in Japanese politely, context can also be used as a way of expressing agreement without actually saying anything at all! For example, nodding your head up and down or smiling can both be effective ways of conveying agreement without having to say anything out loud at all!

6. When to Say Yes in Japanese Politely?

When deciding whether or not you should use polite language when saying yes in Japanese, it’s important to consider the context of the situation as well as who you’re speaking with! If you’re speaking with someone who has higher social status than yourself such as your boss or teacher then it would be appropriate for you to use honorific language when expressing agreement with them but if you’re speaking with someone who has lower social status than yourself then casual language would be more appropriate!

7 Tips for Saying Yes in Japanese Politely

Here are some tips for saying yes in Japanese politely:
1) Use honorific language when speaking with someone who has higher social status than yourself such as your boss or teacher;
2) Use polite language when speaking with strangers;
3) Use casual language when speaking with close friends and family;
4) Be aware of context – nodding your head up and down or smiling can also convey agreement without having to say anything;
5) Listen carefully before responding so that you understand what was said before agreeing;
6) Avoid using slang words unless they are appropriate for the situation;
7) Pay attention to body language – if someone looks uncomfortable then they may not want your agreement even if they asked for it!

8 Conclusion

In conclusion, understanding how to say yes in Japanese politely is an important part of communicating effectively within Japan’s culture and etiquette guidelines. By using honorifics when talking with those who have higher social status than yourself, being aware of context clues such as body language, listening carefully before responding, avoiding slang words unless appropriate for the situation, and paying attention to whom one is talking with will help ensure that one expresses their agreement appropriately within any given situation!

9 Resources


Tokoyama C., 2020 – How do You Say Yes In Japan Politely? [online] Available at: https://www..japaninsiders/how-do-you-say-yes-in-japanese-politely/ [Accessed 12th August 2020].

What are other ways to say yes in Japanese?

How do you say this in Japanese? Yes yes in Japanese we say は い (海) but we often hear わ か り ま し た (wakarimashita) which means I understand or OK I agree. However in informal situations it is acceptable to say ok です (okay) especially among friends where you can say ええ (ee).

How do you say yeah in Japanese?

yes yes {exclamation} はいはい {inter.} [plural]

What is the plain form of yes in Japanese?

はい hai
The simplest and most straightforward way of saying yes in Japanese is はい hai. In a more formal style, one may also use は!Jul 27, 2015

What does so desu ne?

So be quick. (Yes I know.)

What is Yokatta desu?

Well. / I am happy. Yokatata is the past participle 2 (good). The expression is used in casual conversations between friends. So DESU has the decency to finish the sentence.

Is Hai Hai rude in Japanese?

Hey Hey = Yes yes. / Good good. Speaking twice is generally considered rude in Japan. In fact many parents blame their children for this.

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