How to say welcome in Japanese

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Ever wondered how to say welcome in Japanese? While in the Portuguese language we know only the welcome, in the Japanese language there are different ways of speaking, depending on the place and occasion.

For this article I will leave a video of our Sensei, Luiz Rafael do Japanese Online Program.

IRASSHAI AND Irasshaimase [いらっしゃいませ]

The word irasshaimase [いらっしゃいませ] is a formal way of saying welcome to an establishment. Depending on the occasion you can hear its abbreviation irasshai [いらっしゃい] which is a little informal.

The word irasshai [いらっしゃい] comes from the verb irassharu [いらっしゃる] which can be written with the ideograms [入] which means to enter, [行] which means to go or go and iru [居] which means to be, to exist and to remain.

Tell irasshai it's like we're asking people to come in and be welcome to our store or location. The but is [ませ] is used to increase the delicacy and politeness of a greeting, which means to please and is considered a teineigo.

Como dizer bem-vindo em japonês

This word also conveys the idea of between and "feel free", "I'm available". Probably in some sentences you will notice that the translation of the word irasshai or irasshaimase it will not literally mean a welcome. See some example sentences below:

毎度、またいらっしゃい
Maido kills irasshai
Thank you, come back often!
明日遊びにいらっしゃい。
Ashita asobi ni irasshai.
Please come and play tomorrow.

No need to respond when listening irasshai in stores, but you can bow your head in thanks.

Okaeri and Okaerinasai [お帰りなさい]

This word is mostly used when you are arriving at a place you have already been, such as your own home or some highly visited business, where you already have intimacy with the owner.

When you enter places like Maid-Café they welcome you with Okaerinasai mase goshujin sama [おお帰りなさいませご主人様] which is a very formal way of saying welcome, simulating the nobles arriving at their mansions and being served by the maids.

Como dizer bem-vindo em japonês

Okaerinasai [お帰りなさい] derives from the verb kaeru [帰る] which means to go back, where that expression can literally mean “welcome back“. The abbreviated and informal form is only okaeri [お帰り].

Usually when someone comes home he says tadaima [ただいま] which is an equivalent of “I arrived!”. The person at home often says okaeri [お帰り]. Sometimes that word can appear in sentences where it means exactly “come back“.

Welcome - Youkoso [ようこそ]

That word literally means welcome or good to see you. This version is more generic and comes closer to the welcome in the Portuguese language. It is usually used to present something.

The word youkoso comes from the verb yoku [良く] that means well. Koso [こそ] is a particle used to emphasize the previous word. Here are some example sentences:

  • Nihon and youkoso [日本へようこそ] - Welcome to Japan;
  • youkoso kikai and [ようこそ機械へ] - welcome to the machine;
Como dizer bem-vindo em japonês

Other ways to say Welcome in Japanese

Below we will leave a list of words related to welcome. I hope you enjoyed the article. If you liked it don't forget to share and leave your comments.

PortugueseJapaneseRomaji
Welcome, reception [する]歓迎kangei
Welcome持て成すmotenasu
From English Welcome ウェルカムwerukamu
Irasshai in the Ryuukyuu dialectめんそーれmenso-re
Special treatment, warm welcome優待yuutai
Come onお出でなさいoidenasai
Meeting, greeting, welcome迎いmukai
Cordial welcome, hospitable treatment; 厚遇kougou
Welcome in the Kyoto dialect おいでやすoideyasu
パーティーに来たいと思う人は誰でも歓迎いたします。
Paatii ni kitai to omou hito wa dare demo kangei itashimasu.
Anyone who wants to come to the party is welcome.