Omedetou – How to say congratulations in japanese?


Do you know the word omedetou? Would you like to know its real meaning? In this article we will learn some interesting information about the famous Japanese word omedetou (おめでとう) which primarily means congratulations.

Let’s also see some curiosities, some synonyms and alternative words that you can use to congratulate someone. The perfect word to say happy birthday, congratulations on your wedding and many other phrases.

Omedetou - how to say congratulations in japanese? - banner 1 1

What does omedetou mean?

The word Omedetou (お目出度う) literally means congratulations on a favorable occasion such as a birthday, wedding or promotion. The word is composed by the adjective medetai (目出度い) which means happy, auspicious, cheerful and propitious.

The word is composed of the ideograms eye [目] leaving [出] and occurrence [度]. This word is usually accompanied by the famous expression gozaimasu (ございます) which makes the expression a little more formal.

Ironically the adjective medetai can also mean naive, innocent, foolish, good-natured. There are Japanese sweets that are also called omedetou (御目出糖) and are made from glutinous rice and azuki beans.

Other strange ways of writing medetai that are no longer used are [芽出度い] and [愛でたい]. Nowadays the word is written more in hiragana when it is an expression of congratulations (omedetou) and sometimes with kanji if used as an adjective.

Omedetou - parabéns em japonês - significado, curiosidades e sinônimos

How to use Congratulations in Japanese

Below we share some example sentences that can help you understand the use of the word omedetou:

Happy New Year明けましておめでとうAkemashite omedetou
Happy Birthday誕生日おめでとうtanjoubi omedetou
Congratulations on your engagementご婚約おめでとうございますGo kon’yaku omedetōgozaimasu
I wish you a Merry Christmasクリスマスおめでとうkurisumasu omedetou
Congratulations for the victory優勝おめでとう。Yūshō omedetō
Happy Halloweenハローウィンおめでとう。Harōu~in omedetō.


Before I start I want to briefly quote the verb moushiageru (申し上げる) which means to express, declare or extend and is usually used after a few words that we will study below.

And everyone lived happily ever after目出度し目出度しmedetashimedetashi
Congratulations, celebration, festivalお祝い(申し上げる)oiwai (moushiageru)
Congratulations (Kansai dialect)おめでとうさんomedetousan
Expressing pleasure, happinessお喜び(申し上げる)oyorokobi (moushiageru)
Congratulations, best wishes, long life寿kotobuki
Celebration, congratulations祝賀shukuga
English congratulationコングラチュレーションkongurachurēshon
Congratulations, condolences慶弔keichuu
Express Excitement!やった!yatta!

Sentences using omedetou

Below we will see some sentences teaching how to say happy birthday, happy new year and other similar sentences in Japanese.

O-tanjoubi omedetou gozaimasu. 
Happy Birthday (formal)
Go-kekkon omedetou gozaimasu. (formal)
Congratulations for the wedding!
Yuushou omedetou.
Congratulations for the victory!
Akemashite omedetou
Happy New Year!
Karera wa senpai ni shoushin omedetou to itta
They said congratulations to the veterans for the promotion.
kanshasai omedetou
Congratulations on Thanksgiving Day
Harōu~in omedetou
Happy Halloween
Barentaindē omedetō
Congratulations on Valentine's Day
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