How to say “It was nice to meet you” in Japanese

nice to meet you Japanese

Photo by Ben K Adams on Flickr

Japan has been know as a place where manners go a long way. While style and opinion certainly change, it’s hard to go wrong when you try and be as polite as possible when meeting new people in Japan. For this instalment of our lessons in helpful Japanese travel phrases we thought we’d look out how to say “It was nice to meet you” in Japanese.

Meeting new people in Japan

While we were in Japan, we had many opportunities to meet people. And while I knew the proper way to introduce myself in Japanese, I was never quite sure what to say when leaving. Sayonara, which conveys a long goodbye, just felt a little strange. Kind of like saying “Goodbye forever!”. I needed something a little lighter.

Friends

Photo by Nomadic Lass on Flickr

It was nice meeting you

“It was nice to meet you” or “It was nice meeting you” is a nice way to conclude a first time introduction. Here are two ways of saying it starting with the easiest first.

Aette yokatta – pronounced ah-eh-teh yo-kah-tah.

Aette means ‘to meet’ and yokatta means ‘it was good’. There is a slight pause or break in the voice where the double letters are in both aette and yokatta, but even if you have trouble saying it, the Japanese should understand and really appreciate it.

Anata ni aete totemo yokatta des – pronounced ah-na-ta ni ah-eh-teh toe-teh-moh yo-kah-tah des.

This is a little more advanced phrase which means “It was very nice to meet you”. Anata means ‘you’ and totemo means ‘very’.

So there you go. Now you know what the say to finish the conversation after meeting someone for the first time. We’d love to hear if you’ve used these phrases or have any favorites of your own.

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