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  5. "おはよう"


Translation:good morning

June 4, 2017



"Do you wish me a good morning, or mean that it is a good morning whether I want it or not; or that you feel good this morning; or that it is a morning to be good on?" — Gandalf, The Hobbit


Neither. The literal translation of おはよう is "[it's] early". It's just (mostly) used similarly to the greeting "good morning" would be in English. おはよう is not strictly used in the morning and is sometimes used between co-workers at the beginning of a shift, even if it is not the morning.


So ohio gozaimas would be its very early?


That's the phrase you use with someone you don't know. It's the formal/polite way to say "Good morning."


It's ohayō gozaimasu. And no, that is the formal version. Although I would recommend researching the difference between formal and informal speech, it is very different to how we would use formal and informal speech.


Could you explain the difference, and what make it grammatically or historically more formal?


Ohaiyo gosaimasu is good morning but formal. Ohaiyo is good morning i formal


"Good morning" and the other greetings in the European languages are a short for something like" I wish you a good morning", is it the same in Japanese? It's early, is a short for what?


Short for "You woke up early," or "We have met early."


"Well all of them at once I suppose." Bilbo, The Hobbit


"It's a good morning no matter how you feel. Every morning is a blessing, and we should treat them as such." ~ Zina Callison, Unknown Book.


I just can't fit the final "u" in the sentence...


O+U will sound as a double O and E+I will sound as a double E. Take care!


It might have been a bit vague... So I'll increment a bit. When a double vowel happens you will pronounce it twice longer, no different sounds will come up when you double any of these 5 vowels, but as I said o+u = oo and e+i = ee.


Double o and double e or long o and long è?


In this case it sounds like an English long o, as opposed to an English double o (not an oooh sound), so I think maybe he means long e as well for the e+i combo. If this is true, it is like the English silent vowel making the first long, as in leaf or boat.


That was very helpful. I was confused about the n at the end too. Thank you.


う is romanised as "u". In this case, this mora modifies the pronunciation of よ into a long vowel. These are often transcribed into latin letters with a macron:

おはよう = Ohayou = Ohayō

東京 = とうきょう = Toukyou = Tōkyō

It's hard to hear the difference at first but you will need to learn the correct pronunciation to speak Japanese and to write them correctly in Kana (e.g, typing "Tokyo" won't map to 東京 with an IME).


Thank yoう!!


Haha, that's fun! But thank ゅう may more close. Haha...

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Except that it needs to be written in katakana: ユウ (with a small ウ, if I am correct)



Half-width and full-width do not quite matter. Normally people use full-width, but if spaces are limited, then half-width can be used.

For large and small kana, they are different though. Large ones have their normal pronunciation, but small ones are used to modify the pronunciation of the previous kana.

To type small kana in most of the IMEs, first type "l" or "x" first, then type the romanji of the character.

  • や ゃ (lya)
  • ゆ ゅ (lyu)
  • よ ょ (lyo)
  • あ ぁ (la)
  • い ぃ (li)
  • う ぅ (lu)
  • え ぇ (le)
  • お ぉ (lo)
  • つ っ (ltu)

  • パーティー (type: pa-teli- ; read: paa-tii)

  • レボリューション (type: reboryu-shonn ; read: re-bo-ryuu-shon)
  • チューニングフォーク (type: chu-ninngufo-ku ; read chuu-nin-gu-foo-ku)



Since Keith took my question, I'll answer his XP

Both the small kana and the dash are used to achieve different effects on the pronunciation. Sometimes one function is necessary, but not the other, and vice versa, and sometimes both need to be used together to achieve the desired effect.

As he mentioned, small kana modify the pronunciation of the previous kana. So in the case of ティ, the テ (te, sounds like "teh") is modified to become ティ (ti, sounds like "tee"). On the other hand, パ doesn't need any such modification; if you wanted it to say "pi" or "pe" instead, you could just used ピ or ペ.

But, in Japanese, these "syllables" (more accurately, "morae") are all the same length of time, so パティ will sound more like "pah-ti", or the name "Patty".

The dash is only used in katakana words, and it indicates that the previous vowel sound needs to be elongated, technically to precisely twice the length of a normal mora. You can think of it as an extra wildcard vowel character. So パーティー sounds like "pah-ah-ti-i", except without re-enunciating the second, and fourth, vowel sounds. In other words, you hold the "pah" sound for as long as it would take you to say "pah-ah"; and "ti" as long as it takes you to say "ti-i".

To an American ear, I imagine this sounds nothing like the English pronunciation of "party", but as an Australian, it sounds similar enough :P which is the usually the idea behind katakana words, though be aware that they also use katakana for words from other languages.

In katakana words, the dash is used to create this lengthened vowel effect, but if you're using hiragana, the vowel is repeated (sort of). As @kelsi602 showed earlier in this thread, Tokyo is actually pronounced とうきょう, with "to" and "kyo" being elongated by う. And the only way we can get the sound "kyo" is by modifying it with a small ょ ;)


Actually, it should be ユー with the bar indicating a long vowel sound.

What you have there is a half-width ウ, which is very different from a small ゥ. Compare regular, small, regular half-width, small half-width: ウゥウゥ ;)


サンキュー is the proper Japanese word.

By the way, youtube in Japanese is commonly referred as ようつべ(typing youtube in IME)

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@KeithWong9, thanks, got me digging a bit. I use my IME in ひらがな, so I had to find out how to do the small characters differently: cycling through gave me the answer. One more thing I do not understand is why sometimes we have to use the small character, other times the dash, yet others both the small character and the dash. From one of your examples: パーティー, why both ィ and ー?

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@JoshuaLore9, I could not reply to your comment, thanks for the correction. Somehow though I cannot find a way to write a small katakana 'u' with my keyboard (Swiftkey app / Android tablet). Only the half-width is available to me it seems.

Also could you expand on the meaning of half-width & small versions of a given character?

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@JoshuaLore9, wow, what a fabulous explanation, thank you. Here's an up vote and a lingot :-) (and you too KeithWong9)



I'm no linguistics expert, but when the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's-a morae :P get it? Because while the phrases can be separated musically into groups of three syllables ("when the moon"), each group is actually four mora long since the last syllable of each group is "heavy" or long/bimoraic ("big" is an exception; in normal speech, it's a "light" syllable but it gets elongated to match the pattern/rhythm of the other groups).

Analyzing morae in English is much harder than in Japanese; not even considering the regional variation of English pronunciation, spelling doesn't have any indication of syllable or mora length. In Japanese, each kana (even ん, I think, even though it's generally not considered a syllable) represents one mora. So you just count the number of kana it takes to make a word, and that's how many morae it is.


Compound ones count as one mora, like the -ya/yu/yo ones e.g. きゃ ちゅ ティ ヴァ


Most people understand Kana as a syllabic writing system which is almost true. Mora is the linguistically correct term for the sound each (large) Kana character represents. Often is is very similar to a syllable but there are some particular differences, including よう(yō) and こん (kon) which are syllables which are each composed on 2 mora. Japanese mora are all pronounced the same length so these are used for long sounds.


I have a question . May seem stupidbut i have to ask. So far in this course we've learnt all conjunctions of consonants and vowels. But i havent come across ha. So i am very confused as to how they can bring up ohayou . If so what is the conjunction for ha?


So yo+u =yō (long o)
How is it called in linguistics?
Is there other letters that are long-vowel indicators? Can it work with something else than "yo"?


It is called long vowel.

For any sound ending with:

  • "a" (あ、か、さ、...), use あ to make a long vowel
  • "i" (い、き、し、...), use い
  • "u" (う、く、す), use う
  • "e" (え、け、せ), use い or え
  • "o" (お、こ、そ), use う or お


Ohio! resemble word.


Ohio actually has an anime con called Ohayocon. Fun fact for the day.


"Wait, it's all Japanese good morning?" "Always has been."


Why is "ha" sometimes pronounced "wa"??


は is pronounced as wa when it is used as a particle


That is perfectly true -- but I think it's not very helpful of duolingo to ask, on the very first occasion the character is introduced, "what is the sound of は?" and then require the answer "wa". That should have been left until after the fact that the particle "wa" is written は ("ha") has been explained.


yes but sometimes it's pronounced like "ha" in "hannah" and sometimes like "ra". How can we make the difference? Thanks in advance for your help in your answer


I've never heard は pronounced as "ra"; it's always either "ha" or "wa".

Perhpas you are mishearing, the audio quality on whatever device you're on is dodgy, or you were talking an unusually gravelly-voiced person.


So in essence when using wa in a word like watashi I should be using the dedicated wa character?


When i press on the symbols in this question under "good morning it says "put" "tooth" "you know" does anyone know what that means or is trying to indicate?


Edit: Ignore me, read JoshuaLore9's reply below.

It is probably (don't quote me on this) what the individual hirigana means if it is written on its own.


Yes, and no. Duo are pretty slow to bring out the kanji in this course, so for a long time you will get away with just writing the hiragana. However, those hiragana on their own are how those words can be pronounced, but generally, things like "tooth" should be written in kanji (歯) for clarity, even though it still sounds like ha.

Personally, I can understand why they chose to do it, but I feel like it creates more confusion than picking just picking words with easy kanji for us to learn first.


Is this a single word in Japanese? Do they use spaces or another way to see where a word starts and ends?


There are no spaces between words in Japanese. Topic marking particles like は and が and other indicators such as adverbs, adjectives etc help with being able to read words without spaces.


No spaces between words? Great! No more complaints about my run-on sentences!


It was like this in old languages like Latin, old Greek, Hebrew.
Spaces are not strictly necessary to understand a meaning, but we simply are very used to them.


おはよう= Good morning (informal)... おはようございます = Good morning (formal)

You don't have to pronounce "う". Actually, the right way to say that is: "ohayõ" (the sound of the "o" is long).

But if you want to say that formally: "ohayõ gozaimasu" (the sound of the "o" is long, never forget it).


Ohayō is acually just plain 'Morning', whereas Ohayōgozaimasu means 'Good morning'


Not literally, though. It has more to do with the level of politeness of those sentences. Just like 'itashimasu' being more polite/humble than 'shimasu'. Morning is 'asa'. I know what you mean, but I wanted to clarify


The last letter is "yo", why is there another o at the end?


The extra character on the end is actually "u", so if you were to romanize it, it would look like ohayou.

The reason why it's there is to lengthen the "o" vowel sound. In this particular case, the length of the vowel sound isn't strictly important (and in casual speech, it is often short), but in other cases, the vowel length can result in huge differences in meaning. For example, 高校 ("high school") is pronounced こうこう, with long vowel sounds. If you said ここ instead, you would be saying "here".


What does "gosaimas" mean? I remember hearing it after this a couple of tomes.


'おはようございます' is more politer than 'おはよう'. If you are a student, to say 'おはようございます' to teachers is better.

goZAimasu ございます second hiragana letter is ざ :D


ございますis the polite/humble form of ある/あります meaning “there is” or “it exists”.


But what does it mean literally and historically?


お...ございます is polite construct {meaning to be polite to the listener).

The adjective 早(はや)い (early) has a sound transformation to 早(はよ)う when using this polite construct (so that it sounds smoother in practice).


Cant this also mean Hello or hi ?


Yes, but: (copied from one of my earlier comments)

From a translation persective, I agree, but this is just a learning exercise and to teach おはよう = "hello" makes things needlessly confusing, especially since that particular usage is only applicable in specific scenarios which differ significantly from the normal usage if "hello" in English.


So what is "hi" or "hello"? Is it a formality difference with the hi/hello in place 1, the good morning in place 2 and the to one with gozaimasu in place 3 with the greater formality? Is it comparable to tu /vous?


There is no 1 to 1 mapping between English and Japanese for Hi or Hello.

"Hi" is closer to よう, うっす

"Hello" is closer to こんにちは (good day), もしもし (over the phone).

Having ございます is more polite and formal. I think it is fair to compare this to tu/vous although one is a greeting and the other is a pronoun...


My japanese teacher greets us with おはようございます is this more common than a simple おはよう when greeting someone in the morning?


It is like hello vs yo! Which one is more common? You can't tell because it depends on the person you are greeting. If he is your boss's boss, will you use "yo!"? No unless you want to mess up with your career... Always use full form おはようございます if you are talking to someone not a friend of yours.


Is everything from back to front


From left to right if writing horizontally. From right to left if writing the paragraphs vertically.


can you explain what you mean?


Do both genders say this? Just curious.


Yes, 「おはよう」is universal.


What is the difference, if any, between ohayou and ohayo?


Like the difference between "going to" and "gonna." Gonna is a contraction but not a proper word, but people say it.


So they use the short o instead of the long o sometimes?


Yes. おはよ (very informal) and おはよう (informal).


How did we go from matching characters.with sounds to recognising sentences??? We just guess?


The same as any other language: you learn and practice. You go from matching characters with sounds, to recognizing groups of characters as "words", to learning a bit of grammar, which is the same as recognizing groups of words, to recognizing sentences.

I'm not saying it'll be easy, but the approach is not unique to Japanese. Well, Japanese has some challenges (e.g. having 3 scripts) which make some parts more difficult than other languages, but every language has their own challenges (I'm looking at you, gendered verb conjugation).


I'd like to ask, would it be correct to say that ohayō is essencially like saying "Morning!" and ohayō gozaimasu is "Good Morning."?


To a fair approximation, yes. However, the difference in politeness between "Morning" and "Good morning" in English is a lot blurrier than the difference between おはよう and おはようございます.


Is お早う the proper kanji or is the hiragana usually used?


is there a kanji for 'good morning', or would you just use 早 ?


what sounds are the word Good, and what signs are the word morning? The lesson never showed me... :(


There is nothing in おはよう that literally translates to "good" and "morning." Remember, languages do not translate 1-to-1 and it is usually a bad translation if you do this. I suggest not to try to drill into any "literal" meanings in the beginner courses. Learn phrases as a whole so that you learn the natural way that native people speak.

p.s. the literal translation is "It is early" and this has been discussed in one of the comments above.


is sounds like theyre making the "i" sound but the symbol is not written


If you think about it, try pronouncing these words.

  • Yes
  • Way
  • Xylophone

Do you hear the "i" sound? Yes, because "y" has an "i" sound!


There is no way to tell that this is part of the 平仮名 lesson while in practice mode, so you have to guess, especially since some other similar questions in this module accept お早う.


Even if not part of the hiragana or the greetings lessons, this word is still typically always written in hiragana alone and never appears in the course in its kanji form...


Im confused about pronunciation. O WA YO U. Is there some indication about what makes this pronounced ohayo?


は is the hiragana "ha"
It is only pronounced "wa" when it is used as a topic particle.
As part of a word it is は "ha" and the kana わ is "wa"


Whats the difference between ohayo and asa?


おはよう「ございます」is a greeting you would use in the morning, "Good morning!"
There is no actual word for "good" or "morning" though, it more literally translates to "It is early"

朝・あさ is just the temporal noun "morning"


Ohaiyo gozaimasu means goodmorning as I know but this pronounce only ohaiyo ,so I pick good only


"Good morning" isn't a literal translation (There is nothing here that actually translates to "good" or "morning" individually), it is just a conversational equivalent.
おはよう is a traditional honorific form of 早い・はやい "early"
ございます is polite form of the formal verb "to be, to exist"
おはよう and おはようございます both more literally mean "it is early" with the shorter being casual and the longer being polite form


When we use full "Ohayo gosaimasu"??


How do you pronounce it?


Um maybe if i spell it wrong and put "Goof morning" would u still say its correct i mena its just one word....


Duo will usually forgive one typo in a word as long as that typo does not create a new word


Please, can I just use う or do I need write whole?


That's like saying

Can I just use "ng" instead of writing "good morning"?

Of course not. You need to write the whole thing; う is just one part of the word.


Isn't 'hello' a more appropriate translation ?


No, it isn't. "Good morning" matches up more closely with the general usage of おはよう.

While it's possible to translate it to "hello", tesching おはよう = "hello" makes things needlessly confusing, especially since thid particular usage is only applicable in specific scenarios which differ significantly from the normal usage of "hello" in English.


Why has "Yes" in the phrase if I don't use the word?!


"Yes" doesn't appear in the phrase. In Japanese, "yes" is はい (pronounced hai), whereas this word contains the sound はよ (pronounced hayo) which might sound similar.

But English has a lot of this kind of thing too, e.g. "yes" appears in the word "yesterday" even though it's completely unrelated. I suggest that you approach language learning with a more open mind; forget what you think you already know about Japanese, and just take in what it is, not what you think it should be.

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