"こんにちは"

Translation:Hello

June 5, 2017

142 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Arsuru
  • 1214

The は here is indeed the grammatical particle, and is thus pronounced /wa/. This is because this "word" is essentially a shortened phrase. See: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/%E4%BB%8A%E6%97%A5%E3%81%AF

It is not normally written with kanji (今日は) as that would likely be interpreted as きょうは, or "today…" Even if context would probably leave it unambiguous, the form of the word can matter.

June 7, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Kain5056

I think it's very nice, though, that in Japanese "good day" is written the same as "today". Kind of implies that every day is good. Same thing with 明日 「あした」 "tomorrow", that is written as "bright day". I really like how positive is this language. :-)

June 9, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Cindya2635

What about bonjour? In french it means good day in direct translation too

September 8, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Rae.F
  • 1977

"Bonjour" literally breaks down into "good day", yes, but it is used as "hello".

"こんにち は" literally breaks down into "as for this day..."
こん = this
にち = day
は = topic particle

September 10, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Ricardox18

What else can topic particles be used for? :|

August 25, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Rae.F
  • 1977

You can get a lot of good results if you Google "Japanese particles".

August 30, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Arthur_J.

Yeah but the long form of "Bonjour" (that nobody says nowadays), is "Je vous souhaite le bon jour" (I wish you a good day)

May 2, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Rae.F
  • 1977

This is true, but I don't see how it's relevant.

May 2, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/KeithWong9

こんにちは is short for "今日(こんにち)はご機嫌(きげん)いかがですか" or "今日はお天気(てんき)がいいですね" How are you today? or Good weather today.

May 3, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/SimritSand

Well said mon ami :)

June 21, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/ScottKBeck

I was a Japanese tutor in college hired by my Japanese professor and we always wrote Konnichiwa 今日は。Kyou wa was written the same way. Context is imperative in reading Japanese kanji.

August 16, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/mariatangerine

Is that why we dont use わ at the end in this case?

March 19, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Rae.F
  • 1977

は used in this context is a grammar particle. It is not interchangeable with わ, which is not a grammar particle.

The particle は being pronounced "wa" is a historical quirk. It is pronounced "ha" when it is part of a word.

March 19, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/ariel.shar

Shouldn't "good evening" be konbanwa?

June 7, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/CMcC1

I think you're right. This word for me though is coming as "good afternoon" though so I guess there is a difference?

June 9, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Kimiko_Sensei

yes you are right. the Kon just refers to the present day or "today"

konnichi wa "this day" but used as a greeting "good afternoon or good day"

June 27, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/SisterMounteer

As far as I know, こんばんは is "good evening," こんにちは is "good afternoon," and おはいよ is "good morning." Then theres also おやすみなさい which is "good night," but I think thats really only for if the person you're talking to is going to sleep not for just saying it like saying goodbye at the end of the day, that should be こんばんは。At least thats what I was led to believe, please correct me if i'm wrong.

April 13, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/KeithWong9

Mostly right.

Good morning is おはよう

Good night おやすみなさい and can be a goodbye if it is late in the evening e.g. after 9pm.

こんばんは cannot be a goodbye. It is a hello when you see people in the evening.

April 13, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/aenon83

For what I saw in other sites, konbanwa is good evening but where there is no sun outside

May 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/ScottKBeck

今晩は(こんばんは)means good evening and is a greeting just like English and is used during the same time period.

August 16, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/-mori-mori-

yes, it is こんばんわ (konnbanwa) and means good evening (to you)

January 7, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Rae.F
  • 1977

こんばんは, not こんばんわ. It breaks down literally as

こん this
ばん evening
は [topic marker]

or "As for this evening..."

January 7, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/AlphaDenvia

Hai.

February 23, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/trixia_b

I read this somewhere but "wa" when used as a particle is written as "ha" (or is it "ha" used as a particle and read as "wa" i'm not sure)

June 6, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/MuizzSiddi

"ha" is the character that is sometimes pronounced as "wa"

June 6, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/MentalPinball

'Ha' is used as a particle and it's read 'wa'

June 9, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/AdrianLimon

If we literally transalte,こんにちは would be something like: " as for this day ... " the rest is implicit since you are expecting the person you said it to, to tell you how their day is going. こん= this にち=day. は=subject particle

June 22, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Robin539971

Am I supposed to drag out the "n" sound because it's んに and not just に?

July 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/John962776

What do people mean when they say it is used as "the particle" is that the same as a suffix in English or literally just as the end of the word. So if i see 'ha' at the end of a word then I should pronounce it as 'wa'

June 22, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Rae.F
  • 1977

Japanese has grammatical particles that English just does not have. They are used to indicate what role the previous phrase plays in the sentence. https://nihongoichiban.com/home/japanese-grammar-particles/ They are not word suffixes and should be written separately.

June 22, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/i-amhb

Still confused about particles sigh hopefully one day!

July 17, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/HallieGray

It's a bit early at this point in this lesson sequence to be worried about that because at this point we're just learning the hiragana and getting introduced to some words and phrases. (Although I'm sure your comment indicates a certain amount of outside study and prior study apart from this course.) As for understanding the particles, (and I see you posted this 5 months ago so you may be there already), but for anyone else reading who would post this same comment, I think the particles may get easier if you just start using the phrases that use them - you will learn them as part of a phrase or expression rather than as a word that is translatable to English - in this way you will soon begin to gradually and easily pick up on an innate (or at least rhythmic) understanding of the particles and when to use them. Heck, you might even get to a point where you could define or explain it to someone - I'm certainly not there yet for many particles! One book I had for learning Japanese said the only way to really get into the ability to use Japanese sentence structure is to start by memorizing and repeating sample sentences over and over and then begin to substitute words into the sample sentences. So you would learn to say "I am a red bird." And when you learned other words you could plug them in - "I am a blue bird. I am a blue box. You are a red bird. A cardinal is a red bird." Etc...

January 3, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/HallieGray

For anyone just now wondering what the particles and the meanings are (and I welcome corrections/additions/clarifications since I am working off of memory) - wa = subject Watashi wa shiawase desu. ("I, the subject, happy am.") no = possession (" 's") Onna no neko ("the woman's cat") ka = question mark Watashi wa shaiwase desu ka. (I am happy? Am I happy?" yo = exclamation mark Watashi wa shiawase desu yo. (I am happy!) ni = "to, at, by, in" Gakko ni iku. ((I am) school to (to school) going.)

By the way, prepositions are often not clearly translatable - even within a language sometimes. (Consider how usually Americans say "different from" where as Brits commonly say "different to" and these phrases mean the same thing. So don't get hung up on prepositions, just memorize them and accept that you might always get them mixed up, as I do with French prepositions all the time!

That will get you started. Wikipedia's article on "Japanese particles" reveals there are lots of particles and translations of those particles so there's lots of time to learn them all.

January 3, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Rae.F
  • 1977

By the way, prepositions are often not clearly translatable

If there is one eternal linguistic truth, it is that prepositions NEVER map cleanly between languages. Not in translation, not in usage. And even between dialects of one language, as you point out, there is variation.

January 3, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Tugceak_68

Konnichiwa or konnichiha? Which one is correct pronunciation?

June 5, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Shadow15243

Konnichiwa is the right one

June 5, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Tunatic

Why are there two Ns in that?

June 9, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Hippopigamus

The first n is its own syllable. ko-n-ni-chi-wa

June 12, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/galacticdog

if youre writing (not pronouncing) it in english letters, would you write it like that as well? or as konnichiha?

June 24, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Rae.F
  • 1977

No, it is Romanized as "konnichi wa".

June 24, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Eheaubaut

Its konnichiwa. When 'ha' is written as a particle it is pronounced 'wa'.

June 10, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Orelion

Konnichiwa. According to the book I have it was once pronounced konnichiha. The pronunciation changed but not the writing.

October 12, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Rae.F
  • 1977

こんにちは is literally "As for this day...":
この = this
にち = day
は = topic particle

は is always pronounced "wa" when it is the topic particle. As you said, it used to be "ha" consistently.

There have been other sound changes as well, which is why we still spell it Nippon in English even though in Japanese it's now nihon.

October 13, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/kaylah2005

So this can mean both hello and good afternoon , right ?

June 28, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Rae.F
  • 1977

Pretty much. Think of it as a greeting you only use in the afternoon. They say "konnichi wa", we say "hello" or "good afternoon". They say "konban wa", we say "hello" or "good evening". They say "ohaiou", we say "hello" or "good morning".

June 28, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Prx14

That was pretty helpful! Cheers!

August 9, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/noanimenol1

It should be hello i think

June 10, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Beste_Schurk

No, Japanese actually doesn't have a word for simply 'hello' It always depends on the time of day (morning, day, afternoon, evening, etc.) Konnichiwa means good afternoon.

June 17, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Dittodude

So what do you say at midday? Or do you just transition from ohayou to konnichiwa?

June 27, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Mithlas1

You transition from ohayou to konnichi wa. Children can get away with using konnichi wa all day long, but where that divide is between "proper morning" and "proper afternoon" is varies, because I've heard several native Tokyo residents say "konnichi wa" at 11:30.

December 17, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/nich227

今日は

February 14, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/KatherineMarie11

Why is the translation, "Good afternoon" ? I've always understood こんにちは to be hello. Is it because you use おはよございます only in the morning? Thanks

February 26, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Rae.F
  • 1977

"kon nichi wa" is literally "As for this day..." But it's used as a greeting equivalent to "hello".

But yes, just as we have "good morning" and "good afternoon" in English which we tend to restrict to their respective times of day, Japanese has おはよう for the morning and こんにちは for past that. "Good evening" is "kon ban wa", literally, "As for this evening..."

February 26, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Rae84152

Why doesnt it have the "wa" character at the end and not the "ha" character.

June 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Beste_Schurk

While は is most of the time pronounced ha, there are exceptions like this one when it's pronounced wa. は is added at the end of a word to mark it as the topic and in these cases it's pronounced wa. As for konnichiwa, I believe it used to be a phrase where は was used in this manner, later it became a single word, but kept it's spelling and pronunciation. I hope this was helpful.

June 17, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Nolfinkol

I didn't realize it was "konichiha" and not "konichiwa". Is there a reason why 'ha' sounds like 'wa' in the voiced example?

June 16, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/NeonMarkov

This is shorthand from a longer expression which eventually became its own word, and it keeps the "wa" sound in は because it sounds like that when it's used as a particle, like in the original sentence

June 21, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/VedaHarden1

I got it wrong because I didnt capatalize the G in good morning i did everything right i put " Hello, good afternoon." and it said it was wrong.

June 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Rae.F
  • 1977

The capitalization had nothing to do with it. You were trying to translate one greeting into two different greetings at the same time. So I wouldn't say you did everything right.

June 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/KeithWong9

It is either hello or good afternoon. You cannot say both hello and good afternoon. It is not good morning either.

June 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/JustinceYuan

Google japanese keyboard have no は. Instead its わ.

Why?

August 1, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Rae.F
  • 1977

When it's just another syllable in a word, は is pronounced "ha" and わ is pronounced "wa".

But when it's used as a grammar particle ("konnichi wa" literally means "as for this day...") は is pronounced "wa".

August 1, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/LeBeauGarcon94

こんにちわ

So is this also acceptable or its wrong? わ/は?

August 13, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Rae.F
  • 1977

When it's just another syllable in a word, は is pronounced "ha" and わ is pronounced "wa".

But when it's used as a grammar particle ("konnichi wa" literally means "as for this day...") は is pronounced "wa".

は and わ are not interchangeable.

This has been covered on this page before.

August 13, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Dresajee

I'm confused. "Hello" is definitely the main definition of こんにちは, but shouldn't "Good evening" have also been an acceptable answer?

August 28, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Rae.F
  • 1977

No, that would be こんばんは.

にち is "day". こんにちは is literally "As for this day..."

August 28, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Hayley225007

As this word also means good afternoon would it be abnormal to say it in the morning or at night time ?

October 26, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Rae.F
  • 1977

It literally means "As for this day..."

At night, you would say こんばんは, literally "As for this evening..."

In the morning, you could say こんいちは or おはいよう.

October 26, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/YessicaRiv124241

No se hablar ingles. estoy perdida

January 22, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Elysiatan1

Why is 'hallo' wrong? It's the alternative UK spelling for 'hello'.

February 2, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Rae.F
  • 1977

Duolingo is based in the USA and focuses on Standard American English. The course contributors do occasionally take suggestions for alternate translations, but of course they cannot be expected to include or even be aware of every single variation from all over the world.

February 2, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Gita-ji

'Hallo' is also the Dutch word for 'Hello'.

May 23, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Nehimy

こ ん に ち は= Hello

February 19, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/AlphaDenvia

I thought that kon'nichiwa meant good afternoon?

February 23, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Rae.F
  • 1977

It can be used that way, but greetings are just niceties and rarely translate literally across unrelated languages.

February 23, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/santiagopu895415

i put the correct answer and it still says im wrong

March 12, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/KeithWong9

It serves no purpose posting this comment here. There is nobody here who can help you. Either you post exactly what you have typed in your answer so that people here can take a look, or you press the flag button to report after you answer the question if you think your answer is absolutely correct.

March 12, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Peasoup3

To remember Ko I think of Koko from fosters home for imaginary friends. It looks open mouth beakish.

March 15, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Rae.F
  • 1977

I was taught that it looks like two koi swimming in a pond.

March 15, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/thatsexychicken

So many sites have been telling me こんにちは means 'Good Evening' and then other sites are telling me it means hello.

I am confusion

March 17, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Rae.F
  • 1977

Translation is more about context and usage than it is about what it literally breaks down as.

こんにちは literally breaks down as
こん = this
にち = day
は = (topic marker)
or "As for this day..." but the best colloquial translation is "good day", "good afternoon", or "hello".

"Good evening" is こんばんは, or
こん = this
ばん = evening
は = (topic marker)
or "As for this evening..." but the best colloquial translation is "good evening" or "hello".

https://japanese.stackexchange.com/questions/41011/is-it-appropriate-to-say-konbanwa-when-ending-a-conversation

https://en.wikiversity.org/wiki/Basic_Japanese_greetings

March 17, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/xXelisagXx

why doesn't 'hey' work?

April 30, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Rae.F
  • 1977

Too generic, too informal.

April 30, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/CathrineBe8

DUO KIDNAPPED ME AND HES MAKING ME WORK

May 3, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Gunnar51226

I had a typo haha

May 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Ernest343666

こんにちわ

May 18, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Rae.F
  • 1977

That is how it is pronounced, but that is not how it is spelled.

Please read the other comments on this page.

May 18, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Shadow131593

Im still a bit confused, with how "は" works. So if at the end of a word its pronounced "Wa" but at the beginning its "Ha"?

May 30, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Rae.F
  • 1977

は is a stand-alone grammar particle that marks the discursive topic of the sentence. Due to a historical quirk, it is pronounced "wa" in this context. It is not a matter of "comes at the end of a word" vs "comes at the beginning of a word", but rather a matter of "grammar particle" vs "part of a word".

Other comments on this page also discuss this.

May 30, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Chauncey888978

Correct me if I'm wrong is this how you spell it konnichiwa?

June 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Rae.F
  • 1977

Yes. Please read the other comments on this page for more details.
https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/22946203

June 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Trinity189189

Ohayou おはよう-Good Morning

Konnichiha こんにちは-Good Afternoon

Konbanha こんばんは-Good Evening

Oyasumi おやすみ-Good Night

*Add gozaimasu ございます to make them formal (except Good Night. Instead, end it with nasai なさい).

June 15, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/PamilaColb1

I did write hello

June 18, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Amy549171

こんにちは everybody!

June 25, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Sid_Sir

what is a particle and when is 'ha' used as a particle ('wa') ?

July 24, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Rae.F
  • 1977

Essentially, a particle is a tiny bit of grammar that really isn't a full-fledged word by itself, but gets tacked onto the end of phrases to let you know what's going on.

Usually, は is pronounced "ha", but when it functions as the topic particle it's pronounced "wa".

Marking something as the topic is not the same as marking it as the subject. Think of the topic marker as roughly the equivalent of "As for..." Ending a sentence with カ makes it a question.
https://nihongoichiban.com/home/japanese-grammar-particles/

As a greeting, こんにちは literally means "today" (or super-literally, "As for today...").

July 24, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Harry114693

i thought it was hi

October 23, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Mithlas1

There are several ways of greeting in Japanese, much like any other language. You can mention the weather, you can praise the person's industriousness if they're obviously working on something, or you can give them a time-of-day appropriate phrase just like English "Good Morning".

December 17, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/AthosTaz

why "good morning" is wrong? "good day" is actually used? english is not my first language, so I really don't know.

November 20, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Rae.F
  • 1977

"Good morning" would be "ohayou" -- おはよう

November 20, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/SofiyaAlfy

Before I write this down, if I wrote the pronunciation character by character, would it be konnichiha? I always heard it said like konichiwa so I'm just wondering, how would I write the pronunciation in English letters?

January 17, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Rae.F
  • 1977

English transliterates based on how it sounds. We're not beholden to the quirks of Japanese orthography. So konichiwa. You just need to know that the actual Japanese is こんにちは, which breaks down as

こん = this
にち = day
は = topic marker

January 17, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/deaththeki769687

in the JP - German books i use its Guten Tag ( in german theres no good afternoon tho )

i also never heasrd someone say good afternoon

February 2, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Rae.F
  • 1977

Good afternoon isn't that common in ordinary informal conversations, but if you were to call a business, the person on the other end is likely to answer the phone with some variation on "Good afternoon, you've reached [name], how can I help you?"

February 2, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/timoteoandre

は >> This is so confusing, why does it sound like "wa" and "ha" when there's already one for "wa"?

So if I'm just pronouncing it alone do I always say "wa" and then change to "ha" according to the word?

March 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Rae.F
  • 1977

It's a historical quirk of Hiragana.

When it's part of a word, は is pronounced "ha".
When it's the grammar particle that marks the topic of the sentence, は is pronounced "wa".

March 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/ErickBruno455452

Konnichiwa is good afternoon. No "hello"

January 26, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Rae.F
  • 1977

It is a greeting used the same way we use "hello" in English.

But if you want to break it down literally (which has already been done multiple times on this page):

こん = this
にち = day
は = topic particle

It does not specify "afternoon".

January 26, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/IvanMolano2

Why do you have to use ん "n" if you have に "ni"?

January 15, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Rae.F
  • 1977

In this case, it's because the whole thing is two words and a grammar particle:

こんにちは

こん = this
にち = day
は = topic marker

In Japanese, the length of a sound is important. Regular vs short vs long can make a difference in meaning between two words.

Another example of this is the pair of words
ほし = star
ほしい = want

January 15, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/AryanSwami

Why does it say Ko-n-ni-chi-ha while you pronounce ko-n-ni-chi-WA?

April 19, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/KeithWong9

Duplicate question. Please read the comments in this page because almost half of them are talking about this.

April 19, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/souranil-

Why is hello ko n i chi wa And not ko ni chi wa? Also why is the wa (は) also pronounced ha in some places? Like hai (はい) The wa in konichiwa and ha in hai are same characters. WHAT!? 2 questions above. Thanks

June 19, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Rae.F
  • 1977

Your question has been answered on this page already. Please read before commenting.

June 19, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Amy549171

U don't know

June 25, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Rae.F
  • 1977

Sweetie, I'm the one who explained it elsewhere on the page. I'm tired of seeing repetitive questions and I'm tired of repeating myself answering the repetitive questions.

June 25, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Createcliches

Yes, i don't understand "wa"? It is not the character I've learned for "wa"? Why???? Very confusing.

July 3, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Rae.F
  • 1977

Please read the other comments on this page.

July 3, 2019
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