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  5. "ごちそうさまでした。"


Translation:Thank you for the meal.

June 5, 2017



hello. We say "itadakimasu"(いただきます) before the meal. And we say "gotisousama" (ごちそうさま) or "gotisousamadesita" (ごちそうさまでした)after the meal.


Could you give a literal translation of the phrase?


I had watched family were praying to their god before meal in the movies.
And I had thought there are resemble custom in the world.

We say with the feeling of thankful.


Thank you. What I meant was, does the phrase have a literal meaning (e.g. I guess that こんにちは comes from 「今日は[I hope you are doing well]」 or sth like that)? ごちそうさま looks like a noun for me, and indeed it’s listed in jisho () ご馳走さま , but not with a very enlightening definition. Could you explain what it roughly means?


ごちそう means feast. So this phrase would literally mean "It was a feast". As for the さま、it's the same one used as a honorific, I believe. Just part of the set phrase.




So it means "It was a great feast"?


Isn't the pronunciation more like gochisousamadeshita?


Yes, perhaps. I always write the romaji spell to use input. sorry.


The are three different systems to write in romaji. そら It's using nihon-shiki, while the most common in this forum is the hepburn system. See https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romanization_of_Japanese


Thank you!

Romaji has 'English' wiki! Wow! ( ˆoˆ ) Is romaji famous? Really?

It is called 'ヘボン式' as 'the Hepburn system' in Japan.

(However we call it 'オードリー・ヘプバーン' as Audrey Hepburn) 'the Hepburn system' is a bit hard. For example, I type 'tatititeto' as 'たちつてと' in J style. But 'ta chi tsu te to' as 'たちつてと' in H style. I think 'たちつてと' is one group. They are friends, similar friends. 'T' plus vowel. Why 'ch', 's'? (´・_・`) I do not know. Because English pronunciation is not my basic. More confuse 'ちゃ'. I use 'tya' as 'ちゃ'. ちゃ is a combination of 'ち' and small 'や'. 'ti' plus 'ya' → tya. Why 'cha’ as 'ちゃ'? I am confused... And sorry. So I use nihon-shiki.(^∇^)

But this is very interesting. I didn't know that everybody use the Hepburn system. I am a minority here.


In English, "ch" (sometimes "tch") is its own special sound, so ちゃ = "chya", but the ゃ seems to remove the "y" sound, so we write "cha." It was confusing to me, too, at first, because, logically, I would think ち would sound like "ti."

ふ is also confusing, because it is the only character in Japanese that makes an "F" sound, (logically, I would expect it to be "hu," not "fu"). They are very different sound classes in English. In English, "F" is closest to "V" (unvoiced versus voiced). But Japanese doesn't have "V" at all! You use a "B" sound, instead (e.g., my name is Dave, but in kata it's デイブ, and Deibu in romaji).

Every language has its special cases, I suppose. :D Thanks for all your very helpful comments on these lessons!



Chuck Norris is written as 'チャック・ノリス/ちゃっく・のりす'. Yes, it is 'ch...'. I see. You say like this sound.: )

Yes, typically we feel F and H are close sounds.

Line of は. はひふへほ ha hi hu he ho

It is difficult that thinking F and V are close for Japanese.

But the knowledge of your comment is much helpful for Listening! I am not a English native speaker and not a child already. It is necessary to counsciously listen it. It is very important that we know the theory of sounds, I think.

Thank you! :D


I have seen the true english sound "ti" in katakana as てィfor some loan-words


The way the Tips in Duolingo explained, there is a difference between Japanese and English F sound. Basically, we (English) touch our teeth firmly to our bottom lip to make a very strong Ffff sound. Whereas Japanese use mostly the lips to push out a soft phh sound. It's both a ffff sound, but ours is more firm and there's is more soft. But their ffff/phhh sound is still different from their hhhhh sigh sound. I find it interesting. Using just your lips in the right way to make a soft fff sound might help with pronounciation. But this is just my observation on my own so I could be wrong –I'm not a linguist. :)


Originally, these odd sounds were in line with all the others. But [i] has a habit of palatalizing a preceding consonant, producing palatals. [ti][t͡ʃi]. Consonants like [t], [d], [s], and [z] are prone to palatalizing. In English words of Romance (French and Latin being two of them) origins, /k/ and /g/ are palatalized instead. In English, however, you can often hear a palatalized /t/ or /d/ such as in: ‹did you›/dɪd.juː/[dɪ.d͡ʒuː].

I hope this explains sufficiently, or if not, it should set you on an expedition to learn more about phonological changes.


@LiKenun Thank you for the wonderful explanation. Few things are as interesting as reading about phonological changes across languages.

English also has this palatalized /s/ as in <as you> ~ /æʒju:/. But I am not sure if it is just an American English thing or encountered in other dialects as well.


Also, with the h-row, a couple centuries ago it was fa fi fu fe fo. Around the late 18th century you start to see descriptions of Japanese noting that "f is sometimes pronounced h", and by the mid-19th century f had become h, except in fu, in most dialects.


Hi, I am from Mexico. In my Japanese school teachers forbid the use of romaji as soon as you learn katakana and hiragana, it is considered low or wrong once you have the basics, what do you think about that?


I think there are three reasons for that:

First, native Japanese speakers don't really use any of the romaji systems in their daily lives in Japan, so you wouldn't be able to read most of the information around you if you go to Japan. If you find romaji Japanese in Japan when it's not there to give information to non-Japanese (or some random online chat/forum), it's there probably because someone thought it looks cool.

Second, because of the various romaji systems, there's not much point to strictly follow one of them, while it would be confusing for the beginners if the teacher accepts all official romaji variations and even the mixed, unofficial ワープロ-romaji, and learn that all of them are correct.

And finally, I've heard many of them say that reading whole Japanese sentences in romaji and guessing their meaning is often a struggle them. Arukitsuzukeru looks so much longer than 歩き続ける which looks more neat. Maybe you would add a space between aruki and tsuzukeru because it really helps reading longer sentences in romaji, but reading it is still slow. Many times they don't even think of these inflected or bound words as "one word" or "two words." Thus, in my humble opinion, turning from the romaji to "true Japanese characters," giving up the spaces and gradually learning the kanji is the way to really understand Japanese.


ごちそうさまでした looks like a more polite version of ごちそうさま... Is it like that?


These phrases don't really translate, they are more of a verbal custom. "Thank you for the food" is a common attempt, and not too far off if you think of talking to the food.


I think so. like 'good morning' and 'hello'.


Can i use it in a restaurent?


Yes, you can use it in a restaurant and any other place you want to.


I also wonder if they say it commonly everywhere before having a meal..... or just at home?


By one of the top comments, this particular phrase is usedafter the meal.


Sori, is it necessary to say this before and after the meal? Or is it optional?


I figure it's just good manners to do so. When speaking Japanese, a solid piece of advice is, "if in doubt, be polite".


why "gotisousamadesita"?? is not it " gochisousamadeshita"!!! how should i know how to read correct way?


The syllable ち is part of the t- series: た ta, ち chi, つ tsu, て te, とto. It’s simply that ち and つ used to be pronounced “ti” and “tu” in the past but the pronunciation changed slightly. But for this reason many romanisations allow writing “ti” and “tu” for these Kana.


You wrote (desita) in (でした). Is it right to say (deshita)?


si => shi is a regular sound change in Japanese; all si’s are pronounced as shi. This is the reason why, if you look at a Kana table, you will find in the row with the consonant "s-": さ、、す、せ、そ (sa, s(h)i, su, se, so). So since there really is no differentiation between si and shi in Japanese, Rōmaji input methods will usually allow you to type either to get the syllable し, so many people end up omitting the “h” since it’s one more keystroke.


"Gochisosama/gochisosama deshita" is more of "thank you for the meal/ it was tasty" and as mentioned by others, said after the meal. "Ittadakimasu" is also similiar and shows gratitude for the food- and also is closer to " I'll have it now" and said before starting to eat.


ご (go) is an honorific in the same vein as お (o), and both are represented by the same kanji, though it's rarely used in current Japanese. さま (sama) is another honorific, typically reserved for deities and royalty, and さん (san) is actually derived from it, as a shortening in more casual speech, but in current Japanese is distinct form. ちそう (chisou) is a feast, rather than a simple meal, or just food.

The meaning then, is a very polite and flattering to the host, "That was a feast". A good idiomatic English translation of the literal meaning might be "That was a feast fit for a king!", however, it's actually a set phrase in current Japanese, and essentially means "Thank you very much for the hospitality".


So if you buy a meal from Mcdonalds do you say いただきます and ごちそうさまでした。 and to whom do you say them?


I do not say it at only McDonald's purchase. Because it says at the time of meal, not at the time of purchase. If you will eat at McDonald's, the time is before eat. you are sitting down and put a hamburger on the table and say "いただきます." We do not think 'to whom'. You begin eat it. You have finished eating a hamburger. While sitting down, you will say "ごちそうさま". if at a restaurant you will pay after meal. you payed and clerk will say 'thanks' etc. then you say 'ごちそうさま' to clerk. not duty. it is okay if not say.

If person is alone, may be not say.



Perhaps, I think that we are so happy because we can have eat today as well. We can not live without to eat. This situation what we can eat is big happy. We can get food easily at the shop or so. But formerly it had been too hard to get food. Maybe there are many people who cannot get today's food somewhere on the earth now. People who experienced war have known real hungry. The number of them become few in Japan. Perhaps they think that you have to feel thankful to get food.

Of course we do not think deeply each time. It is just the custom. And this is personal opinion. Don't mind.


If you love kanji, here is the kanji form: 御馳走様でした。(御・ご、馳走・ちそう、様・さま) or ご馳走様でした。


If anyone wants to know further into the history of this saying. Looking at the kanji for chiso you notice the horse and run characters. Chiso itself meaning to run around. This is because a long time ago people used to run around town to get ingredients to prepare a meal and invite guests, sometimes on horseback. It took much effort to prepare such a feast. Go and Sama were added onto Chiso for honorifics showing gratitude. Hope that gives anyone else insight into it.


馳走 = banquet, feast

様 = like, similar to

Is that phrase litteraly means "It was like a banquet"?


Can someone explain でした at the end of the sentence?


でした is the past tense of the verb to be です. Hence, it means 'was'. As in, 'it was a feast'.


Ok so ごちそう is "feast" さま is a honorific, and でした is "was" so the REAL translation is "It was a feast" and it is USED AS thanking for the mea


So is "いただきます" and "ごちそうさま" something you'd say amongst the people you are eating with or to the people who made the meal? It would feel weird saying this to a waiter knowing that they themselves didn't prepare the meal.


Nobody conscious because it is just custom.


Is there a threshold for how substantial the refreshments need to be before this phrase is used ? If you eat a piece of cake and drink a cup of tea would you say it? If you just had a small snack like a cracker or a piece of fruit would you still say it ?


I would also like to know this. SEND HELP!


You guys are hilarious. Sounds like Americans wondering how much to tip!


When do you add the deshita? Is that just more polite?


It makes it past-tense


I think a number of translations would work here: For example, "That was a feast!" would capture the sense of "gochisou," which means something like "feast." "Thanks for the great meal" would also capture that sense. Just "Thank you for the meal" seems to miss the fact that the meal was considered extraordinary, a "gochisou"!


Quick question. If you are not ready to eat, could you just say "itadakimaSEN"? Or would you have to say something completely different?


In previous questions, it said that "gochisousama" means "thank you for the meal", but this one included "deshita" at the end, so I assumed it was looking for something different involving some sort of past tense construction, so I put "It was a good meal", but it marked it wrong, saying that it should've been "thank you for the meal". So... according to this... the "deshita" part is just meaningless? It has no bearing on the sentence whatsoever? I find that difficult to accept.


There should be more alternate answers but (according to my japanese colleagues) ごちそさまです and ごちそさまでした have effectively the same meaning. Personally I've heard the latter used more (but that may just be a regional custom) and it makes more sense to me as you are talking about the past tense.


why wouldnt we use "ありがとう“?


You certainly could.


I'd like to know: do you say this sentence after each meal or just when someone invited you?


Yes you can say it after every meal, but definitely always say it if someone else prepared or paid for the food.


Is this used when invited over for a meal by friends AND at a restaurant? What is the proper context?


Definitely you'd want to use it when a meal has been prepared by or paid for by someone else. But you can say it any time you finish a food as general appreciation for the food you just ate.


Is this thanking the meal that was cooked by the person? Or is it the meal which the person paid for you, like treating you in the restaurant?


I would say it's more general showing appreciation for the food. But also, you can use it for thanking the person who purchased or prepared the food, as you mentioned.

When I gave food omiyage to colleagues, they would also say this upon receiving it, even before eating it.


In gochisa, the female voice stresses the chi, but the male voice almost omits it - gochsa. Is that a male-female difference or a regional dialect?


It’s not “gochisa” but “gochisōsama” ;)

The female voice I hear when clicking the button above also pronounces the i very lightly, almost like it’s not there as well. Definitely not stressed. This pronunciation is very common for i and u if both the preceding and the following consonant (assuming there is a following one) are voicless (p, t, k, s, h). You probably already noticed that す is often pronounced just “s”

In any case, Japanese doesn’t have stress in the English sense. English stress is a combination of louder volume, lengthening and a higher pitch on a particular syllable of a word. Japanese does not have these. What it does have is a so-called pitch accent. Some words (but not all) may feature a fall in pitch at some position, and there are a couple of words which are distinguished only by the position of that fall. For example 箸 “chopstick” is haꜜshi and 橋 “bridge” is hashiꜜ (with the ꜜ marking the position of the fall: the syllable before the ꜜ is high pitch, the following one will be low) in Standard Japanese. But such contrasts are not all that common and any confusion that could theoretically arise will normally be easily resolved by context. So incorrect placement of the pitch accent will not make you incomprehensible. All it will do is give you a foreign accent (or at least a non-standard one. Different dialects of Japanese often differ in their pitch accents).


Is it the voice bot or does the "i" in し become silent in some circumstances?


If the vowels i and u appear between two voiceless consonants (or after a voiceless consonant and before a pause), then they are pronounced voiceless in Japanese (at least unless they are accented). After fricatives (“hissing sounds”) – that is for syllables shi, chi, hi, su, tsu, hu – this can often sound like there is no vowel at all.

So if we represent the unvoiced vowels with a ° (he marker used by the International Phonetic Alphabet):

  • いくか is pronounced iku̥-ka with unvoiced u̥ because the u comes between two voiceless k’s
  • いく (at the end of a sentence) is pronounced iku̥ with unvoiced u̥ because the u comes between voicless k and a pause
  • いくの is pronounced iku-no with voiced u because although the preceding k is unvoiced, the following n is voiced
  • いつか is pronounced itsu̥-ka (which can sound almost like its-ka) with unvoiced u̥ because both the preceding s and the following k are unvoiced
  • いつ at the end of a sentence is pronounced itsu̥ (which can almost sound like its) with unvoiced u̥ because the u comes after (voiceless) s and a pause
  • いつの is pronounced itsu-no with a voiced u because although the preceding s is unvoiced, the following n is voiced.

Same deal for other syllables with vowels i and u after voiceless consonants.


When you say ごちそうさまでした in a restaurant or to someone who made you the meal, should you expect a response? Since it means "thank you for the meal" i assume someone can say "youre welcome" or "i hope you enjoyed it" Not sure it its just seen as just a polite way to finish your meal or if you actually say it to someone who made your meal.


I can NOT for the life of me pronounce this phrase and it's driving me crazy. This is THE hardest thing in Japanese I've ever learned


I tried using "I am finished with the meal" as an answer. since my stay in japan my host mother asked "gochi so?" when i was done eating and awkwardly leaving the plate of what was left in front of me.

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