10 Ways to Say Thank You for the meal in Japanese
10 Ways to Say Thank You for the meal in Japanese

10 Ways to Say Thank You for the meal in Japanese

Want to say thank you to your Japanese friends for that delicious meal? The Japanese people are renowned for their culinary expertise and etiquette. Here are Japanese words and phrases to help you express your gratitude.

How to Say Thank You for the Meal

  1. Gochisosama deshita – This phrase is used after eating a meal and can be translated to “It was quite a feast.”
  2. Oishi katta desu – This directly translates to “It was delicious.”
  3. Kekkou na shokuji deshita – This is a formal way to express “It was a fine meal.”
  4. Anata no ryouri wa subarashii desu – This translates to “Your cooking is wonderful.”
  5. Arigato gozaimashita – This is a polite way to say “Thank you.” It can also be shortened to “Arigato.”
  6. Domo arigato gozaimashita – This is a more formal and respectful way to say “Thank you very much.”
  7. Sore wa oishikatta desu ne – This can be used to praise the food and means “That was delicious, wasn’t it?”
  8. Dozo meshiagare – This phrase is used to invite someone to eat and can be translated to “Please, go ahead and eat.”
  9. Osuwarini itadakimasu – This phrase is said before starting a meal and expresses gratitude for the food.
  10. Itadakimasu – This is a shorter version of “Osuwarini itadakimasu” and is commonly used before you start eating.

Itadakimasu

`Itadakimasu` is a common expression (it gained popularity in the mid twentieth century) used before you start eating a meal in Japan, expressing gratitude for the food on the table. It is a humble form of expression. It can be literally translated as “I humbly receive,” but it is often interpreted as “Let’s eat” or “Bon appétit” in a mealtime setting. Everyone knows the French phrase “Bon appétit” but the Japanese phrase is not well known outside of Japan. It represents the Japanese appreciation for every life that has contributed to the meal.

For example, if you’re dining at a friend’s house in Japan and they serve you sushi, you would say “Itadakimasu” before starting to eat. Or maybe you’re grabbing a quick bowl of ramen at a street vendor; again, you would say “Itadakimasu” before diving into your meal. It’s a versatile phrase that shows your gratitude not just for the food, but also for those who prepared it. Again Itadakimasu means “I humbly receive.” Whether you are dining in other people’s homes or just out, your hosts or the restaurant staff will appreciate your knowledge of this phrase.

Kudasai

`Kudasai` is another important term in the Japanese language, used to express politeness when making a request. Translated to English, it essentially means “please” or “kindly”. It is often used after a verb in its te-form. For example, if you want to request someone to wait, you would say “Matte kudasai”. If you are in a restaurant and you want to order a glass of water, you would say “Mizu o kudasai”. Using `kudasai` can help to make your requests sound more polite and respectful when interacting with Japanese people.

Oishii

`Oishii` is a delightful term in the Japanese language, primarily used to express the deliciousness of food. Derived from the adjective “oishi”, it literally translates to “tasty” or “delicious”. It’s a common phrase used when savoring food or after finishing a meal to compliment the cook. Like “Itadakimasu” and “Kudasai”, “Oishii” is also a versatile phrase, used in various settings. For instance, after taking a bite of a savory sushi roll, one might exclaim, “Oishii!”. Or, after finishing a particularly satisfying bowl of ramen, “Oishii” could be said to express the enjoyment of the meal. It’s an essential term to know when dining in Japan or conversing with Japanese people.

Onegaishimasu

`Onegaishimasu` is a widely used Japanese phrase, translating approximately to “please” or “please do this for me” in English. It is used to show politeness and respect when asking for a favor or service. This term is versatile and can be used in various social settings, be it in a shop, a restaurant, or in everyday conversations. For instance, if you’re in a bookstore and you need assistance, you might say to a staff member, “Sumimasen, tasuke onegaishimasu” which would translate to, “Excuse me, could you please help me.” Similar to “Itadakimasu”, “Kudasai”, and “Oishii”, `Onegaishimasu` is a useful phrase to master when interacting with Japanese people.

Gochisousama deshita

`Gochisousama deshita` is a customary phrase used in the Japanese language, principally after finishing a meal. It loosely translates to “It was a feast” or “Thank you for the meal” in English. The term is a way of showing gratitude towards the person who prepared the food, acknowledging their effort and expressing satisfaction after a good meal. It’s typically said to the person who paid for or prepared the meal, but when eating alone, it can also be said quietly to oneself. For example, after finishing a scrumptious dinner at a friend’s house, you would say, “Gochisousama deshita,” to express your appreciation for the food. Alongside “Itadakimasu”, “Kudasai”, “Oishii”, and “Onegaishimasu”, `Gochisousama deshita` is an important phrase when understanding dining etiquette in Japan or conversing with Japanese people.

Meal etiquette in Japan is deeply rooted in tradition and is an essential part of the country’s culture. When dining in Japan, it’s important to remember a few key points. It’s customary to say “Itadakimasu” before beginning a meal, a phrase that translates to “I gratefully receive.” This shows respect and gratitude for the food you’re about to consume. During the meal, avoid sticking chopsticks vertically into your bowl of rice, as this is associated with funeral rites. Similarly, passing food from one chopstick to another is a cultural taboo. Slurping while eating noodles isn’t considered rude; instead, it’s a sign that you’re enjoying your meal. Once you’re finished eating, remember to say “Gochisousama deshita,” thanking the chef or the person who paid for the meal. By following these etiquettes, you exhibit respect and understanding of Japan’s rich cultural traditions. Additionally, it’s always appreciated to learn a few basic phrases in Japanese to communicate with locals and show your interest in their culture. So the next time you dine at a Japanese restaurant or visit Japan, remember these etiquettes and phrases to fully immerse yourself in their unique dining experience. And most importantly, have fun trying new dishes and exploring the delicious flavors of Japanese cuisine!

Interacting in Japanese during a meal goes beyond basic dining etiquette. The Japanese language is rich with food-related phrases and expressions. Starting from “Onaka ga sukimashita” which means “I’m hungry”, to “Onaka ga ippai” when you’re full. If you find a meal particularly tasty, you can exclaim “Umai!” or “Oishii!” to express your admiration for the dish. In case you have dietary restrictions or allergies, the phrase “__ ga taberarenai” comes in handy, where you fill the blank with the name of the food you can’t eat. For instance, “Niku ga taberarenai” means “I can’t eat meat”. Remember, these small phrases not only enhance your dining experience but also allow you to show respect and intrigue towards the Japanese culture.

Here are some essential food terms that foreigners should familiarize themselves with before dining in Japan:

  1. Sushi – This term refers to vinegared rice typically served with raw fish or seafood.
  2. Sashimi – Sashimi is thinly sliced raw fish or meat.
  3. Tempura – It refers to seafood or vegetables that have been battered and deep-fried.
  4. Ramen – Ramen is a Japanese noodle soup dish. It’s especially popular and can have many variations.
  5. Yakitori – This term is used for grilled chicken skewers.
  6. Onigiri – Onigiri are rice balls, usually wrapped in seaweed and filled with pickled plum, salmon, or other fillings.
  7. Bento – A Bento box is a single-portion take-out or home-packed meal common in Japanese cuisine.
  8. Mochi – Mochi is a kind of rice cake made from short-grain japonica glutinous rice.
  9. Matcha – Matcha is finely ground powder of specially grown and processed green tea leaves.
  10. Sake – Sake is a type of Japanese rice wine made by fermenting rice.

By understanding these terms, you’ll be better equipped to navigate Japanese menus and enjoy a wider variety of their culinary offerings.

Now you know many key Japanese phrases and you know a bit about Japanese etiquette. So this should inspire you to learn Japanese which is truly a beautiful and enchanting language. And the Japanese language is rich not only in culinary phrases but as one of the greatest traditions of literature. And the people of Japan care just delightful. So go learn the language and take that trip to Japan. And don’t hold back on experiencing new things!

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