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Lesson Transcript

Natsuko and Yoshi: 明けましておめでとうございます。
Natsuko: なつこです。
Yoshi: よしです。
Peter: Peter here. Happy New Year! Natsuko-san and Yoshi-san, I think we’re not even going to try to pretend that we’re in the studio today. Let everybody know that, yes, we’re not here. But we did want to wish you a Happy New Year! So that’s why we pre-recorded this show to wish everybody a Happy New Year. And to teach you, to remind you, because Natsuko san actually last year, didn’t we do a show about this?
Natsuko: Yes, I remember.
Peter: I remember too. And we had the Alpha male.
Natsuko: Yes, Kazunori.
Peter: Kazunori. So today, short lesson just to refresh your memory. In that way, when you run into your Japanese friends or the next time you speak to your Japanese friends, you can wish them a Happy New Year. For now, let’s give you a short conversation between two employees, same two employees that said goodbye to each other at the end of last year. This year, they’re meeting for the first time. So, how would they greet each other? Let’s find out. Here we go.
1. 岩井: 明けましておめでとうございます。
2. 山本: 明けましておめでとうございます。
3. 岩井: 今年もどうぞよろしくお願いします。
4. 山本: こちらこそ。どうぞよろしくお願いします。
1. 岩井: 明けましておめでとうございます。
2. 山本: 明けましておめでとうございます。
3. 岩井: 今年もどうぞよろしくお願いします。
4. 山本: こちらこそ。どうぞよろしくお願いします。
1. 岩井: 明けましておめでとうございます。
Iwai:Happy New Year.
2. 山本: 明けましておめでとうございます。
Yamamoto:Happy New Year.
3. 岩井: 今年もどうぞよろしくお願いします。
Iwai:Please be kind to me this year, too.
4. 山本: こちらこそ。どうぞよろしくお願いします。
Yamamoto:Same here. Please be kind to me this year, too.
Peter: All right, Natsuko-san, how many times will you say this expression,明けましておめでとうございます, in the next two weeks?
Natsuko: Several dozens.
Peter: Yes. Yoshi-san, how about you?
Yoshi: Maybe like ten?
Peter: Yes, because you’re just going to record it and then you should {…} somebody. Yes, it’s quite a long expression. That’s why later in the episode, we’ll give you a shorter version you could kind of use with your friends, not business partners. Let’s take a closer look at the conversation. Natsuko-san, can you give us that greeting one more time?
Natsuko: 明けましておめでとうございます。
Peter: Can you break that down?
Natsuko: 明・け・ま・し・て・お・め・で・と・う・ご・ざ・い・ま・す。
Peter: And one time fast.
Natsuko: 明けましておめでとうございます。
Peter: Now, we translated this as, “Happy New Year,” but let’s take a closer look. So, let’s start with the Kanji character. Natsuko-san, what does this character mean?
Natsuko: Well, the Kanji used here means “bright” and 明ける, it’s kind of a special word, but it means “becoming bright,” which means the sun rises and a new day starts.
Peter: Is there an expression for that?
Natsuko: 夜が明ける
Peter: …which means?
Natsuko: “Sunrise.”
Peter: And in this case, it’s the “sunrise of a new year.”
Natsuko: Yes. It’s not only the start of the day, but it’s start of a new year.
Peter: In this case.
Natsuko: Yes.
Peter: And that’s how it’s become accepted into this greeting.
Natsuko: Yes.
Peter: And the full greeting is, one more time, Natsuko-san.
Natsuko: 明けましておめでとうございます。
Peter: So, kind of like, “Congratulations for starting a new year.”
Natsuko: Yes.
Peter: All right. Very interesting story behind this phrase. Okay. Then we had…
Yoshi: 明けましておめでとうございます。
Peter: Same expression used. So, if you say this to someone, they’ll say it back to you.
Natsuko: Yes.
Peter: Or, if someone says it to you, then you say it back to them. Like a parrot. Just repeat what they say. This is followed by…
Natsuko: 今年もどうぞ宜しくお願いします。
Peter: “Please be kind to me this year too.” Now, we had that expression when you first meet someone. Natsuko-san, we say…
Natsuko: どうぞ宜しくお願いします。
Peter: As the final part of a self introduction, “Please be kind to me.” Here we have an addition to     that, and that comes before どうぞ宜しくお願いしますThat is…
Natsuko: 今年も
Peter: First word meaning…
Natsuko: “This year.”
Peter: “This year.” 今年
Natsuko: 今年
Peter: Followed by…
Natsuko: も
Peter: The {particle} meaning “also.” “This year also, please be kind to me.” So, “Please be kind to me this year also.” Now again, どうぞ宜しくお願いします This is an expression, and we’re doing our best to interpret, but it can mean different things at different times. Here, we’re giving you the general nuance. “Please be kind to me” or “This year, let’s continue to maintain a good relationship.”
Natsuko: Yes.
Peter: “Make things better.” “Let’s have a great year together.” The response to this is…
Yoshi: ことらこそどうぞ宜しくお願いします。
Peter: “Same here. Please be kind to me.” Now, way back in some of the beginner lessons, we gave you this expression, こちらこそ, which we translate as, “Same here.” Now, the literal Japanese is こちら, “this direction” and こそ, which emphasizes what it’s attached to. And here, it’s attached to “this direction.” And when we refer to people, we use こちら. So, “same here” followed by…
Yoshi: どうぞ宜しくお願いします。
Peter: This is a very typical exchange between…
Natsuko: …in any occasion. Friends, colleagues; business partners.
Peter: Yes.
Natsuko: Any situation.
Peter: But this exchange is a bit formal, right?
Natsuko: Yes, it’s very polite.
Peter: Now, if you met your family, what would you say to them?
Natsuko: Yes, you use the same expression for your family.
Peter: So, this is a one-stop shop? Everything is right here.
Natsuko: Yes.
Peter: This is the tool we need to wish everybody around you a Happy New Year.
Natsuko: Yes. There are other variations, but you can just stay on this one, and you’ll never get in trouble using this.
Peter: There it is. Now, you might be able to get away with dropping the ございます。
Natsuko: Oh yes.
Peter: Kind of like a less formal situation. 明けましておめでとう。
Natsuko: Yes.
Peter: And then, no one can forget what Alpha male taught us last year. Do you remember that, Natsuko-san?
Natsuko: Yes, I remembered it just now.
Peter: I think Yoshi-san can give us those. Now, there’s a kind of shortened version.
Yoshi: あけおめ。
Peter: … which is a really short version of…
Yoshi: 明けましておめでとう。
Peter: And then there’s also…
Yoshi: ことよろ
Peter: … which is short for…
Yoshi: 今年も宜しくお願いします。
Natsuko: I think we see a lot of this, mobile messages.
Peter: E-mails and things like this.
Natsuko: Yes.
Peter: Text message where it’s troublesome to …
Natsuko: Yes, get the whole thing 明けましておめでとう
Peter: But actually, they have that in the set phrases. Maybe people don’t know that?
Natsuko: Oh yes, they do.
Peter: But yes, it is quite common to see this. Get a text message あけおめ、ことよろ So, it’s just another one. Now, this was again last year introduced by the Alpha male.
Natsuko: I think if you want to be casual, you’d better use 明けましておめでとう and 今年もよろしく.
Peter: Yes, I think that’s a bit safer.
Natsuko: Yes, and don’t abbreviate it further.
Peter: But then again, I think if you’re saying it as a foreigner, it might be really funny.
Natsuko: Yes, funny.
Peter: Oh, again, not in the business meeting or with your business partners in Japan, but in a social situation.
Natsuko: Yes, just for fun.
Peter: I think, yes, you’d get a laugh out of a few people.
Natsuko: They’ll be surprised.
Peter: Yes, try it out. Let’s see what happens. Again, it’s your friendships that are at stake.
I’m glad you like that, Natsuko-san.


Peter: All right. So, that is going to do it for today. Again, from everybody here at JapanesePod101.com …
M1 and Natsuko: 明けましておめでとうございます。
Peter: Happy New Year! Be back tomorrow.
Natsuko: 明けましておめでとうございます。
Yoshi: 明けましておめでとうございます。
Natsuko: 今年もどうぞ宜しくお願いします。
Yoshi: こちらこそどうぞ宜しくお願いします。


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Please to leave a comment.
😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍

October 17th, 2020 at 12:01 PM
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I believe there's a mistake in the lesson transcript

"Yoshi: ことらこそどうぞ宜しくお願いします。"

Which i believe its supposed to be


January 23rd, 2019 at 09:11 PM
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Hi Shane,

Glad to hear that! 👍

You can also study this series with vital Japanese phrases that will help you prepare for your next visit to Japan:


In case of any questions, please feel free to contact us.:)


Cristiane (クリスチアネ)

Team JapanesePod101.com

January 21st, 2019 at 04:43 AM
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Akemashite omedetou gozaimasu!

This expression came in very handy during my recent first trip ever to Japan, Dec. 28-Jan. 7. I used the expression multiple times, and doing so made a favorable impression on the people I met. It was fun to ring in the new year at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo. I look forward to returning next year, and continuing my lessons on Japanese Pod 101.

Japanesepod101.com Verified
December 31st, 2017 at 06:40 AM
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Hi Miguel,

Thank you for posting!

Wish you a great New Year's!

Hope to see you often here in 2018 :)


Cristiane (クリスチアネ)

Team Japanesepod101.com

Miguel Ángel
December 30th, 2017 at 10:52 PM
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Akemashite omedetou gozaimasu. Although there's one day left ?

JapanesePod101.com Verified
January 6th, 2016 at 06:23 PM
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Madhurima san,

Akemashite omedetou gozaimasu.

Kotoshimo yoroshiku onegaishimasu. :smile:

Yuki  由紀

Team JapanesePod101.com

January 4th, 2016 at 01:50 AM
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Mina-san , Akemashite omedetou gozaimasu.. :)

JapanesePod101.com Verified
December 15th, 2014 at 03:50 PM
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Jordan さん、


Well…you don’t offend others if you use formal languages.

When you use formal languages to close friend and family, they may feel distance from you.

Japanese native speakers sometimes use really polite languages to close friends and family on purpose. That means the Japanese people get angry to them and want to have a distance from them.

Yuki 由紀

Team Japanesepod101.com

December 14th, 2014 at 08:54 AM
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Could I offend a close friend or family member by always using formal speech when talking to them?

JapanesePod101.com Verified
September 25th, 2014 at 06:31 PM
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Hi ダル!

Instead of Natsuko-sensei, I say "you're welcome!" :smile:

Have a great day!


Team JapanesePod101.com