A question raised by a co-worker.
While I, like most traditionally learned (classroom raised) Japanese students believe that おはようis a phrase restricted to use in the morning, my co-worker says you use おはよう whenever you see someone for the first time that day. At least in a work setting.
The only other evidence I found on this matter was on reddit…so I am seeking out the wise folks here to see what y’all have to say about this matter.
What say you?
I was taught up until 10am.
You can use it the first time you see someone colloquially, though - the same way I might greet someone emerging from bed at 2pm with “oh, good morning!”
IANAL but my impression has been that you can use おはよう any time of day.
This is one of those legendary things I’ve looked out for, but in 3 years here I’ve never seen it happen. The closest would be someone giving me an おはよっ…間違った、こんにちは！ when it’s like 12:40 or whatever.
About ten years ago I worked at a Japanese restaurant, owned by a couple from Fukushima (and who hired Japanese college students to work in the kitchen and get paid under the table). Everyone - owners and illegally working college students alike - said おはよう when we arrived at work around 4:30pm to prep for the dinner rush.
Yeah, usually the first time I see coworkers we exchange おはよう, unless it is really late in the afternoon. Yet, people will start saying こんにちはanywhere around 9-10am at school. But when I speak to students, I say good morning to them until lunchtime
It’s funny, because in Britain “morning” is generally used as a pass-by greeting mostly throughout the entire day. (Usually up until late afternoon/early evening.)
It’s 7 AM? Mornin’!
It’s 10 AM? Mornin’!
Just had lunch? Mornin’!
I wonder if it’s sometimes used the same way in Japan?
very common at my Japanese workplace for past 20 years to use precisely as OP mentions
Seems like it just varies depending on context, just like English. Another fun place to use greetings is with other people from different time zones (i.e., you’re in Canada and your friend is in Japan… you can say good evening in your evening, and they おはよう to you or vice versa!).
I’m currently studying abroad in Japan, and my Japanese housemate taught me that yes, you can use おはよう the first time you see somebody in the day! (The way this came about was when she said it at 2pm.)
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