What's your favorite translation of お疲れさまでした?

As it says on the tin, what’s your favorite translation (either that you’ve made or seen/heard) of お疲れ様でした(おつかれさまでした)?

I’m curious because I just came across “Cheers for good work.” It’s the first time I’ve seen such a vaguely British version. I’m partial to “Good work (today),” and “Thanks for the hard work.”

What other translations (however context specific you want to be) have you seen? Any really localized or fun ones?


Heh. As I just brought up in the Yuru Camp thread yesterday, Yen Press elected to translate an おつかれー in volume 5 as “Good stuff working”, and I’m just looking at it going “wh… what?”

Someone please tell me that’s an actual Americanism, and not just the translator, editor and proofreaders all asleep at the wheel.


If someone said “Good stuff working” I would think they got tongue-tied and something weird came out.


As a Canadian I have heard “good stuff” as a general congratulations/ pat on the back.Maybe that’s what they going for?


It’s not an East Coast or Midwest Americanism at least… I would’ve thought the person talking was having a stroke. lol


Fun question. I can’t recall anything I’ve seen irl at the moment, so I asked Google and it came up with a whole lot of variations!

  • お疲れ様でした = Bedankt voor je inspanningen. (thank you for your efforts)
  • お疲れ様でした~ = Bedankt voor je harde werk. (thanks for your hard work)
  • お疲れ様でしたー = Goed gedaan. (well done)
  • お疲れ様 = Goed werk. (good work/job)
  • お疲れ様です = Is proost voor goed werk. (“is” cheers for good work*)

*this happens because good ol’googs doesn’t actually translate JP–>NL, but rather JP–>EN–>NL. Same happened when I once googled 温泉 and it told me “hete lente”… which is “hot spring” as in the season. :face_with_raised_eyebrow:


I think I like the last one best, but that might be because I’m inclined to like toasting words and miss nomikais lol. Is “proost” used to toast in the Netherlands?

That’s fascinating! I never knew Google worked like that. Now I’m wondering if that’s why the questionable French decoration here I’ve seen looks like it’s translated from wonky English.

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Aye, it is! :beers: But absolutely noone would say that about work, at least not like this. It sounds like you’re literally giving “cheer” to a good job. Normally we toast ‘to’ something, not ‘for’ (and of course the “is” is odd too). I think “Goed gewerkt” would be a good translation that’s not included yet.


Interesting. How do you mean exactly? Like in English, we might toast to someone’s good health or in hopes of future good health, so I don’t really understand the distinction here. Does “cheer/proost” in this case literally mean something like happiness?

Ah, that’s good to know, thank you!

No, the word “proost” is fine, that’s only used for toasting / raising one’s glass, but the preposition “voor” feels like your about to hand it over to someone (the job, in this case)… which you can’t. A cheer isn’t a thing. :upside_down_face:


I’m personally a fan of translating phrases much less literally. For example, in the case where it’s just what you say at the end of the work day, saying “Good work today!” on your way out of the office in the states is probably going to get you some weird looks in most cases. “See you tomorrow!” however, likely won’t.

The idea of forcing phrases from one language into another where the equivalent doesn’t exist rubs me the wrong way. In cases where you have the time to explain the nuance or custom behind a phrases I’m all for including the cultural exchange that comes with that. But I prefer to swap them out for what would be used in a similar situation when possible, regardless of if the meanings don’t match.

TL;DR- お疲れ様 doesn’t really exist in English. So I prefer お疲れ様、= “see you tomorrow” in an end of workday scenario.


Ah, I see now. Thank you for the explanation :slight_smile:

Maybe I got too used to working in education in the states. It had not occurred to me that might be a weird thing to say in an office in another country. Usually I’d say some variation of “Good/Hard work today!” or “Good job!” to students before saying goodbye. I can possibly be obnoxiously positive when it comes to encouraging students though.

Your stance makes a lot of sense though. I can easily see where you’re coming from. I think I do something similar, at least mentally for phrases that stick out to me like 初めまして and よろしくお願いします。


To me this is the key difference in your example. I was a teacher in the states now, and am currently still one but in Japan, so I agree entirely with this use case. But it’s not generally something you’d say while addressing adults, namely coworkers or supervisors.

On the contrary, お疲れ様 is one that’s rarely used from adults to children. Language is funny sometimes like that.


Funny thing, I like doing it exactly the other way around. :see_no_evil:
I don’t think there’s much point trying to make Japanese fit into English, so I’d rather see it how a Japanese person does. (Unless you’re actually trying to translate a book or some such)

Since 疲れる means “to get tired”, “to become exhausted”, 疲れでした just means “to be tired”.
So, if anything, I prefer translations like “You wore yourself out today”. Add お and さま for politeness and stuffz, which makes it sound more like a good thing/compliment.
Maybe less literally “You put in a lot of work” or “Thank you for your hard work”, which I suppose can be formed into “Good work” if we’re taking it even less literally.

Obviously you wouldn’t use that every time someone left work around these parts, but that’s okay. Japanese is its own thingy and I’d rather try to understand it as such.


While I see where you’re coming from, I have to respectfully but wholeheartedly disagree. I don’t think the phrase in Japanese actually carries the same implication or nuance as that English phrase, which is why I think it doesn’t work. To me it’s similar as translating an English idiom directly into Japanese. You can’t just say 猫と犬が降っている and expect someone to know what you mean. It’d be much more productive to choose a Japanese phrase that conveys the same image rather than force a square block into a round whole.

But that’s just my opinion, and you have yours, I just like exploring these kinds of thought processes.


Hmm, good point. I hadn’t considered this with 疲れでした because it fit’s so snuggly into the round whole :thinking: I suppose a phrase that is used so frequently has to develop some nuance beyond literal meaning over time, especially as generations change, e.g. the work mentality shifting pretty much everywhere in the world.

I’m not sure I would say that that’s what it means… But no one really says 疲れでした anyway…?

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Yeah, set phrases like this (another example is ご苦労様) have usually shortened over time and no longer have all the pieces to translate directly.


Good point, though, not gonna lie, even that one makes sense to me in a “Thanks for your troubles/pains/hardship” kind of way.

True. Probably brushed that one off too quickly, especially considering it might be closer to “It was tiring” instead :thinking: Certainly shouldn’t have said that’s what it means. I just like to interpret it that way.

I think it just comes down to me liking to interpret Japanese in this very literal way, breaking it down to components, even if it doesn’t always 100% fit. Especially with grammar. Maybe it’s my way to stop myself from relying on english by making it sound awkward :'D

Trying to make it fit into phrases like “Well done.” or “See you tomorrow.” that also make it loose nuance and overlap with other phrases that have similar/same meanings is what feels like trying to force a square block into a round hole to me. :stuck_out_tongue:

In the end translation is just the stepping stone for initial comprehension which needs to be deepened by getting exposed to the word in context, which is where you’ll pick up nuances over time. So whatever works out for you is fine :heavy_heart_exclamation:

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