The best way to say “Okay” in Japanese to express your acknowledgement of something is to say わかった (wakatta). If you need to speak formally you can use わかりました (wakarimashita).
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To ask, or tell someone that something is okay, you’ll need to use a different expression. You can phrase the Japanese expression 大丈夫? (daijoubu?) as a question to express your concern and/or ask someone if they’re okay and everything is alright. To ask someone “are you okay” in polite Japanese, you can use 大丈夫ですか (daijoubu desuka).
You can also use the same expression 大丈夫 (daijoubu), as a response to any time when you wish to say “it’s okay”, or “I’m okay” in Japanese.
The word OK has also been borrowed from English into the Japanese language. When you want to say “OK” in Japanese, for casual situations you can say オーケー (o-ke-), or the formal オーケーです (o-ke- desu) for scenarios where you find yourself needing to show respect.
As you can see, there are many different ways to say “okay” in Japanese.
It’s also important to use the correct level of politeness in your speech! Speaking casually usually involves situations with your friends and family. Whereas you may need to speak in Japanese Keigo, aka honorific speech, when conversing with strangers, teachers and managers etc.
I have tailored this ultimate guide to cover all of the above instances, and you’ll be well equipped to combat any situation after reading!
Each entry is coupled with audio for pronunciation reference, as well as example sentences and explanations of all of the best ways to say anything along the lines of “Ok, Okay, It’s Okay” in Japanese!
Okeydokey, let’s begin!
Table of Contents
Okay in JapaneseOkay in Formal JapaneseMore Ways to say Okay in JapaneseIt’s Okay in JapaneseThat’s Okay in JapaneseSure/Sounds Good in Japanese
Okay in JapaneseOkay.わかった。wakatta.https://civicpride-kusatsu.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/わかった.mp3
As mentioned earlier, there are three different situations that could prompt you to say “okay”. Each of these situations has a different word that is best used for it. The first is わかった (wakatta).
When want to say “okay” to express that you understand or acknowledge something, you can use the expression わかった (wakatta). You can also use it to affirm something you will do.
わかった (wakatta) is the past tense of the verb わかる (wakaru), meaning “to understand”. Having now understood or acknowledged something in your head is technically something that has already happened in the past (even though it could have literally been moments ago). Therefore, for this reason, we have to say わかった (wakatta) when saying “okay” to things in Japanese.
There are also ways to say that you don’t understand, or don’t know in Japanese using variants of わかる (wakaru) and other expressions too!Examples & Uses
Say you’re planning on going out with a friend. They ask you to meet at the bus stop for a certain time. You can respond:わかった。9時に会おう！wakatta. 9ji ni aou!Okay. Let’s meet at 9!
Simply saying わかった (wakatta) by itself as a response is also okay here! In this example, you affirm and understand that you will meet your friend at 9.
You can also use わかった (wakatta) to express “okay” in Japanese explicitly when you understand something. Perhaps a friend is explaining some super difficult Japanese grammar to you. You may say:ああ、わかった。そういうことだ！aa, wakatta. souiu koto da!Ah, okay, so that’s how it is.
Another fun way to use わかった (wakatta) is when you finally get the meaning of something. Perhaps you’ve been up all night trying to figure out what on earth your friend was on about. Suddenly, a eureka moment!わかった！！なるほど。wakatta!! naruhodo.I get it now (I understand)! That’s it.
Okay in Formal Japanese
When we’re preparing ourselves mentally for something, sometimes we say something along the lines of “okay, let’s do this”, or “alright, let’s go”. The type of “okay” or “alright” that we use in these situations can be translated as よし (yoshi) in Japanese.
If you’re looking for a way to ask someone if they are alright in Japanese, take a look at the 大丈夫 (daijoubu) entry above. We can’t use よし (yoshi) in that context here.
Let’s say you’ve been preparing for a very important examination. You’ve studied (or procrastinated) a lot, and you’re ready. You’re waiting outside the examination room with your friends. When the time comes to begin you may say:よし！やろう！yoshi! yarou!Okay! Let’s smash this!
Okay, Let’s Study More Japanese!Okay! Let’s study more Japanese.よし！もっと日本語を勉強しよう。yoshi. motto nihongo wo benkyou shiyou.https://civicpride-kusatsu.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/よし！もっと日本語を勉強しよう.mp3
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