You have probably heard the Japanese say “Domo” in a conversation or maybe in dialogue when you watch animes.  But it is the most common and hardest to understand at the same time as the word has a lot of meanings.  We grew up with the language and have no problem using Domo, but not a lot of people can explain the actual meaning of the word.

Here are some examples where “Domo” is used;

Domo – Thanks / Hello / Nice to meet you.
Domo arigato – Thank you very much.
Domo hajimemashite – Very nice to meet you.
Domo kon-nichiwa – Very nice to meet you.
Domo yoroshiku – Very glad to meet you.
A, domo. – Oh, hi/Hello.
Hmm, domo okashii – Hmm, it’s very strange.

Please don’t freak out! They are just examples for the better understanding. Domo originally meant “(very) much” or “somehow” to express degree of situation or your feelings.  The most popular use of Domo is of course “Domo arigato” to say thank you politely, but as the language took its course, it was shortened to only “Domo”.  So Domo can be applied in a lot of cases in our daily life.

T: Can you pass me the salt?
S: There you go.
T: Domo! (Thanks!)

S: This is my girlfriend, Rinko.
R: Domo hajimemashite. (It’s very nice to meet you.)
T: Domo. (Nice to meet you.)

(On the phone)
A: Can I talk to Mr. Fujiwara?
F: Domo, Fujiwara desu. (Hello. This is Fujiwara speaking.)

Now this is surely a superfluous information, but if you say “Domo, domo!” in a double-barrelled way, that could give some playful image. It is useful when you want to grow relaxed tense or want to go humorously or jokingly.

Digressing from the topic, Domo-kun was originally created by NHK Television to promote its broadcasting and BS channel.  I watched some episodes the other day and noticed Domo-kun repeated the word.  But by the look of the show, Domo-kun didn’t seem to use the word correctly.  It is almost like the sound animals let out: Birds chirp, cows moo and Domo-kun says Domo.


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