Konnichiha or Konnichiwa?

Konnichiha or Konnichiwa?

– Vol.15 –

ARC teacher Mimi Sensei will answer your questions regarding Japanese language.



Q:Can I write both “こんにちは” and “こんにちわ”?



 Some people write “こんにちわ”: although the pronunciation is「わ」, the correct way of writing it is “こんにちは”.

 Of course, there is a reason for this. Nowadays, we only use “こんにちは” as a greeting to salute someone, but originally there used to be words after that.
With time, the old daily ways to greet someone, like「こんにち(=今日, kon + nichi)はいい天気ですね」, “Today the weather is nice” or「こんにちはご機嫌いかがですか」, “How are you doing today?” became a simpler「こんにちは」.

 In other words, it’s the same particle「は」that you find in「わたしは~」. We don’t write「わたしわ」, and in the same way,「こんにちわ」is incorrect. The same goes for the「は」in「こんばんは」.

 People still uses「わ」even though it’s not correct, with friends or acquaintances they feel close with.

However, please remember to write correctly「こんにちは」and「こんばんは」.