Sunday, December 27, 2009

Writing New Year's Cards

Part 1: Expressions Used in New Year's Cards

Page 1 of 2

Do you send Christmas cards? The Japanese send New Year's cards (nengajo) rather than Christmas cards. Try sending them to surprise your Japanese friends!

Nengajo begin with set greetings. Here are some common expressions.

Akemashite omedetou gozaimasu.
明けましておめでとうございます。

Shinnen omedetou gozaimasu.
新年おめでとうございます。

Kinga Shinnen
謹賀新年

Kyouga Shinnen
恭賀新年

Gashou
賀正

Geishun
迎春

Tsutsushinde shinnen no oyorokobi o moushiagemasu.
謹んで新年のお喜びを申し上げます。

--Happy New Year.

All expressions basically mean, "Happy New Year". You can choose any of them to begin your card. "Kinga Shinnen (謹賀新年)," "Kyouga Shinnen (恭賀新年)," "Gashou (賀正)," and "Geishun (迎春)" are seasonal words not used in regular conversation. The rest of the three expressions can be used as a greeting. Click here to hear the sound files for New Year's greetings.

After the greeting, add words of thanks, requests for continued favor or wishes for health. Here are some common expressions, though you can add your own words as well.

Sakunen wa taihen osewa ni nari arigatou gozaimashita.
昨年は大変お世話になりありがとうございました。
Thank you for all your kind help during the past year.

Honnen mo douzo yoroshiku onegaishimasu.
本年もどうぞよろしくお願いします。
I hope for your continued favor this year.

Minasama no gokenkou o oinori moushiagemasu.
皆様のご健康をお祈り申し上げます。
Wishing everyone good health.

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