Business Japanese - Telephone Phrases

Poste date: Tuesday, September 17, 2019

When a foreigner works in a Japanese company, to answer incoming phone calls may be a basic office work. As telephone communication is made only by exchange of our voices, it is very important for you to learn “the set expressions of Japanese” to avoid discomfort or misunderstanding of the other party.

In the expressions there are many honorific words or polite expressions actually (there is an exception such that you don't give an honorific title to the person of your own company, even to your boss or big boss), but it is a good idea for you to memorize them simply.

Below are some of the most commonly used Japanese business phrases over the phone you will encounter while working in Japan.

When you answer the phone

Hai, ◯◯ de gozaimasu

はい、◯◯株式会社でございます。

Closest English equivalent: Thanks for calling, this is ◯◯ corporation.

Osewa ni natte orimasu

お世話になっております。

Closest English equivalent: I appreciate your cooperation(attention).


When you ask the other party to repeat

Osoreirimasu, mou ichido onegai itashimasu

おそれいります。もう一度お願いいたします。

Closest English equivalent: I’m sorry, will you say it once again?

Onamae wo mouichido oukagai shitemo yoroshii deshouka?

お名前をもう一度お伺いしてもよろしいでしょうか?

Closest English equivalent: May I ask your name once again?

When you transfer a call

○○de gozaimasune? Sho-sho omachi kudasaimase

○○でございますね、少々お待ちくださいませ。

Closest English equivalent: You are calling to ○○ , aren’t you? Will you hold on the line?

(Note:You don't give an honorific title to the person of your own company, even to your boss or big boss)

Tadaima otsunagi itashimasu. Sho-sho omachi kudasaimase

ただいまおつなぎ致します。少々お待ちくださいませ。

Closest English equivalent: I will connect your line. Will you hold?

Moushiwake gozaimasen. Tadaima ○○wa hokano denwani deteorimasu

申し訳ございません。ただいま◯◯は他の電話に出ております。

Closest English equivalent: I’m afraid ○○ is on another line at this moment.

Owarishidai kochirakara orikaeshi odenwa sashiagete yoroshii deshouka?

終わり次第、こちらから折り返しお電話差し上げてもよろしいでしょうか?

Closest English equivalent: May I have ○○ call you back soon after his/her call ends?

Moushiwake gozaimasen. Tadaima ○○wa sekio hazushite orimasu

申し訳ございません。ただいま◯◯は席を外しております

Closest English equivalent: I’m afraid ○○ is away from his/her desk right now.

Modorishidai kochirakara orikaeshi odenwa sashiagete yoroshii deshouka?

戻り次第、こちらから折り返しお電話差し上げてもよろしいでしょうか?

Closest English equivalent: May I have ○○ call you back soon after ○○ is back?

Moushiwake gozaimasen. Honjitsu ○○ wa shujitsu fuzaide gozaimasu

申し訳ございません。本日◯◯は終日不在でございます。

Closest English equivalent: I’m afraid ○○ is taking a day off today.

Kochirakara ○○ ni renrakuwo tori, suguni odenwa sashiageru youni itashimasu

こちらから◯◯に連絡を取り、すぐにお電話差し上げるようにいたします。

Closest English equivalent: May I contact ○○ and have ○○ call you back?

When you take a message

Yoroshikereba goyoukenwo ukagatte, ○○ni otsutae itashimasu

よろしければご用件をうかがって、◯◯にお伝え致します。

Closest English equivalent: Can I leave your message to ○○?

Osoreirimasuga kaishamei, onamae, odenwabangou wo ukagatte yoroshii deshouka?

恐れ入りますが、会社名、お名前とお電話番号を伺ってよろしいでしょうか。

Closest English equivalent: May I ask your company name, your name, and phone number?


When you finish a call

Soredewa shitsurei itashimasu

それでは、失礼いたします。

Closest English equivalent: OK Thank you very much for your calling.


When you respond to a wrong number call

Kochirawa ○○ desu. Osoreirimasuga dochira-ni okake deshouka?

こちらは◯◯株式会社です。恐れ入りますが、どちらにおかけでしょうか?

Closest English equivalent:This is ○○ corporation. May I ask which company you are calling to?

Osoreirimasuga nanban-ni okake deshouka?

恐れ入りますが、何番におかけでしょうか?

Closest English equivalent: Excuse me, which number are you calling?


You may also be interested in these articles.

  • Japanese Kabuki: The Globe Theatre of the East, Revealed!

    A look at Japanese Kabuki, Japan’s most iconic form of theatre at home and abroad. Learn the intriguing story behind the story, and catch a show in Tokyo.
  • Polite and Useful Japanese Business Phrases

    Working in a Japanese company requires not only knowledge of Japanese business culture but also the use of a polite form of Japanese that is not commonly used in daily life. Here are some commonly used Japanese business phrases you are bound to encounter while working in Japan.
  • Reiwa, the changing of an era and its affect on the expat community.

    Japan will have a new era name starting on May 1st 2019. Here’s a bit of quick history on era changes in Japan, how the era change affects residents of Japan, both native and foreign, and a conversion chart from Heisei to Reiwa to the Gregorian date format.
  • The Latest Modern Japanese Bathrooms

    Japanese people love taking baths and as a result bathrooms in Japan have many high-tech features to simplify the bathing process. You can find everything from baths that automatically fill up to baths that self clean in Japan. Here are some of the latest modern Japanese bathrooms and their advanced technologies.
  • Exploring Ikebana, The Art of Japanese Flower Arranging

    Want to understand or practice ikebana Japanese flower arranging while living in Tokyo? Learn about its history, styles, and the classes available to all who are interested.
  • Nengajo – New Year’s Cards

    Japanese traditionally send Nengajo, also known as New Year's Cards, to friends, family and even co-workers. Here is a simple guide to Nengajo.