And kanji with manga
Wednesday, October 5, 2016

okaeri おかえり

In Japanese, okaeri おかえり, meaning literally "return," is an expression used when welcoming someone back home from school, work, etc., specially after the person coming back home says tadaima ただいま.

A longer variant is okaerinasai おかえりなさい. They're also spelled お帰り, お帰りなさい.

When leaving home, ittekimasu 行ってきます and itterashai 行ってらっしゃい are used instead.

パパ おかえりー
Manga: Fullmetal Alchemist, Hagane no Renkinjutsushi 鋼の錬金術師 (Chapter 14, ひとりっ子の気持ち)

Meaning

The full version of okaeri, okaerinasai, would be:

The word youkoso ようこそ is often used when welcoming people to places in general. It comes from yoku zo よくぞ, which commends someone for doing something, e.g.: "well done" coming here.

The phrase okaeri nasaimashita is a bit complicated.

The important verb is kaeru 帰る, "to return home."

The phrase kaerinasai 帰りなさい is a ~nasai ~なさい imperative, and would be ordering someone to "go home," but this is irrelevant here.

The verb nasaru なさる means "to do." Its polite ~masu ~ます form isn't nasarimasu but nasaimasu なさます, due to i-onbin イ音便. The ~mashita ~ました morpheme is the past form of ~masu.

Together with the honorific prefix o~ お~, the pattern o-verb in renkyoukei 連用形 form-nasaimasu would refer to the fact that someone has done an action.:

  • okaeri nasaimashita
    おかえりなさいました
    [He] did the returning. (literally.)
  • kaetta
    帰った
    [He] returned.

Examples

For reference, some examples:

パパ おかえりー
Manga: Fullmetal Alchemist, Hagane no Renkinjutsushi 鋼の錬金術師 (Chapter 14, ひとりっ子の気持ち)
  • Context: a father comes back home, is greeted by wife and daighter.
  • papa, okaerii
    パパ おかえり
    Daddy, welcome back home.
遅かったですね おかえりなさいまし、真尋さん 私にしますか? それとも先に私にします? それとも わ・た・し?
Manga: Haiyore! Nyaruko-san 這いよれ!ニャル子さん (Chapter 6, さよならです)
  • Context: Nyaruko ニャル子 welcomes Yasaka Mahiro 八坂真尋.
  • osokatta desu ne
    遅かったですね
    [It took you a while, huh].
  • okaerinasaimashi, Mahiro-san
    おかえりなさいまし、真尋さん
    Welcome back home, Mahiro-san.
  • watashi ni shimasu ka?
    soretomo saki ni watashi ni shimasu?
    soretomo wa... ta... shi?

    私にしますか?
    それとも先に私にします?
    それとも わ・た・し?
    [What do you want to do?]
    Me? Or, before that, me? Or... me?
ただいま おかえり っていうかアレだな おまえは早く帰って私の遊び相手をするべきだ こんな時間までどこほっつき歩いてたんだこの野郎
Manga: Minami-ke みなみけ (Chapter 1, ホットケーキにしましょう)
  • Context: Minami Kana 南夏奈 welcomes home her younger sister, Minami Chiaki 南千秋.
  • tadaima
    ただいま
    [I'm back].
  • okaeri
    おかえり
    [Welcome back].
  • tteiuka, are da na
    っていうかアレだな
    [Or rather], [it] is that.
    • are da - "[it] is that," as in "you know, it's that thing when, which, etc.," used like this to refer to an idea the speaker assumes to be known already, and will remind the listener of next.
  • omae wa hayaku kaette watashi no asobi-aite wo suru beki da
    おまえは早く帰って私の遊び相手をするべきだ
    You should return home quickly and be my play-partner.
    You should come home quickly to play with me.
    • Kana reminds Chiaki of what she should do.
  • konna jikan made doko hottsuki-aruiteta-n-da, kono yarou
    こんな時間までどこほっつき歩いてたんだこの野郎
    Where were [you] loitering around until this [late], you bastard?
    • konna jikan made - until this hour, until this late.
    • ~teta-n-da - contraction of ~te-ita no da ~ていたのだ.

References

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