I’ve been watching a lot of anime these days, and I noticed a few times that the subtitles say, “How are you?” yet the Japanese words being said are all different. There was “Genki?” and there was also “Daijoubu desu ka?”
I learned recently that one word in Japanese could mean a lot of different things (like, the word “Ara Ara” – could be used in flirting, but it can also mean fish lmao), so maybe there are also many words for one meaning? lol
Just like how we can say “How are you holding up?” or “What are you up to?” or “What’s up” to mean ask about someone’s situation in English, there’re also a lot of ways to say “How are you?” in Japanese – they may even have more because of their dialects and politeness levels.
Here are some examples:
O Genki desu ka? – polite, used with strangers and older people.
Genki? – casual, used with friends
Genki datta? – more like ” Have you been well?”, past tense, casual
Genki kai? – super casual, used with close friends
– and those are just varieties of “Genki.”
Saikin wa dou desu ka? – How are you recently?
Kibun wa dou desu ka? – How do you feel?
Choushi wa dou desu ka? – How’s it going?
Dou shitan desu ka? – What’s wrong?
Nani koto da? – What’s goin’ on?
Ima nani shiteruno? – What are you up to right now?
There’s more here if you need more 😀