Ways to end a phone conversation



Despite its being one of the most basic element of daily-life Japanese, I often find myself looking for a proper way to end certain phone conversations.

Of course, I know the standard: [それでは]失礼します, or: よろしく[お願いします]...

But somehow, neither of these seems quite right when ending a (somewhat formal) conversation where I am the customer (e.g. making a restaurant reservation). I often opt for a basic ありがとうございました, but I don't think it is a very idiomatic way to end such phone conversations.

What would be a good phrase, beside the ones above, to end a phone conversation with a stranger?

Update: So from Tsyoshi's comments, it sounds like 失礼します is just the way to end all phone conversations, service people included. But Dave MG's はい、どうも provides a nice alternative (and he's the only answer), so I'll accept it.


Posted 2011-08-27T15:00:04.070

Reputation: 9 057

2“失礼します” (not しましす) and “よろしくお願いします” both sound appropriate as a way to close a phone conversation as a customer. “ありがとうございました” sounds a little strange. – Tsuyoshi Ito – 2011-08-27T16:45:00.297

@Tsuyoshi: I know it's technically correct, it just that it makes me feel like I am the "intruding one" (asking a favour etc.) when it feels like this type of call should be more neutral. Anyway, just wondering if there are any other ways to close a phone conversation... (btw: typo fixed, thanks!) – Dave – 2011-08-27T16:56:49.943

失礼します seems to mean something like "I have been disrespectful"...? o_O – Karl Knechtel – 2011-08-27T21:22:52.607

@Karl: Its original meaning may be something like that, but it does not mean that. – Tsuyoshi Ito – 2011-08-28T00:24:08.713

@Dave: I am not talking about technical correctness. – Tsuyoshi Ito – 2011-08-28T00:27:47.330

What's wrong? You apologize for putting an end to the conversation, not for the contents of the conversation you had. There is no more deserver/server issue here. – Axioplase – 2011-08-29T02:56:53.417



For my money, 「はい、どうも」 just can't be beat.

What's that? Too informal, you say?

Far from it, my good man. 「はい、どうも」 isn't a replacement for よろしく or 宜しくお願いします when you're winding down the conversation.

But there's always that awkwardness that sets in - happens in English, too - when you and the person on the other end are saying conversation-ending-phrases and no one knows who is going to be the person who actually hangs up. I find I get into the goodbye-vortex even more with customer service people because... well, I don't know why for sure but I suspect they think it's rude to hang up on me.

That's where 「はい、どうも」 comes in. You've been polite all conversation, you've thrown in a few 「失礼します」 where appropriate, and now it's time to just get off the phone.

You throw out a 「はい、どうも」, and then BAM, you slam down the receiver (even though it's a smart phone and you already pressed the button on the screen - we're doing this old school, baby!), then you raise your hands in flawless victory.



Posted 2011-08-27T15:00:04.070

Reputation: 23 440

Well, it made me laugh, anyway... – Karl Knechtel – 2011-08-27T21:25:06.503

1+1 on the awkwardness of trying to end a conversation and who's gonna be the one to hang up. – Dave – 2011-08-28T02:59:11.073


According to Tsuyoshi Ito in the comments,

“失礼します” (not しましす) and “よろしくお願いします” both sound appropriate as a way to close a phone conversation as a customer. “ありがとうございました” sounds a little strange.


Posted 2011-08-27T15:00:04.070

Reputation: 6 229

Question was asked in 2011. Hopefully in the intervening 3 years Dave has figured it out. – paul – 2014-06-17T14:11:13.303

@paul Hopefully. It's good to have alternate answers as answers rather than comments anyway, so that they can be both upvoted and downvoted. – senshin – 2014-06-17T21:29:16.923