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お先に失礼します / osaki-ni-shiturei-shimasu

What would you say when you leave office in Japanese?

お先に失礼します / osaki-ni-shiturei-shimasu

When leaving office we Japanese often say “お先に失礼します / osaki-ni-shiturei-shimasu”.  The meaning of 失礼 is rudeness, a lack of politeness but “失礼する” means  “leave a place”. Also, お先に, in this case, means “before you leave”.


So, お先に失礼します is translated as “I leave(I’m leaving) before you leave”, “I leave first”.  


hmmm… I think no-Japanese will think this is strange, like, “why do I have to declare that I’m leaving?”.  Maybe you’re right but this greeting is formal and polite in Japan.


A short version, “お先! / osaki!” or “お先です! / osaki-desu!” is often used to those who close to you.



You : お先に失礼します.

Others : お疲れさまでした or お疲れさまです



You : お先~

Others : お疲れ~


Although literal translations may be hard to understand, both of お先に失礼します and お疲れさまでした means just “see you”.



These greetings may sound strange to non-Japanese but just remember these expressions are how to say “see you” in Japanese at office!


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