How to Say “Don’t Worry” in Japanese – Expressions and examples

In this article, we’ll teach you how to say “don’t worry” in Japanese.

The phrases you’ll learn are highly situation-based, so instead of worrying too much about what the words “mean,” try to remember when they are used so, you’ll know which one to employ in a particular situation.

A boy with a sad expression beside a girl holding on to his shoulders

“Don’t Worry” in Japanese

There are several ways to say “don’t worry” in Japanese, as in English.

When you think about it, English has a lot of phrases that you can use to reassure someone, such as:

  • “Don’t worry about it.”
  • “No worries.”
  • “It’s cool.”
  • “I’m good.”
  • “No problem.”
  • “I’m on it.”
  • “I believe in you.”
  • “You got this.”

And there are many more than just those. The key thing to notice is that while they all essentially mean the same thing, they’re used in different situations and with varying levels of severity.

This is the same thing in Japanese. Below, we’ll teach you the different ways to say “don’t worry” in Japanese, depending on the situation and context. We’ve listed the words in hiragana and kanji, so knowing the Japanese alphabet can help! If you’d like to learn them first, you can visit our article on the Japanese alphabet.

How to say “don’t worry” to someone who made a mistake

There are two ways to say the Japanese terms for “don’t worry” when the context is someone making a mistake:

  • しんぱいしないで (Shinpai shinai de | 心配しないで )
  • きにしない/きにしません (Ki ni shinai/Ki ni shimasen | 気にしない/気にしません).

Let’s see some examples of when you can use these phrases.

“Do not worry” in Japanese

しんぱいしないで (shinpai shinai de | 心配しないで ) means “do not worry” in Japanese. Shinpai is the phrase that most directly means “worry” in Japanese. Shinai de means “do not.” This is the most literal way to tell someone not to worry in many situations:

  • Someone spilled wine on your pants, and they won’t stop apologizing.
  • A colleague misspoke in a meeting and thinks they may have upset a business arrangement.
  • A mutual acquaintance is going through some trouble, and you want to assure another person that your friend will be all right.

“I don’t really care” in Japanese

Other terms to express to someone that you mean “don’t worry” in Japanese are きにしない (Ki ni shinai | 気にしない) and きにしません (Ki ni shimasen | 気にしません). 

Ki refers to feeling. When you say Ki ni shinai, you’re telling someone not to worry so much. When you say Ki ni shimasen, you’re saying “I don’t really care,” letting them know something is not a big deal to you:

  • An acquaintance worries they may have offended you with something they said.
  • Someone showed up late to an event.
  • A colleague promised to call you about something but forgot.

How to say “don’t worry” to someone anxious about a difficulty

When someone is concerned that they might not be able to complete a job and you want them not to worry, you can use either of the two:

  • がんばって (Gambatte | 頑張って)
  • あんしんして (Anshin shitte |安心して)

Let’s talk about some scenarios where saying these phrases that mean”don’t worry” in Japanese might be appropriate.

Three people wearing office uniforms cheering happily

“You can do it” in Japanese

がんばって (Gambatte | 頑張って) is one of the most common phrases in Japan. The literal translation is essentially “do your best,” but it’s really the Japanese version of “you can do it!” This is a term of encouragement and confidence and is often heard in work situations, athletics, or just about anywhere:

  • Your colleague has to give a presentation.
  • It’s your mate’s turn at karaoke, but she isn’t a confident singer.
  • Your child doesn’t want to go to school today.

Calming someone down in Japanese

While gambatte is a tossed-around phrase meant to pump someone up, あんしんして (Anshin shitte |安心して) is about calming someone down and giving them peace of mind:

  • You overslept, and your companion is freaking out in the taxi because you’re going to miss your flight.
  • A client interaction didn’t go well, and your colleague is worried about letting down the company.

How to say “don’t worry” to someone concerned about you

If someone is very much concerned about you at work or in school, but you want them not to worry, you can use these phrases:

  • がんばる (Gambaru | 頑張る)
  • げんきです (Genki desu | 元気です)

“I’ll do my best” in Japanese

がんばる (Gambaru | 頑張る) comes from the same root word as gambatte, which means “do your best,” while gambaru  means “I’ll do my best.” It’s used all the time:

  • After being entrusted with a major task at work.
  • Before walking to the batter’s box during a baseball game.
  • As a response, any time someone says “gambatte” to you.

“I’m fine” in Japanese

げんきです (Genki desu | 元気です) means “I’m fine,” but is generally used concerning health and feeling. It’s a way of letting someone know that, physically and emotionally, you’re doing all right:

There is another way to let someone know you’re all right, and that’s daijobu. This word, like, gambatte and Genki desu, is incredibly useful in Japanese. Like “okay,” you can use it to let a friend know you’re all right, but also in customer service situations, as explained in the next section.

A girl holding books on one hand and doing the ok sign on the other

How to say “don’t worry” in casual situations

If you’re a tourist in Japan, one situation where you’ll likely want to tell someone it’s all right will be as a customer. Perhaps something spilled in a restaurant, and a server is rushing to clean it up.

In a hotel, perhaps the staff didn’t prepare your room in time, and the cleaning staff is profusely apologizing. Maybe you’re at a convenience store, and the machine that prints receipts are broken.

In these situations, it’s common for Japanese people to apologize quite often, and you’ll want to let them know it’s not a problem. Here are a few ways to informally tell them not to worry:

“It’s fine” in Japanese

だいじょうぶ (Daijobu |丈夫) is similar to “it’s fine.” This is the simplest answer to “Are you okay?” or “Is everything okay?”

Here are some situations where you might use it:

  • You tripped and fell, and a friend came over to ask if you were all right.
  • Your room isn’t ready yet, and you’re being asked to wait half an hour.
  • The restaurant is full, and the only table is in the smoking section.

“It’s okay” in Japanese (Used as a refusal)

けっこうです (Kekko desu | 結構です) is a little more formal and old-fashioned than daijobu. Unlike daijobu, kekko desu is always used in a negative context – meaning it is a refusal of something, not an acceptance. It is often a response to someone asking if you need something, such as:

  • You’re at a supermarket, and the cashier asks if you’d like a plastic bag, but you’re going to put the food in your backpack, so you don’t need one.
  • Everyone else uses chopsticks at a restaurant, but since you’re a foreigner, the server asks if you need a fork.

If you’re in a situation where you don’t know whether to use daijobu or kekko desu, you can usually go with daijobu.

As a foreigner, you’re not going to offend anyone by using a flippant phrase, and the distinction is tricky. You’ll only need kekko desu in situations where daijobu would cause confusion:

  • Imagine you’re at a restaurant, and your fork falls on the floor. The server asks if you’d like a new one, but you’re done eating, so you don’t need one. If you say daijobu, the server may not understand whether you mean, “it’s okay, I don’t need one” or “it’s okay to bring me a new one.” In that situation, kekko desu will clear things up.

Wrap up

The last thing to understand about saying these phrases for “don’t worry” is that they are parts of a sentence. It’s fine to say gambatte, genki desu, daijobu, or kekko desu on their own – they work as responses in and of themselves.

The others can be said on their own but are most often said in conjunction with other phrases specific to the exact situation, who you are talking to, and what you’re talking about.

It’s important to keep up with Japanese study – the more Japanese words you learn, the more confidently you’ll be able to use these phrases you already know!

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