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How to say no problem in Japanese – with 50+ examples

Right up front, the easiest and most literal way to say “no problem” in Japanese is “mondai nai”.

“mondai nai” is actually one of the few words that actually translate straight across to English reasonably well.

Of course, language is always a lot more complex than that though. 

But I’m hear to clear up all your Japanese “no problem” problems!

Was that phrase a little “problamatic”? Probably.

How we use “No problem” in English

The phrase “no problem” gets used in a bunch of contexts to mean a bunch of different things in English. 

It can mean something close to “ok” (which we’ve written about Japanese equivalents of in the past) as in:

“There’s not enough cake for you”

“No problem”

Now, aside from the fact that there not being enough cake for you very much is  a problem in my books (;) this is obviously a very different meaning from something like:

“I just crashed your expensive new sports car into someone else’s expensive new sports car”

“No problem”

Now whether or not you would have the magnanimity to use “no problem” in a situation like this, the usage here would be closer to something like “Don’t worry about it” than “okay”.

So, obviously there is some nuance that goes into using these kinds of phrases.

So let’s take a look at some of the nuances of how these sorts of phrases for “no problem” are used in Japanese!

No Problem in Japanese

Young man face arms crossed with smiling face. Asian man standing outdoor.Portrait asia people with white t-shirt.

Japanese has a literal translation that works in similar way to the phrase “no problem”:

問題ない

Mondai nai

Mondai” means problem, issue or question. And “nai” means “no” or “doesn’t exist”. 

It  can be used in situations like:

今日はちょっと早く帰っていい?

kyō wa chotto hayaku kaette ī ?

Do you mind if I go home a little early today?

問題ないよ

mondainaiyo

No problem!

In this context, “no problem” is effectively being used to say “yes”. 

In reality, you don’t really hear Japanese people using mondai nai all that often like this as in:

Can I do something?

Mondai nai

They are more likely to say something like iiyo (that’s fine”) or daijyobu (okay). But you do sometimes hear mondai nai used this way. 

There are other uses for the word listed below.

About formality in saying “no problem” in Japanese

As always in Japanese, we have a lot of variation in how you say things depending on the situation and how formal the language is you should be speaking.

The negating word nai is a casual word form, so you wouldn’t be using it in any situations where formal language was called for, or where you were trying to show respect (which happens a lot in Japan!). 

The different forms of mondai nai change in different situations to:

Casual: 問題ない mondai nai

Formal: 問題ありません mondai arimasen

Very formal: 問題ございません mondai gozaimasen

You can also make mondai nai more formal by adding desu on the end of it as:

問題ないです。mondai nai desu.

This way of saying “no problem” in situations is actually pretty common because it doesn’t sound too “stiff”, but still shows a level of respect to the person you are talking to. It can be a good choice for using if you are speaking to, say, someone older than you, or someone more senior than you in a work sense or, you know, a member of the police that is writing you out a speeding ticket on the highway…

Different uses of mondai nai, “no problem”, in Japanese

You find that, even though mondai nai, and its equivalent more polite forms, is a pretty good literal translation of “no problem” in some circumstances, the word is actually used quite differently in many others.

Here are some examples of mondai nai being used in a range of less or more formal settings. You’ll see that sometimes translating the phrase as “no problem” makes sense in English, other times it doesn’t:

“Could you help me find my cat?

猫を探すのを手伝って頂けますか?

No problem. 

問題ないよ”

“Can you pick me up from school?

学校に迎えに来てくれる?

Sure. No problem.

もちろん。問題ないよ”

“検査をした結果、問題ないとされたので退院が決まった

kensa o shita kekka, mondainai to sareta node taiin ga kimatta

They examined me and found that I didn’t have any problems, so they let me out of the hospital.”

“このまま先に進めていっても問題ないでしょ?

kono mama saki ni susumeteitte mo mondainai desho?

There wouldn’t be any problem if I headed in this direction would there?”

“返答を待った結果、問題ないとのことだった

hentō o matta kekka, mondainai to no koto datta

After waiting on the response, there wasn’t any problem.”

“その時間に来てもらって問題ありません

 sono jikan ni kitemoratte mondai arimasen

We don’t have any issues with you coming at that time.”

“このままホームページに記載しても問題ありませんか?

kono mama ho-mupe-ji ni kisaishite mo mondai arimasen ka?

So there are no problems if I go ahead and put this on the home page?”

“内容を拝見しましたが、問題ございませんでした

naiyō o haiken shimashita ga, mondai gozaimasen deshita

I looked into it, and there and found no problems.”

“こちらで日時を決定させていただきましたが、なにか問題はございますか?

kochira de nichiji o kettei sasete itadakimashita ga, nanika mondai wa gozaimasu ka?

We went ahead and put together some dates, are there any issues?”

Other Japanese words that get used to mean “No problem” 

1. “No problem” as “That’s fine” in Japanese

This one is probably the most common way that people respond to questions that require a “no problems” kind of answer. 

Japanese people very regularly say something akin to “that’s fine” by saying: 

いいよ ii yo

Or 

いいですよ ii desu yo

The word ii literally means “good”. So saying iiyo is really just like saying “all good”.

Do you mind if I eat the last cake?

最後のケーキを食べていい?

saigo no keiki wo tabete ii?

That’s fine (no problems)

いいよ。

iiyo.

If you were only going to learn one of the words out of mondai nai and iiyo, then iiyo would be the more useful one to learn.

2. You’re Welcome in Japanese

Sometimes in English we say “No problem” to mean “you’re welcome” after someone says “Thank you” .

Japanese people don’t usually use mondai nai  in this way.

They are more likely to use words such as:

どういたしまして。

dōitashimashite. 

わけないよ。

wakenai yo. 

どうってことないよ。

dō tte koto nai yo

いいよ

ii yo

いいえ

iie

This last one, iie, literally just meaning “no” is one that we don’t have in English. Japanese will sometimes just reply “no” when you say “thank you”, in the sense of “don’t mention it” and it is actually an easy way to. Kinda cool don’t you think?

You can also more extremely rebut the thank you with:

とんでもないです

Tondemo nai desu

 This could be translated as something like “Don’t be silly” in the context of having just been thanked and you trying to say something like, “Oh, really it’s nothing, don’t mention, it was nothing”.

If you want to get all formal and textbooky (now there’s a word you won’t find in the dictionary) about it, it would look like this:

Thank you so much.

ありがとうございます。

Arigato gozaimasu

No problem.

どういたしまして。

Dou itashimashite

3. No, thank you In Japanese

We don’t really say “thank you too” in English, we would usually just say “Thank you” with an emphasis on the “you”.

In Japan you can use words like:

No, thank you (emphasis on the you)

こちらこそ 

kochira koso

Or, more informally, you can say

No, thank you (emphasis on the you)

こっちこそ 

kocchi koso

Thanks for yesterday

機能はありがとうね。

Kinou wa arigatou ne

No, Thank you

いいえ、こっちこそ

Iie, kocchi koso

4. Don’t Worry About It in Japanese

The reply to “thankyou” goes together with the reply to “sorry” like tea and coffee. Or chocolate and coffee. Or something like that.

Either way, in English we often say “No problems” in reply to someone saying “sorry”. 

This isn’t done so much in Japanese. They would be more likely to say something like this:

I’m sorry. 

ごめんなさい。

Gomen nasai

No problem.

大丈夫だよ。

Daijoubu da yo

どうってことないよ。

Dou tte koto nai yo.

5. I Don’t Mind in Japanese

Sometimes in English “no problem” can actually be a nice, round-about way of saying “I don’t mind”. It tends to be quite abstract, and, thus, good for situations that may be uncomfortable. You don’t tend to hear this so much in Japanese. You are more likely to hear something like kamawanai, literally meaning “don’t mind”, in contexts like:

Is it okay if you pay the travel expenses?

交通費出してもらっていい?

Koutsuuhi dashite kureru

No problem. (I don’t mind).

構わないよ

Kamawanai yo

6. It’s Okay in Japanese

We’ve previously written a whole article on how to say Ok in Japanese. The most obvious candidate here is:

大丈夫

daijobu 

Okay, alright

Do you mind if I watch television?

テレビを見ていい?

Terebi wo mite ii?

大丈夫だよ。

Daijoubu da yo

Okay, go ahead

In formal situations: daijoubu da yo is very casual. As always in Japanese, you can swap out da for desu to make it more formal or respectful of the person you are talking two. So daijyobu da yo would become daijyobu desu yo. 

The yo in these phrases is used for emphasis, almost like an exclamation mark in English.

7. Don’t mind in Japanese

If you want to emphasise to someone that you are not worried about something (usually negative) that has happened you can use the different forms of the phrase:

Don’t worry about it (don’t worry about it)

気にしないでください

Ki ni shinaide kudasai

Ki ni shinai is the nagative of 気にするki ni suru, which means to be bothered by something, be aware of something or pay mind to something.

So you could also say, casually:

Don’t worry about it

気にしないで

Ki ni shinaide

Or

Don’t worry about it

気にしなくてもいい

Ki ni shinakute mo ii

Or if you wanted to make a more forceful statement about it:

Forget about it!

気にするな

Ki ni suru na

So to put this into an example sentence:

I’m so sorry, I broke it!

ごめん、壊してしまった

Gomen, kowashite shimatta

It’s fine, don’t worry about it

いいよ、気にしないで

Ii yo, ki ni shinai de

8. Japanese loan and katakana words that can mean “No Problem”

As always, there are a lot Japanenglish words that have worked their way into the language. I remember being a little nonplussed when I heard people yelling out to each other in my university volleyball club “Donmai, donmai” when somebody missed a hit or made a mistake. They were using a Japanified version of the English phrase “Don’t mind”. 

So that’s one to remember next time you are on the sporting arena!

Don’t mind!

ドンマイ

donmai

Japanese people also use Japanese pronunciations of the words “okay”, and even “alright” (especially when telling someone that they can keep backing their car out and they are not going to hit anything!). 

Okay

オーケー

O-ke

Alright

オーライ

o-rai

9. “No big deal” In Japanese

It’s no problem, no big deal

大したことない よ

taishita koto nai yo

大したこと taishita koto literally means “big thing”. So you could also translate taishita koto nai yo as, “it’s no big thing”.

Thanks for taking me to the airport!

空港まで送ってくれてありがとうね。

It’s no big thing

大したことない よ

taishita koto nai yo

10. “No Sweat” in Japanese

Can you help me carry this box? 

この箱を運び出すの手伝ってくれる?

kono hako o hakobidasu no tetsudattekureru? 

No sweat.

問題ないよ。

mondai nai yo.

11. “I’ve got no problem with” in Japanese

Sometimes we use “no problem” in the context of “I’ve got no problem with something”, which means something like “I don’t have any issues with something”.

In this context you could use

I’ve got no problems

不満がない

Fuman ga nai

I’ve got no problem with this way of thinking

この思考に不満がない

Kono shiko ni fuman ga nai

12. More literal translations of no problem into Japanese

Of course, “no problem” can also be used in literal contexts such as “there are no problems with this car”.

No irregularities

異常がない

Ijyo ga nai

Impeccable, beyond reproach

非の打ちどころがない

Hi no uchi dokoro ga nai

There’s nothing getting in the way 

とくに支障はない

Toku ni shisyou wa nai

In conclusion

Well, that’s about as much investigation of “no problem” as I think I can sustain without causing myself problems. 

The upshot here is, as always with language, you need a nuanced approach to when you are going to use which word when. People get into trouble when they take the view that word “X” in their own language means word “Y” in another language at all times, without variation.

If only the world was so! No then we really would have “no problems”!

Who is behind this site?

I’m Peter Joseph Head. I lived in Japan for four years as a student at Kyoto City University of the Arts doing a Masters Degree, have toured the country six times playing music and speak Japanese (JLPT N1). I’ve written songs in Japanese and have released several albums through Tokyo label Majikick Records. You can hear my music at my bandcamp page:

ピータージョセフヘッドです。4年間京都市立芸大の大学院として日本に住み、6回日本で音楽ツアーをし、日本語能力試験で1級を取得しました。要するに日本好きです。

僕の音楽はBandcampで聞けます。

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