Say you like manga and anime, things made in Japan, in Japanese. One day you feel a calling: you got to learn Japanese, because you love this stuff, and this stuff is in Japanese. Not knowing Japanese hinders your ability to enjoy the content one hundred percent. Then you start... and everyone tells you learning Japanese is too hard and learning it just for manga is a really stupid idea. That may not be exactly true.
When you start learning Japanese, more specifically, the kanji 漢字, the day always arrives when you hear something about the readings kun'yomi 訓読み and on'yomi 音読み but you still have no idea what they exactly mean. So, in this post, I'll explain what is kun'yomi, what is on'yomi, and what's their importance in the language.
Perhaps the coolest ever spoken in anime is the word kakkoii かっこいい, or if you like separating things, kakko ii カッコ良い. And let's not forget about its antonym, kakkowarui かっこわるい, or kakko warui カッコ悪い. These two words often have a number of different translations, so in this article I'll explain their real meaning.
There are a lot of animes about sports, for some strange reason, and we all love to watch them showing the characters' hard work and sweat pay off while we're comfortably seated behind the screen. But what are those sports called in Japanese?
Has someone ever told you to read manga with furigana 振り仮名 but now you're in trouble because you still don't know what furigana means? Is furigana like hiragana or katakana or something? Nope? Then what is furigana?
Have you ever wondered how a fighting style is written in Japanese? Like boxing... or kickboxing... or chinese kickboxing... or drunken, chinese kickboxing? Or maybe how karate is written in Japanese? Well, worry no more, I've compiled a list of those names for you.
A question anime fans often ask themselves is "how do I write my name in Japanese?" Sure there is a way? Maybe you can write your name with kanji, maybe not, maybe it changes, maybe not. Well, either way, I'm here to teach you how to translate names to Japanese properly. The right way.
Sometimes in anime you just know something is chigau 違う... or is it machigatteiru 間違っている? Or is it just a kanchigai 勘違い? Clearly, these words have something in common, but at the same time they are all very different. What's going on, what is their real meaning in the Japanese language?
One funny word in Japanese is shitsurei 失礼. If you watch too much anime, you'll notice it sometimes means something like "excuse me," but other times it will have a meaning like saying something was "disrespectful." One meaning regards to politeness, the other to impoliteness. How does it work? Which is it?
Those learning Japanese sooner or later come across these three words: ageru 上げる, kureru くれる and morau 貰う, and then across this problem: what's the difference between ageru, kureru and morau? Are their meanings the same or what?
Have you ever heard the word nippon 日本 in an anime? Maybe you thought you heard it, maybe you thought you misheard nihon 日本, which sounds almost the same. Well, the thing is, both nihon and nippon are actual, separate words in the Japanese language, though they are pretty much alike.
Have you ever heard the words nihon 日本 and nihongo 日本語 and wondered exactly what they meant? Obviously, they are words from Japan, they are in Japanese and they have something in common. Rest assured, their meanings are nothing too difficult.
Do you want to know the meaning of something in Japanese you saw in anime, manga or game but you don't know where to ask?
Post a comment below with your request!
Post a comment below with your request!
The expression itadakimasu 頂きます is one that's often said before meals in anime, and it doesn't take a genius to figure out it's one of things you have to say or else you'll come off as rude. But what does itadakimasu means in Japanese?
Have you ever heard the Japanese words ittekimasu 行ってきます and itterasshai 行ってらっしゃい? In anime, ittekimasu is spoken by someone who's leaving home and itterasshai by whoever stays behind at home. But what are the meaning of these expressions in Japanese?
I'm pretty sure you've heard the term "light novel" before, or raito noberu ライトノベル, also shortened as ranobe ラノベ. The light novels are the usual source material for those darker anime, but what are they exactly? Are they really novels? Are they made out of light? What makes them different?
Every once in a while an anime character goes around and says something weird and impossible for humans to understand. Stuff like nya にゃ, nyaa にゃあ, nyan にゃん or even wan わん, but what the hell are they talking about? What does nyaa mean?
As the seasoned anime watcher I know you are, I'm sure you've already heard about the word fanservice when talking about anime, and by fanservice I actually mean fansaabisu ファンサービス, which is totally a Japanese word.
Everyone hates spoilers. Manga spoilers. Anime spoilers. TV spoilers. Game spoilers. We all know that spoilers spoil everything, so we avoid them like the plague as we chant the word to protected ourselves: "spoilers! spoilers!" But how do you even say that word in Japanese?
In spirit of the Naruto ナルト anime finally, finally, FINALLY!!! ending, a little explanation about the words ninjutsu 忍術, taijutsu 体術 and genjutsu 幻術 and their meanings in Japanese. (or "ninjitsu," "taijitsu," "and "genjitsu" if you romanize them a bit weirdly)
The word sugoi すごい is one of those that show up a lot in anime and yet nobody knows for sure what it really means. Character sees thing, yells sugoi!, whispers sugoi, writes sugoi down on a paper, even, and yet its real meaning remains a mystery. Well, no more!
The words kanojo 彼女, kareshi 彼氏 and kare 彼 often show in up in anime with similar but different meanings, making it difficult to understand what they really mean. So, in this article, I'm going to explain their meanings one by one so there's no doubt left about it.
Watching anime in Japanese, I'm sure you've already seen some obscene Engrish word like reberu レベル, "level," thrown around and it made you think: why can't the Japanese speak English? Are they just really, really, really lazy? Do they like their Japanese language better than English? Or what? What's the reason for this travesty? It's actually more complicated than you might think.
Have you ever heard the word kiriban キリ番 often used in DeviantArt and websites alike? Are you, perhaps, wondering what kiriban means? Do you think knowing what kiriban means will help you get that free drawing of your favorite character? Well, I'm here to clear you doubts about this important matter.
Did you know that the word hito 人, the sword nin 人 and the word jin 人 all have the same kanji in Japanese but different, related meanings? If you didn't know that, now you do. But do you know what their meanings and differences are?
Have you ever wondered how do anime characters count things in Japanese? How do these Japanese numbers work and everything else? It all starts with ichi 一, ni 二, san 三, right? Or was it hitotsu 一つ, futatsu 二つ and mittsu 三つ？ What's the difference? Is there a difference?? What do these words really mean?! How do you even count in Japanese???
Do you know the numbers which anime characters use in anime? Numbers like ichi 一, ni 二, san 三 and so on? No? Well, here's a post about all those Japanese numbers and only about the Japanese numbers, so you can know pretty much almost everything about them.
The words natsu 夏, haru 春, fuyu 冬 and aki 秋 are often heard in anime as they are usually the Japanese characters' names. I'm sure you know one character or other called haru, and perhaps called natsu, or aki, but do these words have any other meaning you should know about in Japanese? Yeah, well, they do.
Now, be honest, I'm pretty sure you've heard about doujnshi 同人誌 before, haven't you? Haven't you?! I know you have. You'd be here reading this post about the words doujin 同人 and doujinshi 同人誌 were you not concerned about what their actual meaning were in Japanese.
Have you ever heard about the word mangaka 漫画家? It's a pretty funny word, used to call the author of a manga 漫画, those Japanese comics. However, the suffix ka 家 isn't used only for authors, and certainly not used only to call the guy who makes manga. It has a much more generic meaning.
So I'm pretty sure you've heard about "manga" already. Those strange asian comics which are read backwards and from which anime is often born. But what about manga 漫画? The actual Japanese word from which "manga" is derived? Is manga 漫画 how you actually call manga in Japanese?
Have you ever noticed that in anime there are certain similar words like: kore これ, kono この and kokoここ? And sore それ, sono その and sokoそこ? And are あれ, ano あの, and asoko あそこ?! And dore どれ?, dono どの and doko どこ?!?! No, it's not a coincidence! These are the kosoado kotoba こそあど言葉, the Japanese demonstrative pronouns!
I'm sure you've heard this bunch of Japanese words ending in itsu before in anime: koitsu こいつ, soitsu そいつ, aitsu あいつ and doitsu どいつ. No, they have nothing to do with "when," that'd be just itsu 何時. These words are pronouns used to talk about things, and their meanings are pretty easy to understand.
Perhaps four of the most common words in anime that everyone has heard of are: kou こう, sou そう, aa ああ and dou どう and... wait, what? One of these look a little different from the others! Also, it's not said as much. Whatever. Anyway, three of these words are very common and their meanings very important.
Watching anime you most likely have heard these words before: konna こんな, sonna そんな, anna あんな and donna どんあ. No, they aren't names of female characters. Okay, they are that too. But these words have other useful meanings in the Japanese language as the pronouns they are.
If you've ever heard these words in anime: kocchi こっち, socchi そっち, acchi あっち and docchi どっち, and thought a character had allergy to stupid main characters or something, know that you were wrong. These words are actually Japanese pronouns and they all have actual meanings.
I'm sure you've heard of these Japanese words before: kono この, sono その, ano あの and dono どの. No? Never? Of course you have! They're basic pronouns and anyone trying to learn Japanese should know about them and, of course, know about their meanings.
If you've ever watched a single anime in your entire life you've certainly heard at least one of these words: kore これ, sore それ, are あれ and dore どれ. Especially, are あれ, as it's used in phrases like are? areee? あれ？あれえぇ？ But what's the meaning of these words in Japanese?
In the Japanese language, there are four pronouns ending in chira ちら, they are: kochira こちら, sochira そちら, achira あちら and dochira どちら. Amongst these, dochira is the most common, while the words are often spoken in dialogues, but what do they really mean?
This time I'll talk about four Japanese words which you've probably never heard about: konata こなた, sonata そなた, anata あなた and donata どなた. Okay, maybe you've heard about anata, and maybe you've heard about donata, but what about the rest? What do they mean in Japanese?
Have you ever noticed the Japanese words koko ここ, soko そこ, asoko あそこ and doko どこ all end in ko こ?! No, that's not a conspiracy. Not at all. They are indeed related words, pronouns, and are all used to indicate places.
Maybe you've heard it in anime, maybe you've heard it in the meme keikaku doori: (TL Note: keikaku means plan), either way, maybe you're asking yourself: is keikaku doori 計画通り really "all according to the plan?" What does the phrase keikaku doori mean in Japanese?
Have you ever heard the word nekomimi 猫耳 thrown around and asked yourself: just what is nekomimi? It doesn't take a genius to figure out that nekomimi is a word closely associated with catgirls in anime, but exactly what does the word mean in Japanese?
In anime there are two phrases often heard when a character comes back home: tadaima ただいま and okaeri おかえり. One said by the one who comes home and the other said by the one who welcomes him home. The question is: what does tadaima and okaeri really mean in Japanese?
Aren't you sick and tired of those "NEET", niito ニート, characters showing up in anime and then doing absolutely nothing? Just like a NEET would? Because they are... you know, NEETs? No? Do you know what NEET means in Japanese? Let me tell you.
So you might have heard one of these words in anime: ojisan 伯父さん, ojiisan お祖父さん, obasan伯母さん and obaasan お祖母さん. Yep. Four words. Both ojisan and ojiisan and obasan and obaasan are different words. They aren't the same word at all, they just sound very alike.
If you've been watching anime for some time you might have heard about the fabled fujoshi 腐女子, and perhaps about fudanshi 腐男子. Or, maybe, you've only heard about the word "fujobait," which is certainly related. But what does fujoshi means in Japanese? And what is a "fujobait"?
How do you say I in Japanese? The first person pronoun? It's easy. Really, really easy. Just say watashi 私. Or boku 僕. Or ore 俺. Or watakushi 私. Or atashi あたし. Or oira おいら. Or washi 儂. Or ware 我. Or even use your own name. There are too many ways to say "I" in Japanese, so what's the difference between watashi, boku, ore and all these other words?
To say "I love you" in Japanese it's easy: just say aishiteru 愛してる... or was it aishiteiru 愛している? I mean, "love" in Japanese is ai 愛, right? Or was it koi 恋? Wait. What's the difference between ai and koi? What about the word suki 好き? You can say you like someone in Japanese with that word too, right? What's the meaning of all this?
If you've ever started learning Japanese or dealt with any Japanese words you might have heard about the mysterious romaji ローマ字. That thing which is... something. Some people can only read romaji, others don't like romaji, and you can't say you know Japanese if all you know is romaji. But what is romaji exactly?
Temperature often changes in anime. One day it's freezing cold, another it's burning hot. And everyone knows "cold" is samui 寒い in Japanese, right? Or was it tsumetai 冷たい? Anyway, "warm" is atsui 暑い... I mean, atatakai 温かい... I mean atsui 熱い, or was it atatakai 暖かい? What's the difference between these words in Japanese?
Two words that show up a lot in battle anime and manga are hayai 早い, hayai 速い, and osoi 遅い... wait, what? There are three of them! Let me say it again, this time without the kanji: hayai and osoi. These words are usually related to the characters' speed, but their meanings are more than just that.
One of my favorite words in Japanese is the word dame 駄目. You see it used in all sorts of anime, all the time, in plenty of phrases, and, specially, a lot of times just for the comedic effect. Which means it's also one of the funniest words. But what does dame mean in Japanese?
If you have ever watched Naruto ナルト in your life or Naruto: Shippuden ナルト疾風伝, or if you've ever spoken to another anime fan in your life, chances are you know about characters with
special eyes sharingan 写輪眼, byakugan 白眼 and rinnegan 輪廻眼 eyes. But what do these words mean in Japanese, exactly?
We all love anime アニメ, right? Anime is the best. Truly the greatest of all modern arts. Both you and me know this. If you don't, then, well, I don't know what you're doing in this blog. Anime is good and all, but... what does the word anime mean in Japanese? Is it really the anime we know and love? Well, not really.
Have you ever wondered what are the letters of the Japanese alphabet? Sure you've heard the stories, the legends? About how there are more characters in the Japanese alphabet than there are good anime? Well, sadly, that's true. The Japanese alphabet has not dozens, nor hundreds, but thousands of letters! So many letters they need more than one single alphabet to organize them all!
I'm pretty sure you've already heard these two words: senpai 先輩 and kouhai 後輩. Ok, maybe not kouhai, that's a little rare, but you've certainly heard the word senpai in some high-school or middle-school based anime, or even the meme "notice me senpai!", always spoken amongst students or amongst the school staff. But what do they mean in Japanese?
Some hikikomori 引きこもり characters in anime are kind of creepy, aren't they? Always being hikkii ヒッキー and stuff... wait a second, are you a hikikomori? No? Are you sure about that? Do you even know what is hikikomori in Japanese?
Have you ever been called an otaku オタク or otome 乙女 and had no idea what the word meant? Or, maybe, you've started calling other people otaku but now you're not really sure you know what it is? Well, worry no more, I'll tell you exactly what otaku means.
One word that comes up in anime from time to time in moteru モテる. Most of the time it's conjugated as motenai モテない, which is its negative form. Thus, any person is their moteru or motenai, but what does that mean exactly?
You might have noticed a girl character or another calling some random guy character ikemen イケメン in anime. It's a rather rare word, and often comes translated as "hot guy" or "pretty guy," but what does it really mean in Japanese?
In many anime there are characters known to be bishounen 美少年 or bishoujo 美少女. Many times, the only quality of these bishounen and bishoujo characters is to be... well, a bishounen or a bishoujo. But what do these words mean again?
Characters in anime are people just like everybody else, as such, they have human bodies with its human body parts. Obviously, the Japanese language has words for these human body parts, and here are they.
There are many anime which talk about the "Moon phases," or gessou 月相, for a reason or another. Like the full Moon, for example. Or the full Moon. The full Moon. And... the full Moon. And also, of course, the red, blood Moon. Anyway, this time I'll talk about these and the other lesser moon phases nobody ever cares about.
Everyone loves omake おまけ, right? The omake in manga, the omake in anime, even the omake in games. Even the omake in real life! Wait, what? What does omake mean again?
A word that gets said a lot in anime and that also seem to have multiple meanings in Japanese is kimochi 気持ち. Sometimes it's just kimochi, other times it's kimochi ii 気持ちいい, other times, it's kimochi warui 気持ち悪い. But what does it really mean? What's the difference here?
Often manga and anime are divided into these four categories: shounen 少年, shoujo 少女, seinen 青年, and josei 女性. Everyone has watched a shounen anime or two, and read a shoujo manga, perhaps. But what's the difference between shounen, shoujo, and the others? What do these words even mean in Japanese?
Brothers and sisters, we are here united on this day to talk about the difference between "brother" and... "brother"... in Japanese. And "sister" and "sister." Of course I'm talking about the words Oniichan 御兄ちゃん and Otouto 弟, and Oneechan お姉ちゃん and Imouto 妹, and some other words related to siblings.
If you watch anime, you might know that a neko 猫 is a "cat" and that an inu 犬 is a "dog", but what about the others? What are the animals' names in Japanese? Well, I've put together a list of them!
Have you ever noticed how every time someone says someone else's name in anime they add a san さん, chan ちゃん, kun 君, sama 様 or something else at the end? No? Well, have you ever actually watched anime? They do that all the time! The question is... why?
Three words you may often hear when talking about girls in anime are tsundere ツンデレ, kuudere クーデレ and yandere ヤンデレ. Besides being used only when talking about girls and being mostly words made-up by fans, they also got this dere デレ there at the end, so, clearly, they're related somehow. But what do they mean exactly?
The word baka 馬鹿 is one of those that keeps showing up in anime everywhere. It means "stupid," but that everyone knows, right? The question is, where does baka 馬鹿 comes from and how do you use it?