Survival Japanese: Expressing Your Feeling or Opinion

Survival Japanese: Expressing Your Feeling or Opinion

Update: 29 June 2017

Japanese is a challenging language to learn, but that shouldn’t stop you from expressing yourself! Here we’ll introduce some words and phrases you can use when you want to express your feeling (physical or otherwise), or opinion in Japanese, as well as how to ask others.

How are you? (Literal meaning: Are you well?)
genki desu ka? /元気ですか。

For the most basic way to say how you feel in Japanese, use the following pattern:
"adjective + desu"
Feel free to omit the pronoun (I, you, he, etc.), as it is usually implied in most situations when using Japanese. You should generally try to avoid the word 'you' (あなた anata) altogether when speaking Japanese, as it can denote over-familiarity. When in doubt, the person's name with a 'san' (さん) attached is always a safe bet.

Describing How You Feel

Describing How You Feel

(I am)___ . / (She is)___ . /(He is)____ .
(watashi wa) / (kanojo wa) / (kare wa)___ desu.
(私は) / (彼女は) / (彼は) ___です。

fine, well
元気 (genki)
not feeling well
気分が悪い (kibun ga warui)
sleepy
眠い (nemui)
tired
疲れた (tsukareta)
excited
わくわくする・ワクワクする (waku waku)
bored
退屈 (taikutsu)
sad
悲しい (kanashii)
lonely
寂しい (sabishii・samishii)
angry
怒っている (okotteiru)
Examples of ...
I'm sleepy
(私は)眠いです / (watashiwa) nemui desu

You can use the following expressions to talk about hunger or thirst. In Japanese, you won't find direct translations of the terms "hungry" or "thirsty." Instead, these concepts are described in relation to one's stomach or throat.

hungry (Literal meaning: stomach is empty.)
お腹が空いた / onaka ga suita
thirsty (Literal meaning: throat is dry.)
のどが渇いた / nodo ga kawaita
full (Literal meaning: stomach is full.)
お腹がいっぱい / onaka ga ippai

How To Describe Things Using Japanese

How To Describe Things Using Japanese

If you would like to describe something else, you can use the following format:

(It) is___.
___desu. / ___です。
good
良い (ii)
nice
ナイス (naisu)
not good
良くない (yokunai)
bad
悪い (warui)
fun
楽しい (tanoshii)
difficult
難しい (muzukashii)
funny, interesting
面白い (omoshiroi)
not funny, not interesting
面白くない (omoshirokunai)
boring
つまらない (tsumaranai)
strange
おかしい (okashii)
hot (weather)
暑い (atsui)
hot (object)
熱い (atsui)
warm
温かい (atatakai)
cold (weather)
寒い (samui)
cold (object)
冷たい (tsumetai)
quiet
静か (shizuka)
expensive
高い (takai)
cheap
安い (yasui)
cute, pretty
可愛い (kawaii)
beautiful
綺麗 (kirei)
lovely
素敵 (suteki)
wonderful
素晴らしい (subarashii)
terrible
酷い (hidoi)
the worst
最悪 (sai aku)
suspicious, shady
怪しい (ayashii)
unfair
狡い (zurui)
Examples of ...
It's hot.
暑いです。 / atsui desu

“She's Nice. He’s Cool.” How to Describe Other People.

“She's Nice. He’s Cool.” How to Describe Other People.

You can also use the same sentence structure to describe people, using either a pronoun, or a name. Once again, the pronoun is considered optional, although it can clarify who you are speaking about, depending on the situation.

He is ___.
彼は___です。 / kare wa___desu.
She is ___.
彼女は___です。 / kanojo wa___desu.
Yuka is ___.
由佳さんは___です。 / Yuka-san wa___desu.

The following are just a few adjectives that can be used to describe a person.

kind, sweet
優しい (yasashii)
nice
親切 (shinsetsu)
intelligent
頭がいい (atama ga ii)
clever
賢い (kashikoi)
good looking, cool
かっこいい (kakkoii)
strict
厳しい (kibishii)
unkind
優しくない (yasashiku nai)
stubborn
頑固 (ganko)
enthusiastic**
ハイテンション (hai tenshon**)

**This is a wasei-eigo term taken from the English terms 'high tension.' It has nothing to do with 'tension' the way English speakers use the word.

*This information is from the time of this article's publication.

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