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Japanese Expressions for Describing Personality

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When mastering a new language like Japanese, understanding how to describe personality can be incredibly useful—whether you’re talking about friends, colleagues, or characters in a book or movie. Here are some useful expressions and vocabulary for describing personalities in Japanese, complete with their definitions and example sentences.

明るい (あかるい) – Akarui
This word is often used to describe someone who is cheerful or bright in demeanor.
彼女はいつも明るくてみんなに好かれています。
(She is always cheerful and liked by everyone.)

積極的 (せっきょくてき) – Sekkyokuteki
Sekkyokuteki is used for someone who is proactive or positive in their approach to things.
彼はとても積極的に仕事に取り組んでいます。
(He is very proactive in his work.)

内向的 (ないこうてき) – Naikouteki
Contrary to sekkyokuteki, naikouteki is for someone who is introverted or reserved.
彼女は内向的な性格だけど、とても観察力が鋭いです。
(Even though she has an introverted personality, she is very observant.)

社交的 (しゃこうてき) – Shakouteki
Shakouteki describes a person that is sociable or outgoing.
彼は社交的で、どんな人とも簡単に友達になれます。
(He is sociable and can make friends with anyone easily.)

頑固 (がんこ) – Ganko
Ganko is used for someone who is stubborn or inflexible.
父は少し頑固ですが、その分信念も強いです。
(My father is a bit stubborn, but he has strong convictions as well.)

おおらか – Ooraka
Ooraka describes a person who is magnanimous or generous in spirit, often not sweating the small stuff.
彼女はおおらかで、いつも人のミスを許してくれます。
(She is generous and always forgives people’s mistakes.)

素直 (すなお) – Sunao
Sunao implies a person who is honest and straightforward, often open to ideas and criticism.
彼は素直な性格で、いつもフィードバックに感謝しています。
(He has an honest personality and is always grateful for feedback.)

気が強い (きがつよい) – Kigatsuyoi
This phrase is for describing someone who is strong-willed or assertive.
姉はとても気が強くて、常に自分の意見をはっきり言います。
(My sister is very strong-willed and always makes her opinions clear.)

マイペース – Maipēsu
Literally “my pace”, this expression is used for someone who does things at their own pace and doesn’t easily bend to others’ will.
彼はマイペースな人で、周りに流されない強さがあります。
(He is a person who goes at his own pace and has the strength to not be swayed by others.)

冷静 (れいせい) – Reisei
Reisei is the quality of being calm and composed, especially under pressure.
緊急の状況でも、彼女はいつも冷静を保ちます。
(Even in emergency situations, she always remains calm.)

Using these expressions can help you describe personalities more vividly in Japanese. Remember, the best way to get comfortable using new vocabulary is to practice regularly, so try incorporating these terms into your daily conversation and strengthen your language skills!

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