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Phrases for Expressing Emotions and Feelings in Japanese

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Learning to express emotions and feelings in another language can be a rewarding experience that allows for deeper communication and understanding across cultures. In Japanese, there are many phrases and expressions for conveying how you feel, reflecting the importance of emotional expression in Japanese society. This guide will introduce you to key phrases and vocabularies for expressing emotions and feelings in Japanese, complete with examples.

うれしい (ureshii)
This word means “happy” or “pleased” in Japanese. Use it when you feel joy or satisfaction about something.

今日はとてもうれしいです。
(Kyou wa totemo ureshii desu.)
I am very happy today.

かなしい (kanashii)
This term is used to express feeling “sad” or “sorrowful.” It’s used in situations when one is experiencing unhappiness or grief.

彼の話を聞いて、とてもかなしい。
(Kare no hanashi wo kiite, totemo kanashii.)
Hearing his story, I feel very sad.

おこる (okoru)
When someone is “angry” or “upset,” they can use the word “okoru”. This is a strong emotion so it’s often communicated clearly in tone as well as words.

遅れてごめんなさい、おこっていますか?
(Okurete gomen nasai, okotte imasu ka?)
I’m sorry I’m late, are you angry?

こわい (kowai)
When feeling “scared” or “frightened,” the Japanese word “kowai” comes into play. It can be used for anything from horror movies to a fear of heights.

その映画は本当にこわかった。
(Sono eiga wa hontou ni kowakatta.)
That movie was really scary.

たのしい (tanoshii)
To say that something is “fun” or that you are “enjoying” yourself, “tanoshii” is the word to use. It describes enjoyment and pleasure.

友達と遊ぶのはいつもたのしい。
(Tomodachi to asobu no wa itsumo tanoshii.)
It’s always fun to play with friends.

びっくりする (bikkuri suru)
When someone is “surprised” or “shocked,” they might say they are “bikkuri suru”. This can be a reaction to unexpected news or events.

彼からのプレゼントにびっくりした!
(Kare kara no purezento ni bikkuri shita!)
I was surprised by his present!

しんぱいする (shinpai suru)
To express “worry” or “concern,” the phrase “shinpai suru” is appropriate. It indicates anxiety or unease about something or someone.

試験の結果がしんぱいだ。
(Shiken no kekka ga shinpai da.)
I’m worried about the exam results.

なつかしい (natsukashii)
When someone feels “nostalgic” or “misses” something from the past, they use the word “natsukashii”. This can refer to memories, places, people, or past experiences.

故郷の味がなつかしい。
(Kokyō no aji ga natsukashii.)
The taste of my hometown is nostalgic.

いらいらする (iraira suru)
When feeling “irritated” or “frustrated,” you can describe the emotion as “iraira suru”. It’s the feeling you get when things are not going as planned or someone is bothering you.

バスが遅いといらいらする。
(Basu ga osoi to iraira suru.)
I get frustrated when the bus is late.

あきる (akiru)
Feeling “bored” or “tired” of something can be expressed with “akiru”. It is used when something no longer holds your interest or has become monotonous.

このゲームはもうあきた。
(Kono gēmu wa mou akita.)
I’m already bored of this game.

Japanese is rich in expressions for emotional states, and these are just a few examples. When learning a new language, being able to express your feelings is crucial for building relationships and communicating with native speakers. Adapt these phrases into your conversations and watch your Japanese language skills become even more dynamic and expressive.

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