Japanese Language Blog

5 must know difficult Japanese words Posted by on Sep 23, 2018 in Culture, Grammar

“A comfort zone is a beautiful place but nothing ever grows there.” – Unknown 


Photo from Pixabay

The other day, I came across this quote above, and thought I would share with you all. This applies to all sorts of things we deal with everyday. Your work, study, and social life, etc. and obviously, learning a foreign language has the same principle. Once you are comfortable with certain sets of vocabulary and expressions, do you catch yourself repeating the same all words and expression in certain situations? Feeling comfortable in any situation is great but if you want to improve, you definitely need to try to step out of your comfort zone. It is so easy to say, but so hard to do.


In today’s lesson, I would like to introduce you to the following set of vocabulary that might not sound too familiar but yet good to keep in your vocabulary list.:)


Shotaimen (しょたいめん,初対面) = Meeting someone for the first time


Kanojo towa shotaimen desu.

=>I just met her for the first time.

かのじょとは,しょたいめん です。(彼女とは 初対面 です。)



Uwanosora (うわのそら) = absent-minded


Karewa nani o ittemo uwano sora da.

=> It doesn’t matter what you tell him, his mind is somewhere else.

かれは なにをいっても うわのそらだ。 (彼は 何を言っても うわのそらだ。)



Gaiken (がいけん,外見)= Appearance


Gaiken dakede hito o handan shinaide.

=> Don’t judge anyone by appearance.

がいけんだけで,ひとを はんだんしないで。(外見だけで 人を 判断 しないで。)



Kokoro gakeru (こころがける,心掛ける)= keep in mind


Itsumo nihongo de hanasuyō ni kokoro gaketene.

=>Please keep in mind to speak in Japanese at all times.

いつも にほんごで はなすように こころがけてね。(いつも 日本語で 話すように 心掛けてね。)



Magirawashi (まぎらわしい,紛らわしい)=misleading, ambiguous, hard to tell the difference


The twin brothers look so much alike, and it’s hard to tell one from the other.

==> Ano futago no kyudai wa sugoku yoku niteite, docchi ga docchi ka magirawashi.

あの ふたごの きょうだいは すごく よくにていて,どっちが どっちか まぎらわしい。

(あの 双子の兄弟は すごく よく似ていて,どっちが どっちか 紛らわしい。)


So, I hope you challenge yourself today by learning one extra new word/expression!

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About the Author: keiko

Born and raised in Japan. She currently lives in U.S. with her husband and two kids.