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What does Sowa sowa (そわそわ)mean in Japanese? Posted by on Jun 7, 2018 in Culture, Grammar

“Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson


Picture from Pixabay

Hi everyone, hope everyone is having a great first week of June. Everyday is just passing by so quickly. Before we know it, summer is almost here. My kids will be out of school by the end of this week, and oh boy, it will be a long summer!

Since this week is the last week of school for them, they have been swamped with their last quiz, presentation, and papers to write, etc. This morning, my older son was acting so nervous about the presentation, I had to ask, why are you acting so “sowa sowa”? (Nande sonna ni sowa sowa shiteruno? なんで そんなに そわそわ してるの?)

In Japanese, we have many many words that describes or express a state or condition. We call it “Yosu no kotoba (ようすの ことば,様子の言葉). If I start listing these words, it will be a long long list, but wanted to focus on them this month so you can learn the common ones. So, today’s topic is all about the word “sowa sowa”. Read on~


Sowa sowa (そわそわ,ソワソワ) – feeling jittery, nervous, unable to focus,


Feeling jittery

Sowa sowa suru

そわそわ する。


He is feeling nervous about today’s presentation.

Kare wa kyō presentation ga arutame sowa sowa shiteiru.

かれは きょう,ぷれぜんてーしょん が あるため そわそわ している。

(彼は 今日 プレゼンテーションが ある為 そわそわ している。)



Stop feeling so jittery.

Sonna ni sowa sowa shinai deyo.

そんなに そわそわ しないでよ。



Why are you feeling jittery?

Nande sonna ni sowa sowa shiteiruno?

なんで そんなに そわそわ しているの?



Feeling jittery does not help you any.

Sowa sowa shitemo hajimaranai yo.

そわそわ しても はじまらないよ。

(そわそわ しても 始まらないよ。)



He looks like he is feeling jittery.

Kare wa sowa sowa shiteiru yō ni mierune.

かれは そわそわ しているように みえるね。

(彼は そわそわ しているように 見えるね。)



So, above is a small but very useful collection of the expression “sowa sowa(そわそわ)” that are most commonly used. I hope you are not feeling sowa sowa today. Let’s focus on what we need to do, and get things done without feeling jittery! 🙂

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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.