Ureshii and Tanoshii - Expressing happiness in Japanese


Those who start to learn Japanese or live immersed in the language whether through reading, anime, dramas or living with Japanese people must have heard the word ureshii [嬉しい] or tanoshii [楽しい]. In this article, we will try to understand in depth these and other words that express happiness in the Japanese language.

Other interesting words that express happiness in the Japanese language is yorokobu [喜ぶ] and shiawase [幸せ]. Realize that all of these words can express feelings of joy, but both have different ideograms. Let's start by analyzing word for word.

Ureshii e tanoshii - expressando felicidade em japonês

The meaning of Ureshii

The word ureshii [嬉しい] is an i-adjective that means happy and pleasant. The word ureshii is most often used in moments or short feelings of happiness. Like someone who is happy to accomplish something today. The ideogram [嬉] that makes up this adjective means happy, satisfied and cheerful.


Below we will see some example sentences with the word ureshii:

連れてきてもらえて嬉しいです。 Tsurete kite moraete ureshīdesu. I'm glad you brought me.
僕はとてもうれしい。 Boku wa totemo ureshī. I am so happy.
僕だって彼女を恋人にできてうれしいんだ。 Boku datte kanojo o koibito ni dekite ureshī nda. I am so happy that she is mine.
また会えてうれしいわ。 Kill aete ureshī wa. I am happy to see you again.

I noticed in the phrases and translations of jisho that the word ureshii can be used in a variety of situations to replace words like great, thank you, comforting, pleasure, proud and grateful.

Ureshii e tanoshii - expressando felicidade em japonês

Below we will show some words that have the ideogram [嬉] or adjective ureshii:

Portuguese Japanese Romaji
Crying for joy 嬉し泣き ureshinaki
Looks happy, looks happy 嬉しがる ureshigaru
Flattery, adulation, praise 嬉しがらせ ureshigarase
Play, pleasure 嬉戯 kigi
Happy, joyful, content 嬉々 kiki
Happy laughs 嬉笑 kishou

The meaning of Tanoshii

The word tanoshii [楽しい] means pleasant, fun, happy and delicious. Used in situations like “That day was really fun”Or”I had a lot of fun with that”. The character [楽] can mean music, comfort and ease and is involved in several words related to pleasant things like wonderful music.


Ureshii e tanoshii - expressando felicidade em japonês

Unlike ureshii, the word tanoshii is often used to show sustained and long-lasting happiness. There are cases where the two are interchangeable when expressing happiness.

Below we will see some example sentences:

旅行中楽しい思いをした。 Ryokō-chū tanoshī omoi o shita. I had a lot of fun during the trip.
旅行は楽しかったですか。 Ryokō wa tanoshikattadesu ka. Did you enjoy your trip?
あまり楽しくなかったな。 Amari tanoshikunakatta na. I didn't have a lot of fun.
僕も君と同様楽しくない。 Boku mo kimi to dōyō tanoshikunai. I am not happier than you.

In the phrases of jisho I could observe that tanoshii it can replace words like pleasure, like, amuse, tasty, delicious, pleasant, enjoy and even talk or other fun actions. Sometimes we don't need to specify an action, we just say it was fun or that we were doing fun things.

Ureshii e tanoshii - expressando felicidade em japonês

Below we will show some words that have the ideogram [楽] or adjective tanoshii:

Portuguese Japanese Romaji
Comfort, ease (adjective-na) raku
Enjoy, have fun (verb) 楽しむ tanoshimu
Pleasure, fun, hobby (adjective-na) 楽しみ tanoshimi
Sheet Music 楽譜 gakufu
Optimism, being an optimistic person 楽観 rakkan
Backstage, backstage 楽屋 gakuya
Paradise 楽園 rakuen
Walkover 楽勝 gakushou
Musical instrument 楽器 gakki

 Other words that express happiness

Shiawase [幸せ] - It literally means happiness, good luck and blessing. Longer lasting and deeper happiness. The word shiawase is used in situations like "married and lived happily ever after". The word is formed with kanji [幸] which means happiness, blessing and fortune.

Ureshii e tanoshii - expressando felicidade em japonês

Yorokobu [喜ぶ] - It is a verb that literally means to be delighted, to be happy, to be satisfied, to congratulate and to be grateful. Yorokobu has a nuance that is objectively describing a feeling. Its ideogram [喜] means to rejoice, take pleasure and rejoice. I see this word a lot in Bible.

Omoshiroi [面白い] - It literally means interesting, fascinating, intriguing, captivating, fun, funny, comical and enjoyable.

Portuguese Japanese Romaji
Satisfied, grateful, appreciative 幸甚 koujin
Cheerful expression, satisfied look 湯色 yushoku
Happy, auspicious, conducive, cheerful, naive 目出度い medetai
Harmonious, peaceful, happy, friendly, trouble-free 円満 enman
Aggravable, cheerful, happy and fun. 愉快 yukai
Good mood, happy, cheerful 機嫌 kigen
Happy, exalted, good mood, healed 快然 kaizen
Happy (English) ハッピー happii
Play, have fun 遊ぶ asobu