Those who start to learn Japanese or live immersed in the language, whether through reading, anime, dramas or living with Japanese 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 are yorokobu [喜ぶ] and shiawase [幸せ]. Note that all these words can express feelings of joy, but both have different ideograms. Let's start by analyzing it word by word.
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The meaning of Ureshii
The word ureshii [嬉しい] is an i-adjective meaning happy and pleasant. The word ureshii is mostly 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 joyful.
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'm so glad she's mine.|
|また会えてうれしいわ。||Mata aete ureshī wa.||I'm happy to see you again.|
I noticed in the sentences and in the jisho translations that the word ureshii can be used in a variety of situations to replace words like great, thank you, comforting, pleased, proud, and grateful.
Below we will show some words that have the ideogram [嬉] or adjective ureshii:
|crying with joy||嬉し泣き||ureshinaki|
|Looks happy, looks happy||嬉しがる||ureshigaru|
|Flattery, adulation, praise||嬉しがらせ||ureshigarase|
|Happy, Joyful, Glad||嬉々||kiki|
The meaning of Tanoshii
The word tanoshii [楽しい] means pleasant, fun, happy and delicious. Used in situations like "That day was so much fun” or ”I had a lot of fun with that”. The character [楽] can mean music, comfort and ease and is involved in many words related to pleasant things like wonderful music.
Unlike ureshii, the word tanoshii is often used to show sustained and long-term happiness. There are cases where the two are interchangeable when expressing happiness.
Below are 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 like your trip?|
|あまり楽しくなかったな。||Amari tanoshikunakatta na.||I didn't have much fun.|
|僕も君と同様楽しくない。||Boku mo kimi to dōyō tanoshikunai.||I'm not happier than you.|
in the sentences of jisho I could observe that tanoshii can substitute words like pleasure, like, amuse, yummy, 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.
Below we will show some words that have the ideogram [楽] or adjective tanoshii:
|Comfort, ease (adjective-na)||楽||raku|
|enjoy, have fun (verb)||楽しむ||tanoshimu|
|Pleasure, amusement, pastime (adjective-na)||楽しみ||tanoshimi|
|Optimism, being an optimistic person||楽観||rakkan|
|dressing room, backstage||楽屋||gakuya|
Other words that express happiness
Shiawase [幸せ] – Literally means happiness, good luck and blessing. A long-term and deeper lasting 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.
Yorokobu [喜ぶ] – It is a verb that literally means to be delighted, to be happy, to be satisfied, to congratulate and to have gratitude. Yorokobu has a nuance that is describing a feeling objectively. Its character [喜] means to rejoice, take pleasure and be glad. I see this word a lot in Bible.
Omoshiroi [面白い] – Literally means interesting, fascinating, intriguing, captivating, entertaining, funny, comical and enjoyable.
|Satisfied, Grateful, Appreciative||幸甚||koujin|
|Cheerful expression, satisfied look||湯色||yushoku|
|Happy, auspicious, propitious, joyful, 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, cured||快然||kaizen|
|play, have fun||遊ぶ||asobu|