Home Languages Articles Links Downloads About Contact

Languages

bulletEnglish
bulletSpanish
bulletFrench
bulletGerman
bulletLatin
bulletChinese
bulletJapanese

Other Topics

bulletTranslation prices
bulletMachine translation
bulletHarry Potter
bulletTranslation quotes


Free website Translation Service

Search


Advertisement

Japanese Idioms





The Japanese language is filled with idioms of all sorts, from classical references from ancient Chinese to modern colloquialisms used by college students and young salaryman. Whether you are traveling to Japan for fun or on business, or are living there, you'll find idioms indispensible to understanding and using the daily language. Browse below to find the ones you want or simply explore the many possible ways to express yourself in Japanese.



強いて上げれば
[しいてあげれば, shiite agereba] if I had to guess

しかたがない
[しかたがない, shikata ga nai] it is the way it is; that’s how it is

時間いっぱい
[じかんいっぱい, jikan ippai] at the end of time; time’s up; time (over)

時間が惜しい
[じかんがおしい, jikan ga oshii] be out of time

時間稼ぎ
[じかんかせぎ, jikan kasegi] saving time

時間切れ
[じかんぎれ, jikan-gire] time’s up; out of time

時間をつぶす
[じかんをつぶす, jikan o tsubusu] kill time

始球式
[しきゅうしき, shikyuushiki] Opening Day Ceremony

頻りに
[しきりに, shikiri ni] often, frequently, repeatedly

思考材料
[しこうざいりょう, shikou zairyou] food for thought

試行錯誤
[しこうさくご, shikou sakugou] trial and error

地獄耳
[じごくみみ, jigoku mimi] long ears; sharp ears; the ability to remember everything one hears

始終
[しじゅう, jijuu] always, first to last, all the time

親しい仲にも垣作れ
[したしいなかにもかきつくれ, shitashii naka nimo kaki tsukure] build a fence even between close friends; familiarity breeds contempt

親しい仲にも礼儀あり
[したしいなかにもれいぎあり, shitashii naka nimo reigi ari] courtesy is present even among close friends

舌足らず
[したたらず, shita-tarazu] easily tongue-tied; a person who lisps
(lit.: insufficient tongue; this phrase can also refer to an explanation that is insufficient)

地団駄を踏む
[じたんだをふむ, jitanda o fumu] stamp one's feet in frustration

尻尾を捕まえる
[しっぽをつかまえる, shippo o tsukamaeru] find fault in someone

四の五の言わずに
[しのごのいわずに, shi no go no iwazu ni] without grumbling, complaining, arguing; with good grace

芝居ががった
[しばいががった, shibaigagatta] overly dramatic

しばしば
[しばしば, shiba shiba] frequently

地盤看板鞄
[じばんかんばんかばん, jiban kanban kaban] the requisite possessions

しまりのない
[しまりのない, shimari no nai] slovenly; sloppy

自問自答
[じもんじとう, jimon jitou] soliloquy, pondering; internal discussion

社会の敵
[しゃかいのてき, shakai no teki] public enemy
(can be used as a euphemism for yakuza)

社会の窓
[しゃかいのまど, shakai no mado] fly; zipper (lit.: society window; n.b.: a common euphemism)

遮二無二
[じゃにむに, jani muni] like mad, forcibly, recklessly

自由な体である
[じゆうなからだである, jiyuu na karada de aru] be one’s own master

十人十色
[じゅうにんといろ, juunin toiro] to each his/her own; so many men, so many minds

十人並み
[じゅうにんなみ, juunin nami] average, ordinary, mediocre

執念深い
[しゅうねんぶかい, shuunen-bukai] persistent; tenacious

十文字に踏む
[じゅうもんじにふむ, juumonji ni fumu] walk like the figure ten

受験地獄
[じゅけんじごく, juken jigoku] competition on entrance exams to get into the best college

受験戦争
[じゅけんせんそう, juken sensou] competition on entrance exams to get into the best college

十中八九
[じゅっちゅうはっく, jucchuu hakku] nine times out of ten; in all probability

しょうがない
[しょうがない, shou ga nai] it is the way it is; that’s how it is

小便臭い
[しょうべんくさい, shouben-kusai] immature; childish (lit.: smelling of urine; the phrase can be used in its literal senseo)

小便横丁
[しょうべんよこちょう, shouben yokochou] places with lively, seedy bars (lit.: pissing sidestreets, so used because of the drunks with full bladders outside such establishments)

正面きって
しょうめんきって, shoumen kitte] open

知らぬ仏
[しらぬぼとけ, shiranu-botoke] ignorance is bliss

[知らん顔をする
[しらんかおをする, shirankao o suru] avoid; ignore; pretend not to notice

尻馬
[しりうま, shiriuma ] blind imitation (lit.: butt and horse, the idea being a horse right behind another one, doing what that one does)

尻押し
[しりおし, shiri-oshi] backing, support

尻が重い
[しりがおもい, shiri ga omoi] be lazy; be inactive

尻が長い
[しりがながい, shiri ga nagai] stay long

尻切れ
[しりきれ, shirikire] sudden, abrupt ending (lit.: buttocks cut off)

尻に火がつく
[しりにひがつく, shiri ni hi ga tsuku] be pressed

尻拭い
[しりぬぐい, shiri-nugui] paying a debt for someone (lit.: wiping another’s ass)

尻拭いをする
[しりぬぐいをする, shiri-nugui o suru] clean up a mess; fix someone’s mistakes

尻の毛まで抜かれる
[しりのけまでぬかれる, shiri no ke made nukareru] be fleeced of everything

尻は持ってゆく
[しりはもってゆく, shiri wa matte yuku] complain to someone

支離滅裂
[しりめつれつ, shiri metsu retsu] incoherent; inconsistent; incongruous

尻を据える
[しりをすえる, shiri o sueru] sit oneself down

白い歯を見せる
[しろいはをみせる, shiroi ha o miseru] smile; be complaisant

白い目で見る
[しろいめでみる, shiroi me de miru] look coldy at someone; frown on someone

四六時中
[しろくじちゅう, shirokuji-chuu] around the clock, day and night, all the time

白羽の矢がたつ
[しろはのやがたつ, shiroha no ya ga tatsu] be a victim; be marked

真剣勝負
[しんけんしょうぶ, shinken shoubu] for real, for keeps, in earnest

紳士の面目
[しんしのめんぼく, shinhi no menboku] gentleman’s honor or reputation

針小棒大にいう
[しんしょうぼうだいにいう, shinshouboudai ni iu] exaggerate

人生に背を向ける
[じんせいにせをむける, jinsei ni se o mukeru] turn one's back on life; turn away from life


Back to Japanese.top