Japanese Translations


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Japanese Translations

Ever wanted to know what the hell it meant when, in a fanfiction, someone said “Hai” or “So Desu” or, more commonly, “Baka”? Well, this here strange little page has every single Japanese word (and it’s English translation and a little note or two, possibly, and the pronunciation) that I (Falconess) have come across while reading fics, doujinshi, or even just an email message from a fellow anime lover. They are in no particular order. I hope this helps all who wanted to know what someone meant in a fic or just say something in Japanese in their stories, because that way, it stays true to the anime’s origins: Japanese. Another note: I put the most common spellings, but there are other spellings out there, though they aren’t too different from these spellings. (anything with a * denotes that the translation is just something I guessed instead of actually know, so stay away from it unless you KNOW it’s right or just want to try your luck with it.)
Normal Terms

  1. Hai (high)

-It means “Yes”

-It is usually used more to answer a question, less than to answer a summons or agree with something.

  1. Iie (ee-ay) (pronounced kind of like Hiei without the H)

-It means “No”

-It is usually used as a refusal or denial, or to answer a question, rather than anything else.

  1. Iyada (ee-yah-dah)

-It means “I don’t want to”

-It is usually used in a very child-like way, like when a kid says “I don’t wanna” and stamps their foot.

  1. Koniichiwa (koh-nee-chee-wah)

-It means “Hello” or “Good Day”

-It’s a very polite way of greeting someone. It is usually used in the mornings or early afternoons.

  1. Konbanwa (cone-bahn-wah)

-It means “Good Evening”

-It is used in the evenings, usually, or at night. It’s also slightly formal.

  1. Ohayo (oh-high-yo (like the state)

-It means “Hi”

-This is an informal way of greeting someone. It is usually used with someone you’re familiar with.

  1. Baka (bah-kah)

-It means “Idiot” or “Moron,” or possibly even “Ass”

-This is the first word anyone watching or reading anime memorizes. It is used quite often. It can be used as a noun or adjective, like “Baka Youkai” which means “Stupid Demon” or just “Baka” to call someone an ass or moron.

  1. Yaro (yah-roh)

-It means “Bastard”

-This is another word you’ll learn rather quickly while watching or reading anime. It can be used alongside Baka to make Bakayaro, sometimes one word, sometimes not, depending. It just heightens the insult a bit when combined with Baka.

  1. Ja (ne) (jah nay)

-It means “I’ll see you again”

-It can be just “Ja” for a slangy type way of saying it, like “Later.” Ja ne means, literally, “I will see you, won’t I?” This is a very casual farewell.

  1. Sayonara (sigh-oh-nah-rah)

-It means “Goodbye”

-This is a more formal goodbye than Ja ne, used with anyone, really. It’s used less than Ja ne, though, but still used enough to make it notable for mention.

  1. So desu (soh deh-soo)

-It means “I agree” or “That’s right”

-It is used to agree with something. Used kind of like Americans use “Yeah” in agreement with something.

  1. Demo (deh-moh (like a game demo)

-It means “But”

-This is usually not used in a full sentence, but more as a hesitant ending to something, like “I wanted to go…demo…” means “I wanted to go…but…” however, it can be used to start off a sentence or just in a full sentence, though this isn’t as common.

  1. Etto (eh-toe)

-It means “Umm”

-You’ll see this word quite often as well. It is just used to denote hesitation, like “er” or “uh” or “um” or something like that. It’s used like “etto, etto, etto” instead of “ettooooo” like Americans (or others) say “ummm” instead of “um, um, um” (in most cases).

  1. *Ano (ah-noe)

-This is used like “Well”

-It’s not used like “I am not feeling well” but more along the lines of “Well, I was doing this…” It may be used as something else, I’m not entirely sure, but this is what seems most likely.

  1. Kuso (koo-soe)

-It means “damnit”

-Aside from Baka, this word is used most in anime. It’s the Japanese favorite curse from all I’ve seen, and can be used like “damnit” or, if typed “K’so” it means just “damn” as far as I can tell. It’s used quite often, just as much as others use “damn”

  1. Shimatta (shim-mah-tah)

-It means “Shit”

-I think that is the right translation. In one Japanese-English dictionary, it said it meant “what time is it?” but that doesn’t seem to make sense to me. It has been used like “shit” or even like Kuso is used. Just cursing something.

  1. Moshi wake arimasen (moe-see wah-kay ah-ree-mah-sehn)

-It means “I apologize”

-This is the most formal way of apologizing. You would say it to a stranger or respected elder or just anyone you don’t know very well.

  1. Gomen nasai (goh-men nah-sigh)

-It means “I’m sorry”

-This is less formal than the one above, used mostly with family and friends. It’s all-purpose, really, and used quite often.

  1. Gomen (goh-men)

-It means “Sorry”

-This is an apology even less formal than Gomen nasai. It is used with friends only.

  1. Warui (wah-roo-ee)

-It means “Sorry”

-This is the least formal way of apology. It literally means “bad” or “evil” so it translates as “My bad.” It should be used only with your closest friends, because it can be taken as sarcasm, since it is very slangy and casual, so often, if used with anyone outside of your best friends, can be offensive.

  1. Arigato (air-ih-gah-toe)

-It means “Thank you”

-This is the all-purpose, always used thanks. It can be used with “Doumo” (doe-moe) to mean “Thank you very much.”

  1. Ai shiteru (I she-tear-oo)

-It means “I love you”

-This is used mostly with lovers or boyfriends/girlfriends than family or friends.

  1. *Ai shiteru yo (I she-tear-oo yoh)

-It means “I love you”

-This is a way to say the same thing as ai shiteru, but more asking for a reply

  1. *Mo watashi ai shiteru (moh wah-tah-she I shee-tear-oo)

-It means “I love you too”

-Just a reply to Ai shiteru yo.

  1. Shounen (show-nen)

-It means “boy”

-It is just used to describe a boy. Can also be used to describe a style of anime, like YuYu Hakusho, DragonBallZ, Yu-Gi-Oh, etc.

  1. Shoujo (show-joe)

-It means “girl”

-It is just used to describe a girl. Can also be used to describe a style of anime, like Sailor Moon, Cardcaptor Sakura, etc.

  1. Bishounen (bee-show-nen)

-It means “pretty boy”

-It is used to describe…well…pretty boys. You know, like Kurama or Shishiwakamaru from YYH, Trunks from DBZ, or Duke Devlan or Marik from YGO. (can be shortened down to just “bishi”, pronounced bih-she)

  1. Bishoujo (bee-show-joe)

-It means “pretty girl”

-It is used to describe…kind of the girl counterpart of a bishounen. For example, Botan from YYH, Bulma from DBZ, or Mai from YGO. (this does not usually shorten down to bishi since it gets confused with bishounen)

  1. Yaoi (yow-ee)

-There is no “true” translation for this. It describes a style of writing or anime that includes a male-male relationship, usually sexual.

  1. Yuri (yer-ee)

-The same as Yaoi, but it’s a female-female sexual relationship.

  1. Shounen ai (show-nen I)

-It means “boy love”

-If you look above, at Shounen and Ai shiteru, you can probably see the translation for yourself without help from me. It’s like Yaoi, but it’s usually a non-sexual male-male relationship.

  1. Shoujo ai (show-joe I)

-It means “girl love”

-Same as Shounen ai, but a female-female non-sexual relationship.

  1. Niisan (nee-sahn)

-It means “brother”

-There are other various spellings, like “niichan” or “nissan” (you know the car Nissan? It means “brother”).

  1. Neechan (nee-chahn)

-It means “sister”

-There are other various spellings, like “neesan” and also, it can be used with an O at the front (oneechan, oneesan).

  1. Toussan (two-sahn)

-It means “father”

  1. Kassan (kah-sahn)

-It means “mother”

  1. Jisan (jee-sahn)

-It means “uncle”

  1. Ojjiisan (oh-jee-sahn)

-It means “grandfather”

  1. Bassan (bah-sahn)

-It means “grandmother”
  1. Hentai (hen-tie)

-This has no “true” translation. It is used to describe stories with VERY, VERY descriptive sex scenes, usually seen as nasty to the uptight Americans, maybe slightly inappropriate to the much more laid-back nations in the eastern hemisphere. It may have kinky sex or very hard core stuff (and I will be getting lots of hate mail for saying the word “kinky” on the internet…whoo-hoo *twirls finger in air*)

  1. Ningen (nihn-gen)

-It means “human”

-This is just used to describe a human.

  1. Ningenkai (nihn-gen-kai)

-It means “human world”

-This is used to describe the human world, usually in YYH. THIS IS NOT USED TO DESCRIBE EARTH! That is a common misconception. It is just used in the context of “human world” not “earth.” This is usually confused with Chikyuu (below). It is used in regards to the three worlds—Human World, Demon World, Spirit World (see below for the last two)

  1. Chikyuu (cheek-you)

-It means “Earth”

-This is used to describe the earth, as in the planet. THIS IS NOT USED TO DESCRIBE THE HUMAN WORLD! That is a common misconception. It is quite often confused with Ningenkai. It is used most often in DBZ, though I have seen it in YYH fics when it has been misused or twisted in for something or other. It is used in regards to planets, like, in DBZ, for instance, there is a world called Vegetasei (or Planet Vegeta in the American version, but that does not come in here). It is not used in regards to Demon World or Spirit World, but other planets, like Vegetasei.

  1. Chikyuu-jin (cheek-you-gin)

-It means “human”

-This is NOT TO BE CONFUSED WITH NINGEN. It is used more along the lines of “earthling” than “human” so don’t get confused.

  1. Ne (neigh)

-It is used to ask for agreement, like the Canadian “eh?” or American “right?”

-This is used in almost every inquiring sentence in anime (not all, but quite a few). It is used in two ways: one, like agreement “That was good, ne?”—“That was good, wasn’t it?” or like “so” or “yeah”—“Ne, Kurama, where have you been?”—“So, Kurama, where have you been” or “Yeah, Kurama, where have you been?” It is used a lot, and gets confusing until you’re used to it.

  1. *Daijoubo ka? (die-zjhoe-boo kah)

-It means “What’s the matter?” or “Is something wrong?”

-This is used normally when someone is crying, you ask them what’s the matter, etc.

  1. Kanpai

-It means “Cheers”

-It’s used like “Cheers” or “Salud,” like a toast (We wish you well! Cheers! *cups clang*). It’s used with alcoholic cheering, get me?

  1. *Yoshi (yoh-she, like the Mario dinosaur)

-It means “Deal” or “agreed”

-Not sure about this one. I saw it three times in one fic and they all seemed to mean “we have a deal” or something along those lines.

  1. Ani (ah-nee)

-It means “elder”

-It’s used like in YYH, Toguro Ani (It means Elder Toguro—the creepy little bastard who fought Kuwabara in the finals)

  1. Ototo (Uh-toe-toe)

-It means “younger”

-Can also be Otto (like the name, ah-toe) used in Toguro Ototo (It means Younger Toguro, the big bastard who fought Yusuke in the finals in YYH)

  1. Onegai (oh-neh-gai)

-It means “please”

  1. Matte (mah-tay)

-It means “wait”

-It is used mostly to say something like “wait up!” or “hold up!” not like “I have to wait for him.”

  1. Sake (sah-kay)

-This doesn’t have a “true” translation because it is the same in English and Japanese. It is used to describe a specific liquor, very strong and…well…alcoholic. An interesting little note here: it is usually taken in shots (like a shot glass, not a needle and vial or a gun and bullet) and served from a little vase-like cup.

  1. Kawaii (kah-why-ee)

-It means “cute” or “gorgeous” or the American “hott”

-This is just used to say “oh, he is sooo cute!”—“oh, he is sooo kawaii!”

  1. Koibito (koy-bee-toe)

-It means “dear” or “darling”

-This is an affectionate term, that’s all, usually used with a girlfriend/boyfriend or jokingly to a close friend sometimes. Very casual.

  1. *Itooshi (ih-two-she)

-It means “honey” or “sweetheart”

-Or something along those lines. It’s just an affectionate term, a bit more intimate than Koibito. I am not sure about this one either, I read it a couple times and drew conclusions as to what it meant.

  1. Koiishi (koh-ee-she)

-It means “beloved”

-This is a very loving term, usually husband/wife or very, very close girlfriend/boyfriend term. It does literally mean “beloved” and is used as such.

  1. *Urusei (oo-roo-say)

-It means “shut up”

-I really don’t know about this translation. I saw it only once before, and it was pretty vague as to why they were using it (in the fanfic, Kuwabara and Hiei just got slightly insulted by Yusuke so they said “urusei”). I just gave the most likely translation, if anyone happens to know I am wrong tell me please.

  1. Nani (nah-nee)

-It means “What”

-Usually used as an exclamation like someone says something unbelievable and you say "WHAT!?” someone in Japan would say “NANI!?” I don’t know if it is used in everyday conversation, like “what did you do today” or something like that, but I know it is used as an exclamation.


(these are little prefixes (or even suffixes) put on words to do something or other)

  1. –chan

-This is an affectionate diminutive suffix, usually used with girls or small children, or just someone you like but consider inferior to you in some way.

  1. –kun

-This is just an affectionate suffix, used normally with boys.

  1. –san

-This is a respective ending, almost saying “Mister” or “Misses” or “Miss” or something in front of a name, but not quite. It falls just short of being that formal. Normally, this is used with adults you are somewhat familiar with.

  1. –sensei

-This means “teacher” so you’d be saying something like “yes, smith-sensei” (I’m not very creative, am I?) would be saying “yes, teacher smith” or something like that.

  1. –sama

-This is a very respectful suffix, used to mean “lord” or “lady” in a most respected way. In YYH, Botan would, for instance, use this to address Koenma (Koenma-sama = Lord Koenma).

  1. –daiou

-This means “emperor” or “king” or something of that sort. It’s a very high respect to give someone the suffix –daiou, like in YYH someone would call Enma (Yamma for the translated watchers out there—Enma is pronounced “Yamma” in a Japanese accent, so that’s why it is different, if anyone wants to know) Enma-sama, which would mean Emperor Enma.

  1. O-

-This is the only prefix in Japanese that I know, it is just used for respect (it can be put in front of family names, like Okassan instead of Kassan would still mean mother, but just in a more respectful way). Just a strange little note here, add this prefix to the suffix –sama, and you get Osama, which is Japanese for king.

Show Terms (YYH)

(these are terms used in anime shows, not usually outside of the shows in normal talk. These do not usually have “true” translations, but the few that do I put down.)

  1. Jagan (jah-gahn)

-This is used to describe Hiei’s third eye. It means “evil eye” translated, I believe. It just gives Hiei (or whoever else may have it somewhere) incredibly mental powers, like telepathy, telekinesis, mind control, other stuff as well. It also helps him to summon the Darkness Flame.

  1. Jaganshi (jah-gahn-she)

-This means “Master of the Jagan” and is used to describe anyone with the Jagan eye, e.g. Hiei.

  1. Hiruseki (he-roo-seh-kee) stones

-Hiruseki stones are tear gems. Only Koorimes (below) can make them. When they cry, their tears are solidified into gems, usually small pearls or diamonds (in fanfics, Hiei usually cries them as black diamonds or something of the sort). They are worth millions a piece in YYH on the black market, and were concerned in an entire sub-saga (the Yukina episodes)

  1. Koorime (koo-reem)

-This is used to describe two things—ice apparitions, and the floating ice realm above Makai (below) that is home to the ice apparitions. Ice apparitions are all female, except for Hiei (if you want the whole story behind that, go to the Hiei profile page and look at that). They seldom, if ever, leave their floating realm. They tend to despise men, except for a choice few (Hina, Yukina, etc. Again, see the Hiei profile page to learn a bit about this if you don’t know already).

  1. Ankoku Bujutsukai (ahn-koh-koo boo-joot-soo-kai)

-Literally, it means “Darkness Competition” and is used to describe the Martial Arts Tournament, the Dark Tournament, in YYH.

  1. Makai (mah-kai)

-It means “Demon World” and is just that. It is used to describe the world of demons, like Ningenkai except it has demons in it instead. The show itself (YYH) does not usually use this term to describe demon world, but instead the insects that come from it. This is a crappy way to screw us up, so on the show, when they say Makai Insects, that means “Demon World Insects” and the Demon World they talk about is Makai.

  1. Reikai (ray-kai)

-This means “Spirit World” and is just that. You know that place with the River Styx where Koenma and Botan are all the time? That’s Reikai.

  1. Youkai (yoh-kai)

-This is a demon. You may be thinking “if ningens are from Ningenkai, wouldn’t Makai residents be mas?” They aren’t. Youkais are demons and apparitions.

  1. Reikai Tantei (ray-kai tan-tie)

-It means “Spirit Detective” and is used to describe both an individual (like Yusuke) or a group (like Yusuke, Kuwabara, Kurama, and Hiei).

  1. Youki (yoe-kee)

-It is just demon energy.

  1. Reiki (ray-kee)

-This is spirit energy.

  1. Ki (kee)

-Used to describe all energy, mostly body energy is described by this.

  1. Jenken (jen-kin)

-This is the Rock-Paper-Scissors game.

  1. Youko (yoh-koh)

-This is a spirit fox, or Kurama’s demon name in the show.

  1. Kitsune (kit-soon)

-This can be used in two ways. Some people use this as just thief, but that’s not entirely correct. Others use it just for fox, but that’s not entirely correct either. It is used in a couple ways, but the way I know it is used to describe a many-tailed fox, like Kurama was. However, this may not be right either, because Youko was used to describe spirit foxes. I didn’t put an asterisk here because I know it either means something like “thief” or “many-tailed fox” I’m just not sure which. I use it simply to describe Kurama, and it works either way the way I use it, but I am still not sure which it is.
Attacks (YYH)

(these are the techniques and attacks used in the show. The spellings are just the ones I know, they vary. I put the literal translations and other translations because the literal translations SUCK! Seriously, they do.)

  1. Jaou Ensatsu Kokuryhua (jhou en-saht-soo koh-koo-ree-you-ah)

-This is, literally, “Black Dragon Purgatory Wave” but as I said, the literal translations suck. This is just Hiei’s signature “Dragon of the Darkness Flame.”

  1. Jaou Ensatsu Ken (jhou en-saht-soo ken)

-Literally, “Black Purgatory Sword” and that translation sucks too. It’s Hiei’s “Sword of the Darkness Flame.”

  1. Kokuryhua (koh-koo-ree-you-ah)

-It means “Black Dragon” and is used to describe the black tattoo on Hiei’s right arm (it first appears in his fight against Bui, and it’s actually quite cool).

  1. Rei Gan (ray gan)

-Spirit Gun

  1. Rei Ken (ray ken)

-Spirit Sword

  1. Fuka Enbujin (foo-kah ehn-boo-gin)

-Kurama’s attack, “Petals and Thorns” (first seen in his fight against Karasu).
Names (from YYH)

(These are the translations of the names in YYH. I only have a couple so far, but I will remember and put more up later)

  1. YuYu Hakusho

-Literally, Ghost Files, Poltergeist Report, etc.

  1. Yusuke

-Spirit Helper, Ghost Aid, etc.

  1. *Urameshi

-Bitter, Hateful

  1. Suiichi Minamino

-Excellence First

  1. Kurama

-Kept Horse

  1. Botan


  1. *Keiko

-Chrysanthemum, or some other flower

  1. Kuwabara

-Mulberry Field


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