Master the Concept: Understanding Height in Japanese

Are you interested in learning about height in Japanese? Understanding the vocabulary and expressions related to height in the language is an important part of communicating effectively in Japanese. In this article, we will cover the basics of height in Japanese, including the Japanese word for height and common phrases for expressing height. Additionally, we will explore the different units of measurement used for height in Japanese, vocabulary and expressions for describing tall and short heights, and how to compare heights in Japanese. Furthermore, we will provide common phrases and exchanges related to height in Japanese, as well as examine the cultural significance and perceptions of height in Japanese society. So, let’s dive in and expand our knowledge of this important aspect of the Japanese language!

If you are ready to gain a deeper understanding of height in Japanese, keep reading to learn more about the Japanese word for height, height translation in Japanese, and height expressions in Japanese.

The Basics of Height in Japanese

When it comes to expressing the concept of height in Japanese, there are various vocabulary and expressions to help you communicate effectively. Let’s take a look at some of the essential Japanese vocabulary for height and common phrases for expressing height.

Japanese Vocabulary Meaning
身長 (shinchou) Height
背が高い (sega takai) Tall
背が低い (sega hikui) Short
平均身長 (heikin shinchou) Average height

In addition to these words, there are also various expressions used to describe height in Japanese. For example:

  • あの人は背が高いです (Ano hito wa sega takai desu) – That person is tall.
  • 私は背が低いです (Watashi wa sega hikui desu) – I’m short.
  • 彼女の平均身長は160センチです (Kanojo no heikin shinchou wa hyaku-roku-jyuu senti desu) – Her average height is 160 centimeters.

Keep in mind that the word order in Japanese sentences can vary from English, so it’s important to pay attention to the context and usage of these expressions.

Different Units of Measurement

When talking about height, different units of measurement are used in Japanese. Some of the most common are:

Japanese word English translation
身長 Height
センチメートル Centimeter
メートル Meter
Shaku (traditional Japanese unit of length)

The most commonly used word for height in Japanese is “身長” (shinchou). When expressing height in centimeters, you can use the word “センチメートル” (senchime-toru), while “メートル” (meetoru) is used for meters. The term “尺” (shaku) is a traditional Japanese unit of length and is rarely used nowadays.

It’s important to note that when expressing height in Japanese, the word for “centimeter” or “meter” may be omitted if it is clear from the context. For example, if someone says “私の身長は170です” (Watashi no shinchou wa 170 desu), it is understood that they are referring to centimeters without having to use the word “センチメートル”.

Other height-related terms and phrases in Japanese include:

Japanese word/phrase English translation
高い Tall/high
低い Short/low
背が高い Tall/stature is high
背が低い Short/stature is low

These terms can be used in various contexts, such as describing people, buildings, trees, or mountains.

Describing Tall and Short Heights

Knowing how to describe someone’s height accurately in Japanese can be crucial in many situations. In this section, we’ll explore some common vocabulary and expressions used to describe tall and short heights in Japanese.

Describing Tall Heights

The Japanese word for “tall” is “takai” (高い). This word can be used to describe both people and objects, such as buildings or mountains. However, when describing people, it’s more common to use the phrase “sei ga takai” (背が高い), which literally translates to “height is tall”.

See also  Learn How to Say 'Stomach' in Japanese - Easy Language Guide

Here are some examples of how to use “sei ga takai” to describe someone’s tall height:

Japanese Romaji English Translation
彼は背が高いです。 Kare wa sei ga takai desu. He is tall.
彼女はとても背が高いです。 Kanojo wa totemo sei ga takai desu. She is very tall.

Describing Short Heights

The Japanese word for “short” is “mijikai” (短い). However, when describing someone’s short height, it’s more common to use the word “hikui” (低い), which means “low”.

Here are some examples of how to use “hikui” to describe someone’s short height:

Japanese Romaji English Translation
彼は背が低いです。 Kare wa sei ga hikui desu. He is short.
彼女はとても背が低いです。 Kanojo wa totemo sei ga hikui desu. She is very short.

It’s worth noting that height is often relative, and what is considered tall or short can vary depending on cultural and social contexts. Therefore, it’s important to approach these descriptions with sensitivity and awareness.

Now that you have a better understanding of how to describe tall and short heights in Japanese, let’s move on to comparing heights in the next section.

Comparing Heights

When it comes to comparing heights in Japanese, there are a few different phrases and structures you can use. The most basic way to compare height is to use the phrase “X wa Y yori takai” which translates to “X is taller than Y”. For example, “John wa Mary yori takai” means “John is taller than Mary”. To say someone is shorter, you can simply swap “takai” for “hikui”, which means “short”.

Another way to compare height is to use the phrase “X to Y no aida no chosa” which means “survey between X and Y”. This is often used when comparing the heights of multiple people. For example, “Tom, John, and Mary no aida no chosa o shita toki, Tom ga ichiban takakatta” means “When we conducted a survey of Tom, John, and Mary, Tom was the tallest.”

It’s important to note that in Japanese culture, height is often considered a sensitive topic and may not be discussed openly. It is considered impolite to make comments or jokes about someone’s height, especially if it is perceived as short.

Now that you have a better understanding of comparing heights in Japanese, you can use these phrases to navigate height-related conversations with ease.

Common Phrases and Exchanges

When it comes to discussing height in Japanese, there are several common phrases and exchanges that you may encounter. Here are a few examples:

Phrase/Exchange Meaning
何cmですか? (Nan cm desu ka?) What is your height?
〇〇cmです。 (〇〇 cm desu.) My height is ____ cm.
身長が高いですね! (Shinchou ga takai desu ne!) You’re tall!
身長が低いですね… (Shinchou ga hikui desu ne…) You’re short…
私より背が高いですね。 (Watashi yori se ga takai desu ne.) You’re taller than me.
私より背が低いです。 (Watashi yori se ga hikui desu.) You’re shorter than me.

It’s important to note that in Japan, it is not uncommon for people to ask about your height, particularly if you are meeting someone for the first time or if you are in a dating situation. Therefore, it’s useful to be prepared with some basic phrases related to height.

Additionally, keep in mind that Japanese height words may be different than those used in English. For example, the word for “tall” in Japanese is “takai” (高い), while the word for “short” is “hikui” (低い). Learning these words and phrases can help you navigate social situations and conversations with ease.

See also  Uncover How to Say Puppy in Japanese - A Helpful Guide

Cultural Significance of Height in Japan

Height holds significant cultural importance in Japan, with societal norms and stereotypes surrounding height impacting daily life.

In Japanese culture, taller individuals are often viewed as more dominant and powerful, while shorter individuals may be seen as cute or helpless. These perceptions extend beyond individual interactions and impact societal expectations, such as the preference for taller candidates in job interviews.

The cultural significance of height is also reflected in entertainment and media, with many Japanese celebrities and idols being known for their tall stature. In addition, certain industries, such as fashion and modeling, place a strong emphasis on height requirements.

However, it is important to recognize that these societal norms and stereotypes surrounding height can also have negative effects on individuals, creating pressure to conform to certain physical standards.

Understanding the cultural significance of height in Japan can provide insight into societal expectations and attitudes. While it is important to be aware of these influences, it is also crucial to respect and value individuals of all heights and body types.


Understanding height terminology and related vocabulary in Japanese is essential for effective communication in the language. As you have learned, the Japanese language has specific words and phrases to describe height, including different units of measurement and expressions for tall and short heights. By mastering these concepts, you can accurately describe and compare heights and participate in conversations related to height in Japanese culture.

It is important to note that height holds significant cultural significance in Japan, and understanding the societal norms and stereotypes associated with height can enhance cross-cultural communication. By using the appropriate Japanese vocabulary for height and height-related phrases, you can show respect for Japanese customs and traditions.

In conclusion, by familiarizing yourself with height terminology in Japanese, you can improve your language skills and understand the cultural significance of height in Japanese society. Incorporate these vocabulary and phrases into your Japanese language studies and conversations to enhance your ability to communicate effectively.


Q: What is the Japanese word for height?

A: The Japanese word for height is “takasa” (高さ).

Q: How do you say “tall” and “short” in Japanese?

A: In Japanese, “tall” is “takai” (高い) and “short” is “mijikai” (短い).

Q: How do you compare heights in Japanese?

A: To compare heights in Japanese, you can use the phrase “A wa B yori takai” (AはBより高い), which means “A is taller than B.”

Q: What are common phrases for discussing height in Japanese?

A: Some common phrases for discussing height in Japanese include asking “Anata wa nan senti desu ka?” (あなたは何センチですか?) which means “How tall are you?”, and responding with “Watashi wa _____ senti desu” (私は_____センチです), filling in the blank with your height.

Q: Is height important in Japanese culture?

A: Yes, height can be considered important in Japanese culture, where taller individuals are often associated with strength and success. However, it is important to note that societal perceptions may vary.

Q: Can you tell me more about the cultural significance of height in Japan?

A: The cultural significance of height in Japan can include societal norms, stereotypes, and its impact on daily life. For example, taller individuals may be favored in certain professional and social settings.

Leave a Comment