Mastering the Phrase: How to Say Depressed in Japanese

Learning a new language can be a challenging yet rewarding experience. It allows you to connect with new people and cultures, and gain a deeper understanding of the world. When it comes to expressing emotions, language and culture play a significant role. That’s why it’s essential to understand the nuances of the language you’re learning, especially when it comes to expressing sensitive emotions such as depression.

In this article, we’ll guide you through the process of learning how to say “depressed” in Japanese. We’ll explore the different shades of meaning of the Japanese word for depressed, as well as provide practical examples of how to express depression in Japanese. By the end of this article, you’ll have a better understanding of how to convey the feeling of depression accurately in Japanese.

If you’re ready to take your Japanese language proficiency to the next level, let’s dive in and learn how to say depressed in Japanese!

Exploring Emotional Expressions in Japanese

When it comes to expressing emotions in Japanese, it’s important to understand the cultural differences in language and the nuances of emotional expression. In Western languages, straightforward and direct language is often used to convey emotions, particularly when expressing negative feelings such as depression. However, in Japanese culture, it is often more appropriate to use indirect language and non-verbal cues to express emotions.

When it comes to expressing depression in Japanese, it’s important to find the right words and phrases to accurately convey the feeling. One common way to express depression in Japanese is to use the phrase “心が重い” (Kokoro ga omoi), which literally translates to “heavy heart.” Another way is to use the phrase “元気がない” (Genki ga nai), which means “not feeling well,” but can also be used to convey a sense of depression.

It’s important to note that the concept of depression is not as widely recognized or discussed in Japanese culture as it is in Western cultures. Therefore, the language used to express depression in Japanese may not always reflect the full range of emotions associated with the condition. This is why finding appropriate words and phrases to convey the feeling accurately is particularly important.

Ways to Convey Depression in Japanese

There are several ways to convey depression in Japanese beyond just using the phrase “depressed.” One way is to use words that describe the physical symptoms often associated with depression, such as “fatigue” (疲れ, Tsukare) and “insomnia” (不眠, Fumin). Another way is to use words that describe the feeling of hopelessness or despair, such as “despondency” (落胆, Rakutan) and “melancholy” (憂鬱, Yuuutsu).

Using metaphors and similes can also be effective in expressing depression in Japanese. For example, using the phrase “空っぽになる” (Karappo ni naru), which means “to become empty,” can be used to describe the feeling of emptiness often associated with depression.

It’s important to keep in mind that the appropriate way to express depression may vary depending on the context and the relationship between the speakers. In more formal settings, indirect language may be more appropriate, while in casual conversation, more direct language may be acceptable.

Understanding the Japanese Word for Depressed

One of the crucial steps in learning how to express the feeling of depression in Japanese is to understand the specific Japanese word for it. The Japanese phrase for feeling down is “uchikina shisou” (打ち砕かれた思想), which translates to “shattered thoughts” in English. However, this phrase is not commonly used in everyday conversation as it is quite formal and literary.

Instead, the most common way of expressing sadness in Japanese is by using the word “kanashimi” (悲しみ). The term refers to a feeling of sorrow or grief and is often used to describe a more general sense of sadness. When used in conjunction with other words, “kanashimi” can express a deep sense of depression or melancholy.

Another phrase that can be used to convey the feeling of depression is “yuuutsu” (憂鬱). This term refers to a feeling of melancholy or depression that is lingering and persistent. It can be used to describe a prolonged state of sadness or depression.

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It is important to remember that the Japanese language has many shades of meaning, and the words used to express emotions can have different cultural connotations than in English. Therefore, it is essential to study the specific word and its context before using it in conversation.


Japanese English Translation
私は悲しいです。 I am sad.
彼女は憂鬱そうに見える。 She looks depressed.

As you dive deeper into the Japanese language, familiarizing yourself with the specific words and phrases used to express emotions like depression will help you better understand the culture and context in which these emotions are expressed.

Conveying Depression through Japanese Vocabulary

Expanding your Japanese vocabulary related to depression can help you better express your emotions. Here are some useful words and phrases:

Japanese Romaji English
悲しい Kanashii Sad
落ち込んでいる Ochikondeiru Feeling down
暗い Kurai Gloomy
嫌な気分 Iyana kibun Feeling awful
自暴自棄 Jiboujiki Despondent

Additionally, here are some phrases that can help you describe the feeling of being depressed:

  • 私は気分が落ち込んでいる (Watashi wa kibun ga ochikondeiru) – I’m feeling down.
  • 悲しくて涙がでてくる (Kanashikute namida ga detekuru) – I’m so sad that tears are coming out.
  • 今、本当につらい (Ima, hontou ni tsurai) – Right now, it’s really painful.

Using Context for Accurate Expression of Depression

When using these words and phrases, context is crucial to accurately express the complexity of your emotions.

For instance, the word “悲しい” (kanashii) can be used to describe sadness in general, but can also signify a deeper sense of melancholy. Similarly, “自暴自棄” (jiboujiki) conveys a sense of hopelessness and despair, which may not be suitable in all situations.

By carefully selecting the appropriate words and understanding their connotations, you can better convey the depth of your emotions in Japanese.

Expressing Emotions in Japanese Sentence Structure

When it comes to expressing depression in Japanese, the language’s unique sentence structure can be a challenge. In Japanese, the verb typically comes at the end of the sentence, making it important to plan out the structure of your sentence before speaking.

One way to convey depression in Japanese is to use the phrase “shizunda kimochi” which translates to “feeling down.” This phrase follows the subject-object-verb structure common in English.

Japanese Sentence English Translation
私は落ち込んでいる。 I am feeling depressed.
彼女は悲しい気持ちでいっぱいだ。 She is filled with sadness.

Another approach is to use adjectives and adverbs to describe your emotions. For example, “kanashii” means sad, while “totemo” means very. By combining these words, you can accurately express the intensity and depth of your feelings.

Here are some examples:

Japanese Sentence English Translation
私はとても落ち込んでいます。 I am feeling very depressed.
彼女は寂しい気持ちになりました。 She became filled with a feeling of loneliness.

By understanding the nuances of Japanese sentence structure and expanding your vocabulary, you can effectively communicate your emotions, including depression, in Japanese.

Cultural Considerations in Depressed Expressions

When expressing depression in Japanese, it’s important to take into account the cultural nuances and considerations surrounding this topic.

In Japan, mental health is not often discussed openly, and there can be a stigma surrounding depression and other similar issues. As a result, the language used to express these emotions may differ from Western languages.

One important factor to consider is the concept of “honne” and “tatemae.” Honne refers to one’s true feelings or thoughts, while tatemae refers to the outward expression or public face. In Japanese society, people are often expected to keep their emotions private and not burden others with their problems. As a result, individuals may express the opposite of how they truly feel to maintain harmony in social situations.

This can present challenges when trying to accurately convey feelings of depression. It’s important to be aware of these cultural norms and to understand that individuals may not directly express their emotions in a straightforward manner. They may use euphemisms or indirect expressions to convey their feelings.

Additionally, it’s important to be mindful of the language used when discussing mental health. In Japan, there is sometimes a tendency to avoid using direct terminology related to mental health and instead use metaphors or other indirect expressions. This can make it more difficult to communicate clearly about these issues.

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Overall, when expressing depression in Japanese, it’s important to be aware of the cultural context and to approach the situation with sensitivity and understanding.

Practical Examples of Depressed Expressions in Japanese

Now that you have a better understanding of how to express depression in Japanese, let’s explore some practical examples that you can use in everyday conversations.

Japanese English Translation
憂鬱な気分になっている I’m feeling depressed.
気が滅入る I feel down.
暗い気持ちになっている I’m feeling gloomy.

When talking to a friend or family member, you might want to use a more casual expression, such as:

“I’m feeling kind of down today.”

Alternatively, if you want to express your feelings to a colleague or boss, a more formal expression might be appropriate, such as:

“Lately, I’ve been feeling down and having trouble concentrating on work.”

Remember, the tone and context in which you use these expressions can greatly affect how they are perceived by others. Be sure to use correct Japanese sentence structure and pay attention to cultural nuances to accurately convey your feelings of depression.

Deepening Cultural Understanding through Language

Learning how to express emotion in a foreign language is an important step in understanding the culture of that language. By delving into how to say “depressed” in Japanese, you will not only expand your linguistic prowess but also gain insight into the Japanese culture’s perception and treatment of mental health.

Expressing depression in Japanese requires a nuanced understanding of the language’s sentence structures and cultural connotations. Through learning how to convey feelings of depression accurately, you will be able to deepen your cultural understanding and build more meaningful relationships with native Japanese speakers.

Continuing to explore and expand your Japanese vocabulary will equip you with the tools to express a range of emotions accurately. As you become more comfortable using the language, you will begin to grasp more subtle nuances in vocabulary and sentence structure.

By learning how to say “depressed” in Japanese, you will gain a deeper appreciation for the language, culture, and people. Taking the time to understand the cultural considerations when expressing depression in Japanese will allow you to convey your thoughts and feelings in a way that resonates with native speakers.

Overall, the ability to express emotions accurately in a foreign language is a valuable skill that allows for deeper cultural immersion and connection. Keep exploring ways to convey depression in Japanese and continue to expand your linguistic and cultural knowledge.


Q: How do I say “depressed” in Japanese?

A: The Japanese word for “depressed” is “utsu” or “utsushimi”. It is important to note that the concept of expressing depression may differ in Japanese culture, and it is essential to consider cultural nuances when using these words.

Q: How can I accurately convey the feeling of depression in Japanese?

A: To accurately convey the feeling of depression in Japanese, it is important to expand your vocabulary related to depression. Learning words and phrases that describe the feeling of being depressed in different scenarios can help you express yourself more effectively.

Q: Are there any cultural considerations when expressing depression in Japanese?

A: Yes, there are cultural considerations when expressing depression in Japanese. Japanese society may perceive and address the concept of depression differently, so it is important to be mindful of cultural nuances and understand how Japanese culture approaches this topic.

Q: Can you provide practical examples of how to say “depressed” in Japanese?

A: Certainly! Here are some practical examples of how to say “depressed” in Japanese:

– Watashi wa utsu desu. (I am depressed.)
– Kanojo wa utsu na kimochi desu. (She has a depressed feeling.)
– Kare wa utsushimi o kanjiteiru. (He is feeling depressed.)

These examples can be used in various contexts to express feelings of depression.

Q: How does language learning enhance cultural knowledge?

A: Learning how to say “depressed” in Japanese or any other language deepens your cultural understanding. Language is intricately connected to culture, and by exploring different languages, you gain insights into the values, beliefs, and traditions of different societies. It encourages a broader worldview and fosters cultural empathy.

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