Easy Guide: How to Say Embarrassing in Japanese

Do you struggle to express the feeling of “embarrassing” in Japanese? Learning new vocabulary is essential to effectively communicate your emotions in a foreign language. In this article, we will provide you with a user-friendly guide on how to say “embarrassing” in Japanese, including the Japanese word for “embarrassing” and its translation.

Understanding the Concept of Embarrassing in Japanese

When learning a new language, it’s important to understand the cultural significance behind certain words and phrases. In Japanese, the concept of “embarrassment” is closely tied to social harmony and avoiding conflict.

Expressing embarrassment in Japanese can be done in various ways, depending on the context and the relationship between the speaker and the listener. For example, in a formal setting, the phrase “hajimete shitsurei shimasu” (初めて失礼します) can be used to apologize for any mistakes or missteps due to inexperience. On the other hand, in a more casual situation, the word “hazukashii” (恥ずかしい) can be used to express embarrassment or shyness.

Shame in Japanese Culture

Another important aspect to note is the difference between embarrassment and shame in Japanese culture. While both words relate to negative emotions, embarrassment is seen as a temporary feeling that can be easily resolved, whereas shame is a deeper, more lasting emotion that can have long-term consequences on one’s reputation and social standing.

Therefore, when expressing embarrassment in Japanese, it’s important to do so in a way that acknowledges the mistake or awkward situation, but also shows a willingness to move past it and maintain social harmony.

Common Japanese Words for Embarrassing

Learning how to express the feeling of “Embarrassing” in Japanese can greatly improve your ability to communicate with native speakers. Here are some common Japanese words and phrases that can be used to convey the meaning of “Embarrassing”:

Japanese English Translation
恥ずかしい (Hazukashii) Embarrassing, shy, ashamed
恥 (Haji) Shame, disgrace
苦笑い (Nigawarai) Wry smile, forced laughter
照れる (Terreru) To feel shy or embarrassed

“恥ずかしい (Hazukashii)” is the most common word used to describe the feeling of “Embarrassing” in Japanese. It can be used to express a range of emotions, from feeling shy or self-conscious to feeling ashamed or guilty. “恥 (Haji)” is a more intense word that implies a deeper sense of shame or disgrace.

“苦笑い (Nigawarai)” is a word used to describe a forced or insincere smile or laughter, often used to mask feelings of embarrassment or discomfort. “照れる (Terreru)” is a verb that means to feel shy or embarrassed, and is often used in social situations where one may feel self-conscious or uncomfortable.

It’s important to remember that the appropriate word or phrase to use may depend on the context and the severity of the situation. These common Japanese words and phrases can help you effectively communicate the feeling of “Embarrassing” in various situations.

Pronunciation of Embarrassing in Japanese

Learning how to pronounce the Japanese word for “Embarrassing” is crucial in effectively communicating your emotions. The Japanese word for “Embarrassing” is 恥ずかしい (Hazukashii).

Here is a breakdown of how to pronounce each syllable:

Syllable Pronunciation
Ha Like “huh”, but with an “a” sound
Zu Like “zoo”
Ka Like “cut”, but with an “a” sound
Shi Like “sheep”, but with an “i” sound
I Like “ee” in “feet”

Put together, the word is pronounced as “hah-zoo-kuh-shee-ee.”

Additional Tips

To further improve your pronunciation, try practicing with someone who speaks Japanese fluently. Additionally, consider watching Japanese movies or TV shows to get a better sense of how the language is spoken.

Remember to pay attention to intonation and pronunciation, as they can change the meaning of a word.

See also  Understanding Domo in Japanese – Its True Meaning

Useful Phrases with Embarrassing in Japanese

Learning how to express “Embarrassing” in Japanese is an essential part of communicating effectively in this language. Here are some common useful phrases:

Japanese English
恥ずかしい Hazukashii
恥をかく Haji wo kaku
顔から火が出る Kao kara hi ga deru

“Hazukashii” is the most common word used for “Embarrassing” in Japanese. It can be used to describe a situation, action or feeling that is shameful or awkward. Here are some examples:

  • 私の英語はとても恥ずかしいです。(Watashi no Eigo wa totemo hazukashii desu) – My English is very embarrassing.
  • 彼女に会うのが恥ずかしい。(Kanojo ni au no ga hazukashii) – It’s embarrassing to meet her.

“Haji wo kaku” is a more idiomatic phrase, which means to “lose face” or “make a fool of oneself.” It can be used to express deep regret or shame. Here are some examples:

  • あのとき彼女に嘘をついて、とても恥をかいた。(Ano toki kanojo ni uso wo tsuite, totemo haji wo kaita) – I lied to her at that time and lost face.
  • 会議で大きなミスをして、恥をかいた。(Kaigi de ooki na misu wo shite, haji wo kaita) – I made a big mistake in the meeting and lost face.

“Kao kara hi ga deru” is a more colorful expression, which literally means “fire coming out of your face.” It can be used to describe a situation where you feel intensely embarrassed or ashamed. Here are some examples:

  • 先生に間違いを指摘されて、顔から火が出た。(Sensei ni machigai wo shittoku sarete, kao kara hi ga deta) – The teacher pointed out my mistake and my face turned red.
  • 友達に恥ずかしいことを言われて、顔から火が出た。(Tomodachi ni hazukashii koto wo iwarete, kao kara hi ga deta) – My friend said something embarrassing and my face turned red.

Cultural Context of Embarrassing in Japan

In Japanese culture, the concept of “haji” or “hazukashii” is closely related to the feeling of embarrassment. However, unlike in Western culture where embarrassment is often associated with a sense of shame or humiliation, the Japanese typically view it as a natural part of human interaction and communication.

The Importance of Social Harmony

In Japan, social harmony or “wa” is highly valued, and individuals are expected to act in a way that maintains it. This means avoiding behavior that may cause discomfort or embarrassment to others, as well as oneself. Consequently, people may feel embarrassed when they believe their actions have caused a disruption in the social harmony.

For example, a person who arrives late to a meeting may feel embarrassed for causing inconvenience to others, and may apologize profusely, even if the delay was beyond their control. Similarly, an individual who is praised for their achievements may feel embarrassed and deflect the praise to others or downplay their accomplishments to avoid standing out too much from the group.

Nonverbal Communication

In addition to verbal communication, nonverbal cues are also important in expressing embarrassment in Japanese culture. One common behavior is to cover one’s face with a hand or fan to hide blushing or discomfort. This behavior can be seen in various situations, such as when receiving a compliment, asking for a favor, or being praised.

Japanese Phrase for Embarrassing

The Japanese phrase for “embarrassing” is “hazukashii.” This word can be used in various situations, such as when apologizing for a mistake, expressing gratitude, or acknowledging a compliment. For example, if someone compliments your outfit, you can respond with “hazukashii” to indicate that you feel embarrassed or shy.

Another phrase that can be used to express embarrassment in Japanese is “shitsurei shimashita,” which means “I have been rude.” This phrase is often used as a polite way to apologize for causing inconvenience or embarrassment to others.

See also  Learn How to Say Ito in Japanese - A Simple Guide

Other Japanese Words Related to Embarrassing

Embarrassment is a complex emotion, and the Japanese language has several words and expressions that help to convey different aspects of this feeling. Here are a few other Japanese words related to “Embarrassing.”

Japanese Word Meaning Usage
Shame Used when feeling a sense of disgrace or dishonor.
うしろめたい Guilt-ridden Used when feeling ashamed or sorry for something.
気まずい Awkward Used when feeling uncomfortable, uneasy, or awkward in a situation.

The word “Haji” is used to describe a feeling of shame or dishonor and is often associated with situations that involve a breach of etiquette or social norms. On the other hand, “Ushirometai” describes a sense of guilt or regret and is often used when a person feels sorry for something they have done.

“Kimazui” is a useful expression for describing an awkward or uncomfortable situation. This is often used in situations where you feel out of place or in a social situation that is not going as planned.

By familiarizing yourself with these words and their nuances, you can better express your feelings of embarrassment in Japanese.


Learning how to express the feeling of “Embarrassing” in Japanese is an important aspect of effective communication. Throughout this article, we have explored various Japanese words and phrases that can be used to convey this emotion. Remember, language is a bridge that connects people, and expanding your vocabulary can help you better understand the culture and people of Japan.

We hope this guide has helped you in your quest to learn how to say “Embarrassing” in Japanese. Practice using these words and phrases in everyday conversations to improve your language skills and build your confidence. Remember, language learning takes time and patience, but it’s a rewarding experience that can open up new opportunities and perspectives.

In conclusion, whether you’re planning a trip to Japan or simply interested in learning a new language, take the time to learn how to express emotions like “Embarrassing” in Japanese. It’s a small but important step towards building stronger connections and fostering greater understanding.

So go ahead, practice saying “Hazukashii” (恥ずかしい) – the Japanese word for “Embarrassing” – and impress your Japanese friends with your language skills!


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

A: The word for “Embarrassing” in Japanese is “Hazukashii” (はずかしい).

Q: What are some other words or phrases related to “Embarrassing” in Japanese?

A: Some other words or phrases related to “Embarrassing” in Japanese include “Shameful” (恥ずかしい), “Awkward” (気まずい), and “Uncomfortable” (不快な).

Q: How do I pronounce “Hazukashii”?

A: “Hazukashii” is pronounced as “ha-zu-ka-shii” in Japanese.

Q: Are there any cultural aspects to consider when expressing “Embarrassing” in Japanese?

A: Yes, the concept of “Embarrassing” in Japanese culture can be influenced by societal norms and customs. It’s important to be aware of the context in which you use the word or phrase.

Q: Can you provide some useful phrases with “Embarrassing” in Japanese?

A: Sure! Here are a few useful phrases: “I feel embarrassed” (はずかしい気持ちになる), “It’s embarrassing to admit” (認めるのははずかしい), and “I’m sorry for the embarrassing situation” (恥ずかしい状況でごめんなさい).

Q: What is the cultural significance of “Embarrassing” in Japan?

A: In Japanese culture, avoiding situations that can potentially lead to embarrassment is highly valued. Maintaining harmony and saving face are important cultural aspects to consider.

Q: Are there any other words in Japanese that are similar to “Embarrassing”?

A: Yes, there are other words such as “Shy” (恥ずかしがりや), “Nervous” (緊張する), and “Disgraceful” (みっともない) that can convey similar feelings of embarrassment in different contexts.

Leave a Comment