Learn How to Say Ugly in Japanese – Simple Language Guide

If you’re interested in learning how to communicate effectively in Japanese, it’s essential to know how to express such a common sentiment as “ugly.” In this section, we’ll provide you with a simple language guide to help you learn how to say “ugly” in Japanese. We’ll cover the translation of the word, different ways to express ugliness, and pronunciation tips to help you accurately convey this concept. By the end of this section, you’ll have picked up some new Japanese vocabulary and be better equipped to communicate feelings of ugliness. So let’s get started and learn how to say “ugly” in Japanese!

Understanding the Japanese Word for Ugly

When learning a new language, it’s important to understand the nuances of different words and their meanings. The Japanese language has several terms used to describe ugliness, each with its own connotations.

The most common term for “ugly” in Japanese is “hidoi” (醜い). This word can be used to describe physical appearance, behavior, or even an unpleasant situation.

Another term for ugliness is “busaiku” (ブサイク). This word is often used to describe an unattractive physical appearance. However, it’s considered a slang term and may be viewed as impolite or offensive in certain contexts.

Japanese Term for Ugly

Another term for ugliness in Japanese is “kiga warui” (器が悪い). This phrase is more commonly used to describe unsightly behavior or attitude rather than physical appearance.

It’s important to note that when discussing “ugliness” in Japanese, the specific context can greatly affect which term is appropriate to use. As with all languages, it’s important to be aware of the cultural context and social norms when communicating.

Expressing Ugliness in Japanese

Besides the direct translation of “ugly,” there are other words and phrases in Japanese that convey similar meanings. Here are some Japanese words for “ugly” that you can use:

Japanese Meaning Usage
醜い Ugly, unsightly “Ano hito wa sugoku shitsui da” (That person is really ugly)
ブサイク Ugly, unattractive “Kare wa kekkou busaiku da” (He is quite unattractive)
不細工 Unattractive, plain-looking “Kanojo wa fusai ni mieta” (She looked unattractive)

It’s important to note that some of these words may come across as insulting or offensive in certain contexts. Make sure to use them appropriately and with sensitivity.

Examples of Usage:

Here are some examples of how to use these Japanese words for “ugly” in different situations:

  • “Kono mise wa sugoku shitsui” (This store is really ugly)
  • “Ano onna no hitokoto wa honto ni busaiku da” (What that woman said was really unattractive)
  • “Ano ko wa fusai ni mieteru” (That child looks plain-looking)
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Try using these words in different contexts to expand your Japanese vocabulary and improve your language proficiency.

Translating “Ugly” into Japanese

Now that you understand the Japanese term for ugly, it’s time to learn how to pronounce it. The Japanese word for “ugly” is “醜い” (minikui). To pronounce “minikui,” break it down into syllables: “mi-ni-ku-i.”

The “i” at the end is pronounced as “ee” in English, and the “u” in “ku” is pronounced as “oo.” The “ni” and “ku” are pronounced with a short “i” sound like “ih.”

To hear the pronunciation of “minikui” spoken by a native Japanese speaker, .

When asking “how do you say ugly in Japanese?” you can confidently respond with “minikui” using the correct pronunciation.

Cultural Considerations when Discussing Ugliness

When discussing the topic of ugliness in Japanese culture, it’s important to be aware of cultural considerations. Japan places a higher value on group harmony and avoiding conflict, which may affect how people communicate about sensitive topics like physical appearance.

For example, while commenting on someone’s appearance is generally considered impolite in Western cultures, it may be even more discouraged in Japan. Therefore, it’s essential to be mindful of how you express yourself and avoid using direct criticism or language that may be perceived as insulting.

Understanding the Power of Non-Verbal Communication

Non-verbal communication plays a significant role in Japanese culture, and it’s essential to be aware of the signals you’re sending. For instance, maintaining eye contact for an extended period can be seen as challenging or confrontational, while a lack of eye contact may be viewed as a sign of respect.

Additionally, the use of body language and facial expressions can give context to your words. A smile can help to soften harsh language, while crossing your arms may be perceived as hostile or disinterested.

Respect and Tact are Key

Showing respect and tact is crucial when discussing sensitive topics like physical appearance in Japan. It’s essential to approach the conversation with humility and sensitivity, avoiding language that could be perceived as critical or judgmental.

Additionally, it’s important to acknowledge the cultural differences and respect the values and traditions of the Japanese people. Being open-minded, patient and showing a willingness to learn can help to build a positive and productive dialogue with people from different cultures.

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Expanding Your Vocabulary: Related Japanese Words

Now that you’ve learned how to say “ugly” in Japanese, let’s expand your vocabulary by introducing some related Japanese words. These words will help you communicate more effectively and gain a deeper understanding of the language.

Japanese Word or Phrase English Translation
kirei na pretty, clean
muzukashii difficult, hard
hidoi cruel, harsh
kowai scary, frightening
busaiku unattractive, ugly (specifically in reference to a face)
chotto… “a little…” (e.g. chotto kowai – “a little scary”)

Remember, when using these words, it’s important to consider the context and nuance. Some words may have different meanings depending on the situation. Keep practicing and learning, and you’ll continue to expand your Japanese vocabulary.


Congratulations, you have learned how to say “ugly” in Japanese! By following our simple language guide, you now know the Japanese word for “ugly,” different ways to express ugliness, and pronunciation tips. Remember to pay attention to cultural considerations when discussing sensitive topics like ugliness in Japanese culture.

Expanding your vocabulary is always worth the effort, so we encourage you to explore related Japanese words and phrases. Keep practicing your language skills and don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Learning a new language takes time, but with dedication and persistence, you’ll get there!


Q: How do you say “ugly” in Japanese?

A: The Japanese word for “ugly” is “minikui” (みにくい).

Q: Are there other words in Japanese that mean “ugly”?

A: Yes, besides “minikui,” you can also use “busu” (ブス) to describe someone as “ugly.”

Q: How is “ugly” pronounced in Japanese?

A: The pronunciation for “minikui” is “mee-nee-koo-ee” and “busu” is pronounced as “boo-soo.”

Q: Can you provide examples of how to use these words?

A: Sure! Here’s an example: “Ano hito wa minikui desu” (あのひとはみにくいです), which means “That person is ugly.” Another example is “Kanojo wa busu desu” (かのじょはブスです), translating to “She is ugly.”

Q: What are some cultural considerations when discussing ugliness in Japanese?

A: In Japanese culture, it is generally considered impolite to directly call someone ugly. It’s important to be mindful of the language and tone used when discussing such topics.

Q: Can you recommend related Japanese words to expand my vocabulary?

A: Certainly! Some related Japanese words include “kirei” (きれい), which means “beautiful,” and “hidoi” (ひどい), which can be translated as “awful” or “terrible.”

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