Discover How to Say Whale in Japanese – Language Guide

Are you curious about how to say “whale” in Japanese? Look no further! This comprehensive language guide will provide you with all the necessary information to master this word in no time.

Whether you’re interested in simply learning how to pronounce it or finding the proper translation, we’ve got you covered. In the following sections, we’ll explore the different ways to say “whale” in Japanese, provide you with the direct translation, and even delve into the cultural significance of these magnificent sea creatures in Japan.

By the end of this language guide, you’ll have the knowledge and tools to confidently incorporate the word “whale” into your Japanese vocabulary. So, let’s start exploring how to say whale in Japanese and discover all the nuances and variations associated with it.

Understanding the Japanese Word for Whale

Before you delve into how to say “whale” in Japanese, it’s important to understand the Japanese term for this magnificent sea creature. The Japanese word for “whale” is “kujira.” In Japanese culture, whales have been a part of their folklore for centuries, and they hold significant spiritual and cultural importance.

The term “kujira” is comprised of two Japanese characters, “ku” and “jira.” “Ku” means “big” or “large,” and “jira” means “fish.” Together, these characters create the word “kujira,” which means “big fish.”

It’s worth noting that “kujira” is the most commonly used term for “whale” in Japanese. However, there are some variations in pronunciation and spelling based on the specific type of whale. For example, the term for “humpback whale” is “minke kujira” in Japanese.

Pronouncing Whale in Japanese

Learning how to pronounce “whale” in Japanese is crucial to effectively communicate in the language.

The Japanese word for “whale” is “kujira.” Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you pronounce it correctly:

Japanese Romaji English
kujira Whale

To pronounce “kujira,” follow these three simple steps:

  1. Start by pronouncing “koo” as in “cool.”
  2. Then, pronounce “ji” as the “j” sound in “jungle.”
  3. Finally, pronounce “ra” as in “rah.”
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Practice the pronunciation several times and focus on the correct emphasis of each syllable. With continued practice, you’ll be able to pronounce “kujira” like a native Japanese speaker.

Translating Whale to Japanese

If you’re looking to expand your Japanese vocabulary, it’s important to learn how to translate the word “whale” properly.

The Japanese word for whale is 「クジラ」 (ku-ji-ra). When translated directly to English, it means “whale” and is the most commonly used term in modern Japanese.

It’s worth noting that there are other words used to refer to specific types of whales. For example, 「シャチ」 (shachi) is commonly used to refer to killer whales, while 「ミンククジラ」 (minku-ji-ra) refers to the minke whale.

English Japanese
Whale クジラ (ku-ji-ra)
Killer Whale シャチ (shachi)
Minke Whale ミンククジラ (minku-ji-ra)

It’s important to note that, as with any language, there are cultural nuances associated with the use of specific terms. For example, the use of 「シャチ」 (shachi) to refer to a killer whale is considered more informal and is often used in casual conversation.

By learning the proper translation of “whale” in Japanese and understanding the cultural context surrounding its use, you’ll be better equipped to communicate effectively in the language.

Common Phrases and Expressions Related to Whales in Japanese

Whales have a significant place in Japanese folklore and culture, influencing both art and literature. Here are a few common phrases and expressions related to whales in the Japanese language:

Phrase/Expression Japanese Translation
鯨の歌 くじらのうた (kujira no uta) Whale’s song
海の王者 うみのおうじゃ (umi no ouja) The king of the sea
鯨飲料 くじらいんりょう (kujira inryou) Whale drink

The term “鯨 (kujira)” is commonly used in Japanese to refer to whales. This term has been used in literature, art, and even in food products such as whale meat and whale drink. However, it is important to note that the consumption of whale meat has decreased in recent years and is controversial due to conservation efforts.

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Now that you have learned some common phrases and expressions related to whales in Japanese, you can incorporate them into your conversations and improve your language skills. Practice saying “kujira” and impress your Japanese friends with your knowledge of their culture.


By following this language guide, you have gained the knowledge and tools to confidently incorporate the word for “whale” into your Japanese vocabulary. Remember that the Japanese language has a rich cultural significance associated with whales, and learning about this can deepen your understanding and appreciation for the language and its people.

Practice your pronunciation and continue to learn about the different phrases and expressions related to whales in Japanese. Keep in mind that language learning is a continuous process, so don’t be afraid to make mistakes and keep trying.

Now that you know how to say “whale” in Japanese and understand its cultural significance, you’re one step closer to becoming a fluent Japanese speaker. Ganbatte kudasai! (Good luck!)


Q: How do I say “whale” in Japanese?

A: The Japanese word for “whale” is “kujira”.

Q: How do I pronounce “whale” in Japanese?

A: To pronounce “kujira” in Japanese, you would say “koo-gee-rah” with a slight emphasis on the second syllable.

Q: What is the direct translation of “whale” in Japanese?

A: The direct translation of “whale” in Japanese is “kujira”.

Q: Are there any cultural nuances associated with the Japanese word for “whale”?

A: Whales hold significant cultural importance in Japan. They are often seen as symbols of good fortune, protection, and longevity.

Q: Are there any common phrases or expressions related to whales in Japanese?

A: Yes, there are several common phrases and expressions related to whales in Japanese. Some examples include “Kujira o miru” (to see a whale) and “Kujira no you na ookina mono” (something as big as a whale).

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