海岸 meaning

Hi, I was wondering why ‘beach’ is not an accepted answer for this vocab, if there might be another word specifically for ‘beach’ later? I’ve never used the word ‘seashore’ before in my life, nor heard anyone say it, so ‘beach’ is the first thing that comes to mind for a word like that. Jisho lists beach as a meaning for this word too, so I’m a bit confused.

5 Likes

Welcome to the forums!

Shore is the fringe of land at the edge of a body of water. A lake can have a shore as well, so the use of “seashore” here helps to make it clear this word refers specifically to the shore of the sea and this word doesn’t apply to lakes/rivers.

Seashore is not used commonly in English and sounds quite childish to me. It’s in a famous tongue twister that most English speakers would know though - “She sells seashells on the seashore”.

Like you say beach seems a reasonable answer, and is specifically listed as a translation in Jisho, so it wouldn’t be unreasonable to add as an alternative definition to your Wanikani deck. But I prefer “coast” or “seashore” which more precisely link to the kanji “sea” and “coast”.

4 Likes

Yeah, I was gonna say… if someone is a native English speaker, they would have heard that.

As for using 海岸, I definitely wouldn’t use it like “beach” as in, if you were going to tell people you were taking a trip to the beach for swimming or something.

海岸 feels like the kind of word used when talking about geography rather than specific locations. It’s where the land meets the ocean or sea over a large scale.

Beach might be technically acceptable in some cases… but like, if I tell someone in Japanese アメリカの東海岸に住んでいる I would be saying “I live on the east coast of America” not “I live on the east beach of America.”

11 Likes

Aaah, yeah that makes more sense over a large scale, I’d definitely use coast for that. I think I got confused because the meaning explanation doesn’t sound like a larger scale since it uses ‘seashore’ as the main meaning (which makes me immediately think small scale ‘beach’) and coast only as an alternative. Thank you!!

1 Like

Since the main question has already been answered I’ll just add that you learn the word for beach at level 28. It’s はま

5 Likes

But more commonly known as ビーチ, nowadays, or 海 even, I hear people in Japan go to the sea, rather than to the beach.

浜 and 浜辺 might make you sound old fashioned, I think.

4 Likes

明日晴れたらあの海へ行こう
昨日流した涙の痛みを
優しさに変えて :musical_score: :musical_note:

1 Like

As someone who has spent a lot of time going from beach to beach in Japan for research, I have heard 海岸 being used to mean “beach” especially as the suffix for a beach’s name. For example, 大村海岸 for “Omura Beach.” Now that I think of it, I most frequently hear people use 海岸 when they are saying the name of the beach in front of it.

3 Likes

This topic was automatically closed 365 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.