考 vs 思 (Think vs Believe)


#1

WK lists these both as “think”, but I think it would be better if 思 was listed as something else, like “belief”, as the primary definition, or at least as a synonym. The two kanji mean different things, and having them both have the same English meaning just creates a larger chance for confusion and leeches. For two of the three example sentences for 思う, you can easily swap out “believe” for “think”.

So, “I think he’s coming, too.” would be, “I believe he’s coming, too.” I think this would be more accurate, and also reduce the chance of leeches.

Most of the English definitions of “think” line up more with 考, so that’s my main reason for thinking 思 should have a slightly different meaning, or other synonyms listed. Also, I see a couple older threads similar to this, and they both point out that 思う is more emotional, hence the 心 radical. I think this just further supports that “belief” would be a more accurate meaning for 思.

(Also, all the times I’ve used “I think” in this post could also easily be replaced by “I believe”. Haha.)


#2

This is just my personal opinion, but I don’t think “belief” is a good substitute for 思う as a general rule. There are cases where you might translate it that way, but I’ve always felt that “believe” is closer to 信じる. As for the difference between 思う and 考える, the latter is more like “to think about” or “to ponder” - when you think deeply about something, whereas 思う is more like “I think that…”


#3

Yes, I see what you mean. the ~と思う could probably be replaced by either “I think…” or “I believe…”, but maybe the best solution would be to either add a synonym or use the ignore script.

Anyway, as long as you can tell the difference between them, it doesn’t matter what you have to answer to get it right on wanikani. And I think (or I believe :wink:) that this is the kind of thing you have to see in context to figure out. Direct translations lose their usefulness really fast.


#4

Native English speakers use “think” at like 10x the rate of “believe” for what 思う means.

And someone already mentioned 信じる. You’re not going to escape overlaps in meaning.


#5

[ᶜᶦᵗᵃᵗᶦᵒⁿ ⁿᵉᵉᵈᵉᵈ]


#6

I knew someone was going to take that literally.


#7

i generally translate both as think…
and 考える i changed it to ‘to think’ because ‘to have a thought’ sounds bizarre to me