Are There Resources for Expressing Your Feelings in Japanese?


I have been studying Japanese for a little and can decently hold a conversation. While I don’t yet have any super close friends that speak Japanese, I would like to travel to Japan one day (hopefully) and make lasting friends. Though I have realized that in English (my native language) I really like being well understood. I can very accurately describe things that happened or can explain in detail how I feel.

Maybe I am trying to go down an unnecessary rabbit hole, but are there resources that would be good or that has helped anyone to be able to understand/explain feelings in Japanese? It could be either great realistic examples in fiction/immersion, or more traditional resources, I’ll take anything.

It might also just come with time, more comprehension, better output of Japanese, or as I learn more vocabulary. But either way I was curious if anyone had any ideas. And if this is similar to other topics that have already been discussed I’m sorry, I’m still fairly new to the community side of WaniKani haha

Thank you!! :))


I have the same conundrum as you, but I eventually decided it was best tackled by reading essays and opinion articles as well as watching either people monologuing in Japanese or talking in pairs. That’s a super wide net, I know, but it’s the net I’ve been casting over and over again with slow but steady returns. No real singular ‘resource’ or resources, just take whatever interests you have and head in that general direction. :sweat_smile:

Also writing and speaking practice help a lot, even if not being corrected all the time. Just the act of repeating a phrase you’d read/heard before and ‘trying it on’ helps set the patterns in your head.


Do you mean like using adjectives like こわい, or talking about what you think like と思う?


For describing how you feel, this may be helpful.

Amazon has it too but I think it’s easier to read samples on Bookwalker.


Ooh, I’ll definitely look into it. And I use bookwalker frequently too, so thank you!!

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Um, kind of a bit of both. I can use and understand words like こわい or うれしい and かなしい, but I don’t know. They seem a little bit too basic and surface level. Like I want to be able to go in detail about what or why I’m sad, happy, or scared. If that makes sense :))

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I’m glad to know I’m not alone then lol! That’s awesome that it’s been working for you, even if the progress is slow and steady. I’ll try to find more general resources and pay attention to how people express things, especially if its opinion pieces or two people like you said. I should also try to repeat phrases more often to get them into my head. Thank you!


I have this book, didn’t properly study it, should probably pick it up again.
Lots of idiomatic expressions.


That seems like you “just” need to be more familiar with grammar, not particularly emotions.

Something like:
信じられない 、信じたくない。

No? :yum:

After all, talking about why you’re happy or sad, is just explaining something. X happened/didn’t happen; someone did X or Y; I thought X; etc.

If you actually mean like, “I felt like a hole opened in my chest”, it’s also just knowing how to say, a hole opened in my chest, then making it a feeling by adding something like 感じ, みたい, or のように.

A practical and easy(er) suggestion would be listening to love songs in Japanese, Doughnut by Twice, for example, talks about loving someone, it being cliche, having a them-shaped hole in their heart, stuff like that.


Thank you!!

Yeah I think that’s a big part of it, thank you!! I’ll try to focus on and notice grammar points for just explaining things haha

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This is a really good video series about not only how to express your emotions naturally, but also how to understand Japanese people and what kind of expectations they have for example when you try to cheer them up etc.


Hi! I don’t have anything particularly comprehensive to offer, but I’d suggest that you look into onomatopoeia. My impression is that while precise word choice and carefully constructed sentences are very helpful for expressing how you feel in writing and formal conversations, in more relaxed conversation, it seems more common for Japanese people to describe how they feel by painting a picture of it with their words than to seek out a specific word that encapsulates the idea, and a lot of that is done using onomatopoeia that allow them to describe the sensations they experience or the way the events that triggered their current feelings appeared to them. Such words are quite common in anime, and you can probably learn them by watching Japanese YouTubers as well (specifically the sort who seem to do less scripted content, as if they’re conversing with the viewer or someone else, like streamers), but if you want a more organised resource, I’m sure you’ll find a few lists if you google.

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I think there’s much more to it than grammar.

If you tell a foreigner that you have butterflies in your stomach, no amount of grammar knowledge is going to allow them to understand that you’re nervous about how you will perform in front of one or more people in the near future.

If you want to understand people on an emotional level, it is necessary to build up a mental dictionary of common expressions and the ability to recognize variants of them which is pretty challenging.

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Oooh I’ll definitely check it out thank you!! I like her videos

Thank you so much!

I don’t know why I didn’t even think of onomatopoeia for this topic! Onomatopoeia can get really specific too huh, so that would also probably be a big help for what I want. Thank you!

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