Do you like to differentiate different vocab with the same meaning?

So some vocab mean the same thing in English, but sometimes they might have a different nuance, right? So I’m curious if other people like to try and remember to keep them separate?

For example, in level 14 or 15, I’m learning 人格 & 性格

Both of these accept character or personality for the meaning, but I try and keep “character” for 人格, and “personality” for 性格.

Does anyone else do this, or am I being a weirdo? XDD


I also tend to “choose” one meaning only for a word when they have several meanings and also several words for the same meaning

for 手洗(てあら)い that I recently learned, for me it always will be lavatory. The bathroom meaning in WK i dont agree, since I have been to japan, everybody there called bathroom as トイレ. Young and old people.

作用(さよう) I always choose effect as translation, because I have seen many times in news articles the effects of alcohol and they usually use 作用(さよう)

for action in general I use 行動(こうどう)


It may be a regional or dialect thing, but in the Northeastern US at least, lavatory and bathroom are interchangeable words. Lavatory is just the polite way of saying it, and honestly outside of schools, no one ever uses this word.


Coincidentally, (お)手洗い is also the more polite way of saying トイレ in Japanese. :slightly_smiling_face:


lol I’m Australian and we don’t even use “bathroom” in that context. We just say ‘toilet’.


I also just like to choose one meaning of a word, especially if they have the same meaning. Reading wise this makes 女子 and 女の子 fairly difficult to distinguish on KaniWani tho; since they both appear as ‘girl’.

To chime in on the bathroom conversation…
For me a “bathroom” is where you clean up and a “toilet” is for waste disposal if you know what I mean. I couldnt imagine using these words interchangeable in english :sweat_smile:


Personally I count it as correct as long as I’m fairly close to the meaning of the word. Nuance is probably best learned through exposure in context + sometimes checking a (JE/JJ) dictionary.

That being said… I have found myself stumped by some of the JLPT nuance questions where they give four sentences but only one is using the word correctly. If you’ve only seen the one-word WaniKani definition they can be quite difficult.


When I learn new words in English, I learn the most basic and unclassified meaning before increasing my depth.

For example, we might call crimson red, and we may also call rouge red, and we might also call scarlet red. None of these meanings are technically wrong, and even in my native language it makes sense to understand the basic premise of a word before narrowing the discrimination of my heuristic taxonomy of differentiable symbolism down.


exactly, red, crimson and rouge as well, they are the same for me lmao

but I know today crimson usually is for the color of a rose and rouge for fashion (and star wars titles?)

That’s rogue, actually. Close, but not quite the same as rouge.

Rogue - thief, vagabond, etc.
Rouge - red (from French), also an older name for blush (as in the stuff people put on their cheeks as makeup)



Outstanding. :joy:

it’s a meme,

I think you didnt know

did you see honest trailer about this movie? everyone asking about the rouge one :sweat_smile:


Canadian here, agree - saying “toilet” somehow feels… like rude to me? But then in Canada we also use the term “washroom,” especially for outside the home (you know, because there isn’t a bath!). Apparently that is a Canadianisme.

When I go to the UK to visit my partner’s family, however, “toilet” is definitely the norm. Or “the loo”, which makes me giggle a bit because it sounds funny to my ears.

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Meme wins lol I’mma mark you as “teh solution” XD

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I didn’t know - or at least I couldn’t tell that you were intentionally making a joke. :sweat_smile:

Definitely. The toilet is the object itself and I would never use the word to refer to the room in which it exists. It would feel almost childish or yes, rude somehow. Even with a close friend I don’t think I’d say “hey can I use your toilet?”.

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I came here to say this. I’m also Canadian.

lol you people are weird. I know it’s a very North American thing haha but there’s nothing rude about the toilet haha. Also if you’re a close friend, I would hope you wouldn’t need permission to use the toilet.

If we are going to the toilet, we say “going to the toilet” or “the loo” and if we’re going to the bathroom for a purpose that’s not going to the toilet, or in addition to going to the toilet, then we say “bathroom”. There’s also plenty of places that have separate toilets, so it’s weird to say “bathroom” when the toilet isn’t even in the bathroom lol


Yea, I can’t really explain it but it’s so heavily ingrained in me NOT to refer to it as the toilet that I can’t help but cringe at the very idea of it even though I know it’s not such a big deal. :joy:

We would simply say we’re going to the bathroom, regardless of whether we need to use the toilet or just wash our hands. In polite or formal company, we would probably say we need to use the restroom (which, as a name, makes even less sense than “bathroom”…). But I would never, ever, ever say “I’m going to the toilet”, and I would get all kinds of strange looks from fellow North Americans if I did. It’s some kind of weird cultural thing.

And yet, despite that reluctance to talk about it, we in the US think it’s a brilliant idea to put huge gaps in public bathroom stall doors so that anyone who walks by can see what you’re doing - and this horrifies me as much as it does the rest of the world. :scream:


Yeah, it’s definitely something like that. I found it weird at first, too.

Most of the one’s I’ve stayed in usually have it right next to the laundry room, too. Maybe to keep the plumbing simple? ¯_(ツ)_/¯