How many mirror vocabulary words are there beyond Honor and Glory

  • Honor 光栄(こうえい) and Glory 栄光(えいこう)

  • Incident 事変(じへん) and Strange incident 変事(へんじ)

  • People 人達(ひとたち) and Master 達人(たつじん)

So, I just encountered one more pair of this kind with kun/on switch for extra fun. I’m sure there are more. Please post your favorites (or not), along with tips how to deal with those.

Honor and Glory thread was big help, I never missed review on that pair so far.

P.S. Post is WIKI, feel free to edit.

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company 会社 / society 社会 (probably the best known?)

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Found this:

And of course there’s 日本/本日, which gets me every time.

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Its so sad that every time i see 社会 i picture the joker meme

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私達は社会に住んでいます :pensive:

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there are so so many they kill me

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I didn’t see it in the Honor and Glory thread, so will just add here. I just go straight alphabetical order:

Glory – えいこう starts with “e” in romaji
Honor – こうえい starts with “k” in romaji

I realize this is completely stupid, but it’s worked so far.

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I can easily remember the difference between these two because we often use 栄光 to mean “glory” in church in Japan. Personally, I’ve never heard 光栄 before. It’s likely a literary or old word. In any case, it’s rare. For me, 栄光 is much more relevant.

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I’m not so sure about that. But I know I’m not in situations where I need to talk about something being an honor very often.

For instance, you can find this in a thesaurus (which doesn’t say anything about it being old or literary)

お褒めの言葉をいただき光栄に思います
It’s an honor to receive such kind words (or something to that effect)

I’ve personally never heard 栄光 (shrug). I don’t think either are rare or difficult words (for natives), though.

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Fixed that for you

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Clearly you’ve never had to puff your chest in pride, all you need to say is “kouei desu” to mean “I’m honoured.”

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If you ever find yourself saying this in Japanese, you’re doing it wrong. :stuck_out_tongue:

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There is also 理論 (りろん) - theory, and 論理(ろんり) - logic

I remember the difference by the similar vowel sounds they have in English and Japanese:

  • theory and 理論 (りろん) both begin with “i” sounds

  • logic and 論理(ろんり) both begin with “o” sounds

Works for me! :grinning:

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I don’t get it :thinking: What’s the issue?

I feel like a Japanese dub of some Star Trek episode would have Klingons talking about 光栄 and 栄光 a lot…

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You play down compliments, rather than accepting them. “I’m humbled” rather than “I’m honoured”.

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Ah, but 光栄です is fairly common to say in 敬語 anyway. But indeed you can usually replace it by 恐縮です。

Edit: just looked up a keigo guide on 光栄 and I love the example sentences :rofl:

例文
・社長のお言葉は身に余る光栄です。
・あなたのような素晴らしい方にお会いできて、光栄の至りです。
・この度は御社の創立記念パーティーに招待いただき、至極光栄に存じます。

至極光栄に存じます is going to be my new sarcastic “thank you”.

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In my Japanese dictionary, an example of 光栄 is given from the Japanese epic 太平記 (Taiheiki, A Chronicle of Medieval Japan). So, it can definitely be used in a literary sense. Since I never hear it in everyday life, I assume its appearance in literature is rather common. The fact that you don’t hear it regularly in everyday conversation is precisely why I said it was rare.

After consulting my Japanese fiancé, she tells me that one can more often hear it in business settings in Japan. 確かにそうかもしれない、、、

But as you said, both words are not difficult for native speakers. :slight_smile:

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I received a text that had 光栄 in it just yesterday.

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Chief: “Belthazar, I’ll let you handle this important part of the project.”
B: “I’m humbled!”
Chief: “???”

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