I am having 総合 problems

As a beautiful new word, I just learned 総合 as a wonderful new word. It is the exact opposite of analysis: synthesis. According to our trusty old friend jisho.org, it also means a whole lot of things.

However, what it doesn’t seem to mean in most cases, however, is overall. This is the translation offered by Wanikani. This wouldn’t be a problem if 総体的 (which doesn’t even have a jisho entry, lol) wasn’t taught in the exact same level following the unlocking of . With Wanikani suggesting that these have the exact same meaning, which may lead to learners thinking that they may mean the exact same thing.

However, I have been told by several sources that this is not in fact the case which could potentially be a pitfall to learners.

I suggest editing the translation of 総合 so it reflects the diversity of its meanings.


They’re probably using overall as a synonym for comprehensive.

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I use the anime context sentences script so I checked with it to see how it gets used. It seems to be frequently attached to ranking and grades so “overall” works fine as a translation. Now this is somewhat biased as it’s only pulling from around 30-40 different anime, and most of the examples come from the same one. Here’s a couple of the examples for reference. (Note: The translation is from anime context sentences, not my own.)

The cumulative results for the practical exam are out!

Congratulations on retaining your top rank in total score.

In both of these sentences I could see “overall” work perfectly fine as a synonym. If you have examples of it being used frequently in other ways, I would be interested in seeing them. I would be very happy to expand my understanding of this word.


From the O-LEX J-E dictionary:

「As a whole [OR On the whole, Overall], he is an excellent athlete.

Our class won 「the overall championship [OR in the overall standings] at the athletic meet.

Our team surpass the others in overall [OR general] ability.

EDIT: I would also like to note that both 総体的 and 総合的 are listed as definitions for “overall” in many of the dictionaries I have. Even the Japanese entry in Daijirin has it lol. ③ below.


wait nvm it was 全体的 (which is still basically 総体的)