Synonyms of "Criticism" 批判・批評・非難・批難の違い

Leveling above level 20, I’ve noticed several words meaning criticism. (非難, 批判, 評論). A search through Jisho revealed more words, including 批評.

When I tried to Google, I found this page. 批判・批評・非難・批難の違い But, it’s a bit confusing for me. It would be helpful if someone can tell me an explanation with English equivalence for these synonyms, and which situation is best to use which word.


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Found this on HiNative if it helps:

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To summarize the main points of the link in the first post

批判 - Considering something, judging it, typically with an aim of offering points on how to improve it. It doesn’t necessarily include a nuance of blame or accusation, but it could, depending on how bad the thing was.
批評 - Objectively considering and analyzing good and bad points about something. Could be entirely positive if the thing being considered is objectively good in various ways.
非難 - Mentioning people’s bad traits, faults, or mistakes and assigning blame. Can be more like badmouthing than trying to be constructive.
批難 - An alternative way of writing 非難, originally probably a mistaken kanji usage, but gained some acceptance. Sticklers will insist only 非難 is correct.


In addition to the above, I’ll also just note that 批判 is kind of the all-purpose “This is being widely criticized” word, in terms of public backlash or reproach. Appears often in news and on Japanese Twitter.

批評 is for criticism in a more academic sense (though less academic than 評論, which would be like the equivalent of writing a humanities paper about the subject). Would be used for things like media reviews. This nuance seems pretty natural if you think about 評 on its own, indicating “evaluation.” Much like 評論, you’re examining points holistically and relatively constructively, but at the end there’s still an aspect of attaching personal positives or negatives to the subject. A critique.

And then if you can remember that the other two are more personal, in terms of their criticism (and less frequently used), you should be set.

EDIT – Meant to respond to the thread, not to Leebo directly. Sorry!

Edit edit – Quick distillation/closest translations:

批判: Criticism (general; backlash; used toward ideas, policies, and occasionally individuals)
批評: Critique; review
評論: Critical examination (academic; critical theory)
非難: Criticism (personal)


Thank you so much for your kind explanation, @athomasm, @Leebo and @IanD! :smile:
ありがとうございます。 :smiley:

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