The many ways to say 体調が悪い (たいちょうがわるい)

Since I live in Kobe, I’m very used to using and hearing しんどい.


My wife, who is from Kobe, oscillates between しんどい and だるい, though they mean different things. しんどい seems obviously the kansai-ben word for 疲れた But I’ve never been able to fully understand だるい. Do you have a good English translation for that? The dictionary says “sluggish, languid, listless, heavy” But I can’t see those as appropriate descriptions for what the term describes when applied to legs or whatever.

I grew up in Wisconsin where nobody complains about how they feel, so the whole concept is a little alien to me.

It’s funny that you ask because I just listened to a podcast with an explanation of it!

They described it as “feeling drained/tired”

Thanks! What’s the podcast?

It’s from JapanesePod101 ^^ they have an app (called Innovative) that makes it very easy for me to do at least 1-2 podcast lessons for listening practice every day, I rather enjoy it :slightly_smiling_face:

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Ah yes, thanks. I was considering subscribing to that, but I may wait till I have more time to devote to it.

I definitely recommend it! There are some (legitimate) coupon codes on sponsored blogs and things too, I think I only paid ~$83 or something for 2 years of access – not bad at all considering all the content they have

They have a lot of learning videos and things too, so not only podcasts. And considering that the podcast lessons are usually only 10-15 min each, it’s perfect for commutes ^^ and their content ranges from complete beginner - advanced, so you’ll likely find something that works for you

Also, I think you can sign up for a 7-day free trial, so you can always check that out too to see if it’s something you’d like

Indeed, I did the 7-day trial and liked it. The only thing I didn’t like about it was that the website is pretty chaotic so hard to find things (though the app was much better organized), and the constant spammy requests for me to subscribe. I assume those stop if you actually subscribe.

Interesting to see こわい on there! I’ve always known that to mean some variation of scary or frightening. I’ve never seen or heard it used this way, although I suppose it sort of makes sense. It’s oddly specific to a certain bad feeling though, more so than だるい or しんどい.

Also, does anyone know if えらい is more generally used as “awful” or “great”? Or does that depend totally on region more than anything?

Ah yes, thankfully those wonderful spammy requests go away – you’ll still see discount news and things in the “latest news” section on the homepage and sometimes a banner here and there for a sale, but browsing for lessons and things is definitely a lot cleaner once you subscribe

I pretty much entirely use the app though, I haven’t done that much with the site itself

I read some native explanations online (including this one) and it seems that it typically means “great” and has a positive connotation, but it can also mean “worn out/tired” in different regions

I also found a similar question here on stackexchange, you’d generally be able to deduce if it’s being used positively (“great”) or negatively (“awful/terrible”) depending on context


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