Meaning Of Ureshii And Tanoshii

Sep 07, 2022Shopify API

Want to learn the meaning of Ureshii and Tanoshii? Check out our article below where we’ve analyzed the meanings of both Ureshii and Tanoshii.

Most of us learn new Japanese words by watching Japanese movies or anime or by reading manga. 

Whatever our source of learning Japanese vocabulary might be, we’re aware that we need help when it comes to understanding Japanese words, especially words that have complicated meanings even after being translated. 

Some of the well-known and popular Japanese words most anime geeks or Japanese learners are aware of are “Ureshii” and “Tanoshii”.

But what do these words mean in the English language? Well, that’s what we’re here to find out so hang on and read along to learn what Ureshii and Tanoshii mean.

Meaning Of Ureshii And Tanoshii

What Is The Meaning Of Ureshii?

Ureshii is a word of Japanese origin that’s written in kanji characters as 嬉しい and when translated to the English language this means “Happy”. 

Just like how “happy” is an adjective in the English language, the word “Ureshii” is also an adjective in Japanese. The first kanji letter in Ureshii is the ideogram that means “happy” or “pleasant”. 

Ureshii is the ideal Japanese word to express short-lived happiness as in momentary happiness that doesn’t last very long. A very good example of momentary happiness could be watching your favorite team win in a sporting event, or being surprised for your birthday. 

These events make a person happy only during the moment hence the word Ureshii can be used to express the feelings of being satisfied, cheerful, and content. 

In addition to happy moments, the word Ureshii can also be used to express other feelings such as comfort, gratefulness, pride, and relief. 

The first ideogram in Ureshii which translates to “happiness” in English can also be used as a root word in Japanese to form other words which also have meanings that are parallel to happiness. Let’s take a look at some of these words below.

Japanese Words That Use 嬉 Pronunciation  English Meaning
嬉戯 Kigi  Glee, Pleasure, Happiness
うれし涙 Ureshinamida  Tears of joy
嬉しがる Ureshi Garu Be happy
嬉し泣き Ureshinaki  Crying with joy
嬉笑 Ureshi Emi Happy laughs

What Is The Meaning Of Tanoshii

On the other hand, the word Tanoshii is also a word of Japanese origin that’s written in Japanese kanji characters as 楽しい. The first kanji letter in Tanoshii (楽) means “easy”, the second kanji letter (し) means death and the third kanji letter (い) means stomach. 

Since kanji letters are ideograms the meanings of the letters can alter depending on the context. 

Despite each kanji letter that forms the word Tanoshii having different meanings, the ultimate English meaning of Tanoshii itself is “fun”. 

Apart from fun, the word Tanoshii also has a few other translations such as happy, delightful, amusing, delicious, great, and pleasant.

Basically, any English word that describes a great feeling, thing, or situation will be on par with Tanoshii. 

However, unlike Ureshii which is mainly used as an adjective to describe momentary happiness, Tanoshii is specifically used in instances that describe the long-lasting joy that a person can never get over.

The first kanji letter in Tanoshii which means “easy” or “comforting” in the English language can also be a root word in other Japanese words that can have similar meanings such as joy or contentment. Let’s learn what these words are by looking at the table below.

Japanese Words That Use 楽 Pronunciation  English Meaning
Raku  Easy, Comforting, Relief
楽しみ Tanoshimi  Fun, Joy, Excitement
楽しむ Tanoshimu  Enjoy, Fun, Vibing
楽園 Rakuen  Heavenly, Delicious, Good
楽しかった Tanoshikatta  It was fun
たのしくない Tanoshikunai  It was not fun

When And How To Use Ureshii While Speaking Japanese

Now that we know what Ureshii means, let's find out how the word should be used when speaking Japanese. The Japanese people strongly believe that speaking of happy and positive moments will bring in more luck and happiness. 

Hence, they tend to always speak of events and incidents that made or make them happy even if it’s momentary happiness. 

Therefore, let’s take a look at when and how the Japanese people use Ureshii when speaking.

When Being Surprised By Someone

Everybody loves surprises, particularly when it’s your special day. However, surprises are temporary and happiness lasts only for a few moments, hence the Japanese people use Ureshii in such instances. 

For example, when you’re surprised by someone you can tell them “Anata ga watashi o odoroka sete kurete ureshīdesu” (あなたが私を驚かせてくれてうれしいです) which means “I’m happy you surprised me”.

When Your Favorite Team Wins

We all love to witness our favorite team win in a sport. Although the joy of seeing your team win can make you happy temporarily, it can be an overwhelming amount of joy to keep you up at night. 

In such a scenario you can use the word Ureshii as “Karera ga katta koto o ureshiku omoimasu” (彼らが勝ったことを嬉しく思います). This means “I’m happy they won” in English.

When You Meet Someone After A Long Time 

You’ll be overjoyed and pleased to meet your best friend or one of your close relatives after a long time. To express how you feel about meeting them you can say “Oaidekiteureshīdesu” (お会いできてうれしいです) this in the English language means “I’m happy to see you”.

When And How To Use Tanoshii While Speaking Japanese

Just like Ureshii, Tanoshii also can mean happiness, joy, comfort, satisfaction, etc. 

However, as we discussed above, Tanoshii can only be used in circumstances that express one person’s long-term joyous events such as memories that never fade, and moments that a person can never forget. 

Let’s see how the word Tanoshii is used by the Japanese people when they express their moments of everlasting happiness.

When Getting Graduated

Graduation is a special moment for most people and it’s not just getting graduated that makes people happy but not having to worry about going to college anymore is what most people look forward to. 

In such an event, you can express how you feel about your graduation by saying “Tanoshī sotsugyō shimashita” (たのしい 卒業しました) and this means “I’m happy I graduated”.

When Getting Married

Marrying your long-time partner can bring you immense happiness and can, fortunately, make you happy lifelong.

If you happen to marry your loved one and if they’re Japanese you can tell them how happy you’re about your marriage by saying “Watashi wa to no shī watashitachiha kekkon shite imasu” (私はとのしい私たちは結婚しています). In English, this means “I’m happy we’re married”.

When Getting Promoted At The Workplace

Even getting a promotion at your workplace can be an everlasting moment of joy and the Japanese people believe that hard work pays off with a great reward. 

When you get promoted you can express your feelings of satisfaction and joy by saying “To no shī shōshin shimashita” (とのしい昇進しました). This phrase in the English language means “I got a nice promotion”.

When You’ve Accomplished Something Huge

Every human being aspires to accomplish their goals in life. Those who are fortunate achieve their goals in life and by doing so they reach utmost contentment. 

During such a memorable moment you can say “Watashi wa tanoshīdesu watashi wa watashi no mokuhyō o tassei shimashita” (私はたのしいです私は私の目標を達成しました) this means “I’m happy I achieved my goals”.

Alternative Japanese Words That Mean Happy

One thing you should know about the Japanese language is that even one Japanese word can have multiple meanings and they can also have countless synonyms as well. 

Similarly, both Ureshii and Tanoshii aren’t the only Japanese words that mean happy in Japanese. There are countless other alternative words in Japanese that have a meaning parallel to happy.

Let’s learn some of the alternative Japanese words that mean happy down below.

Alternative Japanese Words That Mean Happy Pronunciation  English Meanings
幸せ Shiawase  Happy, Good Luck, Good Fortune, Happy Life
感謝 Kansha  Grateful, Satisfied, Glad, Happy
喜ぶ Yorokobu  Be Happy, Delightful, Grateful, Congratulations
遊ぶ Asobu  Playful, Fun, Exciting
機嫌 Kigen  Good Mood, Cheerful
面白い Omoshiroi  Funny, Interesting, Amusing, Good Mood
愉快 Yukai  Pleasure, Happy, Good Moments

The first word on the table “Shiawase” (幸せ) means “Good Luck” or “Happy” and it’s a common word used by the Japanese people to wish someone luck, especially for couples who are newly married.

And other Japanese words like Kansha, Yukai, Yorokobu, Asobu, etc can be used in circumstances that make you happy, amusing, and whenever you feel good and cheerful.

Meaning Of Ureshii And Tanoshii: FAQs

What is the meaning of Ureshii?

Ureshii is a Japanese word that’s written in kanji characters as (嬉しい). It’s an adjective that means “Happiness” in the English language. Ureshii can also mean “pleasant” and “joy”. Ureshii is an adjective that’s specifically used to describe incidents that give momentary happiness such as receiving a gift or being surprised at a special event.

What is tanoshii in Japanese?

Tanoshii is a Japanese word that’s written in Japanese kanji letters as (楽しい). The meaning of Tanoshii in English is “pleasant” or “happiness”. Tanoshii is an adjective that’s used by the Japanese people to describe an event or moment that gives someone permanent happiness or joy. For example, getting married to your long-time partner or getting a promotion at the office.

How do you use Ureshii?

Ureshii is a Japanese word that means “happiness”, “pleasure”, “satisfaction”, etc. It’s a Japanese adjective that’s used to describe short-lived happiness or pleasure as in events and things that make you happy only for a short period. For example, if your favorite team wins in a sport you can use Ureshii by saying “Karera ga katta koto o ureshiku omoimasu” which in English means “I’m happy they won”.

What’s the difference between Ureshii and Tanoshii?

Ureshii is a Japanese word that means “happiness” or “pleasure” and Tanoshii is a Japanese word that also means “happiness” or “joy”. Both Ureshii and Tanoshii have the same or similar meanings but the only difference is the context these words are used in. Ureshii is predominantly used to describe happy moments that are short-lived while Tanoshii is a Japanese word that’s used to describe events that bring permanent happiness.

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