Meaning Of Subarashii In Japan

Meaning of Subarashii (素晴らしい) In Japanese

Jun 05, 2024Shopify API

Are you trying to learn the meaning of Subarashii in Japanese? This word is often used to describe something that is beautiful or impressive. Here is a list of some Japanese phrases that contain this word.

I’m sure most of you know many words in English that have just one spelling, but many different meanings. Well, the word “Subarashii” is one such word in Japanese!

But wait, there can be multiple such words in Japanese right? So what is the hype about only the word subarashii then?

Well, most often a word has just two to three adjectives attached to it, but in the case of the word “subarashii”, it has over 10 different word meanings in terms of positive adjectives and can also be used in the form of an adverb as well! Pretty impressive and versatile right?

So go ahead and get to reading to find out everything you need to know about the word subarashii in Japanese, the adjectives and adverbs attached to the word and ways to use this word in a sentence.

Here are all the details!

Meaning of Subarashii In Japanese

The word “subarashii” is a word that indicates superlative positivity and can mean “amazing”, “excellent”, “marvelous”, “remarkable” and other such superlative adjectives.

It can be used as a word to express that something is very impressive or something that is outstanding in nature.

This word is pronounced as “subara-shii” wherein the “ii” at the end of the word is pronounced as “E”. The word subarashii is spelt as “素晴らしい” in the Japanese language.

Early Usage Of The Word Subarashii

Originally, the word subarashii was derived from the word “Subaru”, which is a verb that means to reduce in size and it is used with the suffix “shii”.

Another derivation is where this word was used during the Edo period in Japanese history where the word was used to express something negative.

But in the present day, you can see that none of the previous meanings of the word subarashii has any relation to its meaning as of today.

Another Etymology of the Japanese Word Subarashii

The Japanese word "Subarashii" is derived from the root word "Subaru," which is a Japanese term for the Pleiades star cluster. In Japanese folklore, the seven stars of the Pleiades are believed to represent the Seven Gods of Good Fortune, and are associated with prosperity and happiness.

The word "Subarashii" is used to describe something that is excellent, wonderful, or splendid. The term has been used in Japanese literature and poetry for centuries, and is often associated with the beauty of nature and the changing seasons.

The etymology of "Subarashii" can be traced back to ancient Japan, where the concept of beauty and excellence was highly valued. The term has evolved over time to encompass a wide range of meanings, from the sublime to the everyday.

Today, "Subarashii" is a commonly used word in Japan, and is often used to describe a variety of things, from food and drink to art and culture. It is a testament to the enduring importance of beauty and excellence in Japanese culture, and a reminder of the country's rich history and traditions.

Chinese Kanji in the Japanese Language: The Relation

Do you often wonder why some of the alphabets in the Japanese language have a similarity to the alphabets in the Chinese language?

Well, kanji or “Han characters” refer to the logographic characters in Chinese, taken from the Chinese script to be used in Japanese writing.

Meaning of Subarashii In Japanese

During the olden days in Japan, kanji became a major part of the writing system in Japan and still uses some alphabets till date.

How kanji works in the Japanese language is that the characters will have a Japanese pronunciation, based on the Chinese sound.

Some of the characters of the Japanese language that were constructed in Japan were invented by using character components that were derived from Chinese characters.

But since some of the characters were quite complicated, the Japanese decided to simplify those characters in order to be able to increase the literacy rate of the country.

Today, there are over 3,000 kanji used in many Japanese names and in the day-to-day communication of the Japanese people.

So if you are wondering what the word “Subarashii” has to do with the Chinese kanji, well, the word “Subarashii” (素晴らしい) also uses kanji in addition to Japanese characters to form the adjective word.

Using Subarashii In A Sentence

Well, since the word subarashii is an adjective, just like in the English language, it can be used in any sentence along with a noun. It describes the noun.

It is also very essential to frame the sentence using the right grammatical order.

Here is a list of words that the word “subarashii” can mean:

The Japanese Word ‘Subarashii’ The English Translation of the Word
素晴らしい Pleasing

Well, since the word subarashii has multiple meanings in terms of adjectives, let us discuss some adjectives of the word, its meaning in English, its transliteration and how to use it in a sentence as well.

The word subarashii as in “amazing”

Word meaning: Something causing a great surprise

Example sentence: “Her cakes are amazing”

In Japanese: 彼女のケーキは素晴らしい

Transliterated: Kanojo no keki wa subarashii

The word subarashii as in “wonderful”

Word meaning: Extremely good

Example sentence: “He is a wonderful boy”

In Japanese: 素晴らしい日です

Transliterated: Kare wa subarashii otokonokodesu

The word subarashii as in “excellent”

Word meaning: Something that is extremely outstanding

Example sentence: “That is an excellent idea”

In Japanese: それは素晴らしいアイデアです

Transliterated: Sore wa subarashii aideadesu

The word subarashii as in “superb”

Word meaning: Something excellent

Example sentence: “The outing was superb!”

In Japanese: 外出は素晴らしかった

Transliterated: Gaishutsu wa subarashikatta

The word subarashii as in “awesome”

Word meaning: Something that is extremely impressive

Example sentence: “The experience was awesome”

In Japanese: 経験は素晴らしかった

Transliterated: Keiken wa subarashikatta

The word subarashii as in “splendid”

Word meaning: Something magnificent

Example sentence: “A splendid performance it was indeed!”

In Japanese: 素晴らしい演奏でした

Transliterated: Subarashii ensodeshita

The word subarashii as in “marvellous”

Word meaning: Something that causes great wonder and is extraordinary

Example sentence: “It was a marvellous day at the park”

In Japanese: 公園での素晴らしい一日でした

Transliterated: Koen de no subarashii tsuitachideshita

The word subarashii as in “remarkable”

Word meaning: Something worthy of attention

Example sentence: “The journey was remarkable”

In Japanese: 旅は素晴らしかった

Transliterated: Tabi wa subarashikatta

The word subarashii as in “great”

Word meaning: Something above average

Example sentence: “It is a great day”

In Japanese: 素晴らしい日です

Transliterated: Subarashii hidesu

Alternative Words to Use Instead of Subarashii

When do you use which word, you may be wondering, right? Do all the positive and superlative expressions of something really good in the Japanese language only have one adjective?

Well, there are other words that can be used to express a positive comment that something is really great.

Here are some of the words you can use:

The Japanese Transliterated Alternative Word to Subarashii In Japanese Text The English Meaning
Kaiteki 快適 Something pleasant
Suteki すてき Splendid, nice, wonderful
Saikou さいこう Awesome, great

The words ‘Kaiteki”, “Suteki” and “Saikou” can be used as alternative words in sentences instead of using the word subarashii. They have similar meanings and can imply the same expression.

Using these words in sentences:

The word kaiteki as in “pleasant”

Word meaning: A sense of happiness and satisfaction

Example sentence: “The work environment is pleasant”

In Japanese: 職場環境は快適です

Transliterated: Shokuba kankyo wa kaitekidesu

The word suteki as in “nice”

Word meaning: Giving a certain pleasure or satisfaction

Example sentence: “That hairstyle is nice”

In Japanese: その髪型素敵ですね。

Transliterated: Sono kamigata sutekidesu ne

The word Saikou as in “great”

Word meaning: An intensity above average

Example sentence: “She is the greatest musician ever!”

In Japanese: 彼女は史上最高の音楽家です

Transliterated: Kanojo wa shijo saikou no ongakukadesu

Using Subarashii As An Adverb

The word subarashii has multiple meanings in terms of using it as an adjective. Well, guess what, this word is very versatile and can also be used even in its adverbial form.

Here are some of the words you can use:

The Japanese Transliterated Adverb Form of Subarashii In Japanese Text The English Meaning
Totemo とても Very
Hontou ni subarashii 本当に素晴らしい Really wonderful

So if you wish to use the word subarashii as an adverb you can use the words “Totemo” or “Hontou ni subarashii”.

Using these words in sentences:

The word totemo as in “very”

Word meaning: Something in a high degree

Example sentence: “I like you very much!”

In Japanese: 私はあなたがとても好きです

Transliterated: Watashi wa anata ga totemo sukidesu

The word hontou ni subarashii as in “really nice”

Word meaning: Something exciting

Example sentence: “It is really nice talking to you”

In Japanese: あなたと話すのは本当にうれしいです

Transliterated: Anata to hanasu no wa hontoni ureshidesu

The Final Takeaway

For all you linguists out there, I’m sure this article must have been a rather interesting read for you (I hope!).

Personally, what caught my attention about the word “subarashii” is the fact that it is an adjective/adverb formed using alphabets not just of its native language, but also of another language, Chinese and thereafter, giving one word, multiple meanings and usages.

It is just one single word that can be used not just as an adjective, with multiple meanings, but also as an adverb in a couple of forms. Well, this isn’t something you see in many languages and this was what intrigued me to write about this word in particular.

Well, no wonder this word is one that has earned all the hype in the Japanese language after all!

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