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Sep 12, 2018

Light and Dark in Japanese


Hello! I'm Kosuke!

How is your Japanese study going?


In this article, let's study how to say Light and Dark in Japanese!


Light and Dark also have meanings for personality or prospect.

However, the way to use it is a little different when using Japanese or English.

Let's also check about them in this article!



Below is the index of this article!





1. Summary table

Please remember the table for Light and Dark below!


EnglishJapaneseRomajiKanji
light
(adjective)
あかるいa ka ru i明るい
light
(noun)
ひかりhi ka ri
dark
(adjective)
くらいku ra i暗い
dark
(noun)
やみya mi

If you still don't remember all Hiragana characters, please check these:

If you want to test your memory of Hiragana, please use this:

If you don't know what Romaji is, please check this:



"あかるい(akarui)" and "くらい(kurai)" are adjectives.

If you study Japanese, you will see many words where the last character is "い(i)", like "あかるい(akarui)" and "くらい(kurai)".

In most cases, they are adjectives.

They are words describing the status of a word.

If you want to check other adjectives, please check these:


(You don't need to care about the name "adjective" so much here.)

In this article, we will study adjectives to describe the brightness of a noun.





2. Light

Below is the table for "light"!

EnglishJapaneseRomajiKanji
light
(adjective)
あかるいa ka ru i明るい
light
(noun)
ひかりhi ka ri


Light is "あかるい" in Japanese.

As I explained above, this is an adjective.

If we say a "light room", this is an adjective because "light" is explaining the noun, "room".




However, in English, "light" can also be a noun, which means a flash.

Example:
"light reflected from the mirror"

In this case, "light" is "ひかり" in Japanese.




Examples:

1. かすかなひかり
 ka su ka na hi ka ri

Meaning: "a glimmering light"

かすかな: glimmering

In this example, "ひかり" is used because this "light" is a noun.




2. ひかりがみえます。
 hi ka ri ga mi e ma su

Meaning: "I can see the light."

みえます: can see

If you don't know "ます(masu)", please check this:

In this example, "ひかり" is used because "light" is a noun.




3. あかるいへや
 a ka ru i he ya

Meaning: "a light room"

へや: room

In this example, "あかるい" is used because this "light" is an adjective explaining about the room.




4. そとはまだあかるいです。
 so to wa ma da a ka ru i de su

Meaning: "Outside is still light."

そと: outside
まだ: still

If you don't know about "は(wa)" in the example, please check this:

If you don't know "です(desu)", please check this:

In this example, "あかるい" is used because "light" is an adjective explaining about outside.




For the English word "light", please remember "あかるい(akarui)" and "ひかり(hikari)"!







Below is the table for "dark"!

EnglishJapaneseRomajiKanji
dark
(adjective)
くらいku ra i暗い
dark
(noun)
やみya mi


Dark is "くらい" in Japanese.

As I explained above, this is an adjective.

If we say a "dark night", this is an adjective because "dark" is explaining the noun, "night".



However, in English, "dark" can also be a noun.

Example:
"Humans cannot see anything in the dark."

In this case, "dark" is "やみ" in Japanese.



Examples:

1. にんげんはやみのなかではなにもみえない。
 ni n ge n wa ya mi no na ka de wa na ni mo mi e na i

Meaning: "Humans cannot see anything in the dark."

にんげん: human
なかでは: in
なにも: anything
みえない: cannot see

In this example, "やみ" is used because this "dark" is a noun.




2. ひかりとやみ
 hi ka ri to ya mi

Meaning: "Light and dark"

と: and

In this example, "ひかり" and "やみ" are used because these "light" and "dark" are nouns.




3. くらいへや
 ku ra i he ya

Meaning: "a dark room"

へや: room

In this example, "くらい" is used because this "dark" is an adjective explaining about the room.




4. そとはもうくらいです。
 so to wa mo u ku ra i de su

Meaning: "It is already dark outside."

そと: outside
もう: already

In this example, "くらい" is used because this "dark" is an adjective explaining about outside.



For the English word "dark", please remember "くらい(kurai)" and "やみ(yami)"!







Sometimes, Light and Dark are used to explain a person's personality.

You can say, "light person" or "dark person" for someone.


In Japanese, "あかるい(akarui)" and "くらい(kurai)" are often used for explaining someone's personality.


However, regarding these words, English and Japanese have different meanings.





"Light" and "あかるい" for personality:

In English, a "light person" is:
Honest, self-sacrificing, generous, noble, helpful, etc.


In Japanese, you can also say, "あかるいひと(akarui hito)".

As we learned above, "あかるい(akarui)" means "light".

"ひと" is a Japanese word which means a "person".


So does "あかるいひと(akarui hito)" mean a "light person"?



Actually, in Japanese, "あかるいひと(akarui hito)" is:
Cheerful, outgoing, and extroverted.

It doesn't include the meanings of honest or self-sacrificing.

Maybe, "cheerful" is the best English word to explain it.

It is different from English.



If "light" or "あかるい(akarui)" is used for explaining a personality, please be careful because their meanings are a little different.


"あかるいひと(akarui hito)" is a cheerful person.





"Dark" and "くらい" for personality:

Do you think a "dark person" and "くらいひと(kurai hito)" have the same meaning?


Actually they are different, too.


In English, I think a "dark person" is:
bad, evil, and scary.



However, in Japanese, "くらいひと(kurai hito)" is:
shy, introverted, pessimistic, and gloomy.


Basically, "くらいひと(kurai hito)" just means a person who is not very social.


"くらいひと(kurai hito)" is not a bad person.

He/she is just not so cheerful.



If "dark" or "くらい(kuri)" is used for explaining a personality, please be careful because their meanings are a little different between English and Japanese.


"くらいひと(kurai hito)" is a person who is not very social!







Bright and Dark can be used for explaining future prospects.

Regarding this usage of "bright" and "dark", English and Japanese are the same.


If we have a bright prospect, it means our future will be good.

If our future is dark, maybe, something bad will happen.



Examples:

1. あかるいみらいがわたしをまっている。
 a ka ru i mi ra i ga wa ta shi wo ma t te i ru

Meaning: "A bright future is waiting for me."

みらい: future
わたしを: for me
まっている: is waiting

If you don't know about "を(wo)" of "わたしを(watashi wo)", please check this:

In this example, "a bright future" and "あかるいみらい(akarui mirai)" have the same meaning.




2. らいねんのみとおしはあかるい。
 ra i ne n no mi to o shi wa a ka ru i

Meaning: "The prospects for next year are bright."

らいねん: next year
みとおし: prospect
らいねんのみとおし: prospects for next year

In this example, "bright" and "あかるい(akarui)" have the same meaning.




3. わたしのみらいはくらい。
 wa ta shi no mi ra i wa ku ra i

Meaning: "My future is dark."

わたしの: my
みらい: future

If you don't remember "わたしの(watashi no)", please check these:

In this example, "dark" and "くらい(kurai)" have the same meaning.







Please remember the table for Light and Dark below!

EnglishJapaneseRomajiKanji
light
(adjective)
あかるいa ka ru i明るい
light
(noun)
ひかりhi ka ri
dark
(adjective)
くらいku ra i暗い
dark
(noun)
やみya mi


"あかるい(akarui)" and "くらい(kurai)" are adjectives.

"ひかり(hikari)" and "やみ(yami)" are nouns.


When you use "あかるい(akarui)" and "くらい(kurai)" for someone's personality, please be careful because they have different meanings between English and Japanese.


"あかるい(akarui)" and "くらい(kurai)" can also be used for future prospects.
It is the same as English.



I hope this article helps you study Japanese!
Thank you for reading!



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