5 Ways To Turn Japanese Insults Into Compliments

Sometimes you really want to describe a negative characteristic of someone. At the same time, you don’t want to be insulting or hurt their feelings. You’re in luck, because it all comes down to making the proper word choice. Words that come close to what you want to say, but are much better for humanity.

4 Ways To Turn Japanese Insults Into Compliments

Conversations without the proper compliments.

5. 怠け者: lazy person

So you like to spend your weekends at home?

Polite replacement: のんびり屋さん (laid back person)

4. 不細工、ぶす: ugly person

No one wants to hear this, ever. 

Polite replacement: 素朴 (simple, plain)

3. わがまま: selfish

For when its all about you.

Polite replacement: マイペース (someone who acts at their own pace)

2. つまらない: boring

We all can’t all be entertainers.

Polite replacement: 大人しい (quiet, mild)

1. 変: Strange

Let people be different.

Polite replacement: 個性的 (eccentric) or ユニーク (unique)

Now we’re all one step closer to love and peace

Trigun - Love And Piece

Any other ways you know of turning insults into compliments?

Related posts:

The following two tabs change content below.


Founder of Jalup. Spends most of his time absorbing and spreading thrilling information about learning Japanese.


5 Ways To Turn Japanese Insults Into Compliments — 2 Comments

    • 変わっている is slightly better than 変 but it still not polite or nice.

      適当 has a bit of a different implication than 怠け者. It may even be worse. Usually a 適当な人 is thought of in a positive or negative way depending on the person.

      Positive: Easy going, laid back
      Negative: non serious, half-assed attitude

      There is debate among Japanese people over it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *