Hey guys, welcome to another incredible online Japanese lesson from Bondlingo. Today we are going to be learning all about how to describe appearance in Japanese. This is very useful to know as these describing words that we will be learning today will also translate over into other avenues too. 

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Describing appearances in Japanese

Not only will we be giving basic descriptive vocab, we will also be sharing some more advanced words too for all of you learners who are a bit further along in your journey. 

We will be splitting today’s lesson into the following 4 segments: 

Describing colours in Japanese 
Learn how to describe colours in Japanese 

Basic descriptive words 
Learn some of the most basic and useful describing words in Japanese 

Advanced descriptive words 
Learn all about how to use more advanced describing words in Japanese. 

An effective study technique
How to master all of the vocab in today’s lesson. 

If you are a little more advanced, feel free to skip ahead to section 3. If not, we would advise to start from the beginning. 

So let’s get right into it guys and learn how to describe appearance in Japanese.  

Describing colours in Japanese 

Learn how to describe colours in Japanese 

We are going to start off by looking at learning colours in Japanese. This is because you can use this vocabulary in a multitude of appearances describing information from clothes to hair and so on. 

Make sure that you highlight any words that you are having trouble with and shift your focus to them.

We have provided the words in an easy to use table which show the english, kanji, kana and romaji. We would recommend moving away from Romaji as soon as possible to avoid bad habits. 

English KanjiKanaRomaji
light / clear 明るいあかるいakarui
dark 暗いくらいkurai
color いろ iro
white しろ shiro
black
くろ kuro
yellow 黄色 きいろ kiiro
orange オレンジ オレンジ orenji
red あか aka
pink ピンク ぴんく pinku
violet スミレ色 sumire iro
blue あお ao
green みどり midori
brown
茶色 ちゃいろ chairo
grey 灰色 はいいろ hai iro

Now that we have worked with the colours try and make some sentences with those colours too. Describe your surroundings and shout out the colours that you see. 

We are now going to move onto some general descriptive words. 

Basic descriptive words 

Learn some of the most basic and useful describing words in Japanese 

These next words are the must know basic descriptive words for day to day appearance describing. Let’s take a look. 

English KanjiKanaRomaji
new 新しい あたらしい
atarashii
old 古い ふるい furui
small 小さい ちいさい chiisai
large / big 大きい
おおきい ookii
young
若い わかい wakai
kind / pleasant
優しい やさしい
yasashii
unkind / unpleasant 不親切な ふしんせつな fushinsetsu na
patient
患者 かんじゃ kanjya
tall (When talking about people)
背が高いせがたかい segatakai
small  小さい ちいさい chiisai
fat 太った ふとった futotta
thin / slim 細い ほそい hosoi
beautiful
美しい うつくしい
utsukushii
ugly 醜い みにくい minikui
ill / sick 病気
びょうき
byouki
healthy 健康な けんこうな kenkou na

happy / cheerful 幸せな しあわせな shiawase na
sad 悲しい かなしい
kanashii
sporty スポーティーな supohtie na
ambitioned 志のある こころざしのある kokorozashi noaru
intelligent インテリな いんてりな interi na
creative 創造的な そうぞうてきな souzouteki na

A trick here is to look at some old photos with friends and family. Try to describe each person in the photo to help you start using these words. 

We are now going to move onto some more advanced words if you want to really challenge yourself.

Advanced descriptive words 

Learn all about how to use more advanced describing words in Japanese. 

These appearance describing words are a little more specialist and will let you describe things in more detail. If you can master these you will be able to come across very knowledgeable in your Japanese.

English KanjiKanaRomaji
active 活動的な かつどうてきな katsudouteki na
rational 理性的なりせいてきなriseiteki na
emotional 感情的な かんじょうてきな kanjyouteki na
sentimental センチメンタルな senchimentaru na
romantic ロマンティックな romanchikku na
natural 自然なしぜんな
shizenna
energetic エネルギッシュな enerugissyu na
nice / amiable 可愛いかわいいkawaii
spontaneous 自発的な じはつてきな jihatsuteki na
stressed (out) ストレス疲れした sutoresu zukareshita
relaxed リラックスしたrirakkusu shita
frustrated イライラした iraira shita
talented 才能のある さいのうのある sainou no aru

Like the previous exercise try to look at some photos of different people and try to describe them. Think of you friends in your mind and try the same thing too. You could even do it with famous people or idols. 

Now are are going to look at a study technique to help you get all of the vocab down! Make sure you DO NOT SKIP this section.

An effective study technique

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How to master all of the vocab in today’s lesson. 

Obviously you may be feeling a bit overwhelmed at all of the words in today’s lesson, we are going to help with that. 

Firstly, highlight all of the words that you don’t know. 

Secondly, create a flash card / anki system with those words so you can review them each day. That will be Japanese on the back and English on the front. 

Review all of the words each day.

Once you are more confident with the meaning you must try to write 2 – 3 sentences with each. Check them online or with friends to make sure you have got them correct. 

Only through writing sentences will you really be able to master these words for ongoing use in your communication.

So guys, there we have it, another incredible Japanese lesson from Bondlingo SMASHED out of that park. Yes there were a LOT of words today but it’s nice to have a big challenge to move forward with, You can definitely do it. 

We hope that you have learnt a lot today and if you have any suggestions or comments as to what you would like to see in the next lesson please do not hesitate to get intouch with us. 

Until next time have a fantastic day and see you in the next Japanese article from Bondlingo