How would you say “emotional” in Japanese?

June 17th, 2013By Category: Uncategorized


【Emoi エモい】

I think that everyone who’s studied Japanese has had the experience of encountering dictionary translations that sometimes can’t be used in actual speech. Could “emotional” be one of them?

In my own experience teaching Japanese, I’d always found translating this word problematic, and when a new translation emerged recently, I was surprised: “emoi,” a new word formed by adding the Japanese adjectival suffix “i” to the end of the beginning of “emotional,” “emo.” To be honest, the word’s not completely in wide circulation yet, but I’ve seen it a lot recently on the internet, on places like Twitter.

9mmのアンプラグドはやっぱりエモい。9mm no unplugged wa yappari emoi.  (As expected, 9mm’s unplugged was emotional.)

雨の日に聞くMiles Davisはエモい。Ameno hi ni kiku Miles Davis wa emoi.   (Miles Davis heard on a rainy day is emotional.)

It’s a particularly popular expression when you’re talking about music. Use caution: currently, it’s heard only in casual speech and slang, and many people also use it to mean “sexual in a disgusting way.”


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Iidabashi Japanese Language School

The Iidabashi Japanese Language School motto is "Be Unique, Have fun Globally!" We teach classes focused on conversation skills to foreigners living in Japan.

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