Despite seeming a little puzzling at an initial glance, there room actually a grasp of means to say “hope” in Japanese. There are two words often used to refer to “hope”, and also there room even more ways come express it.

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These two words because that hope in Japanese room 希望 (kibou) and also 望み (nozomi) respectively. Both the them are nouns and also are offered when referring to a hope that exists.

At various other times we may want to express ours hope towards something. This could be once we’re feeling confident or as soon as we’re wishing for something. Even if it is we’re wishing for something, or praying that something will certainly pan the end a certain way, in English, we use the word “hope” in all of these scenarios.

However, in Japanese, there room a number of expressions and also phrases the we can use to express our hope. Which expression you will require depends ~ above which kind of case you’re in.

In this can be fried guide, I check out all the methods to speak “hope” in Japanese. Let’s take it a look in ~ the meanings and also kanji of 希望 (kibou) and also 望み (nozomi)! Additionally, let’s talk around expressions you deserve to use to say things like “I hope that…”, “hopefully”, or “I hope you feel better” in Japanese.

I have actually tailored this guide for beginners and intermediate learner of Japanese alike, so hopefully, girlfriend can discover what you’re looking for!

Table that Contents

Hope in JapaneseHope/Wish in JapaneseI expect It Goes fine in JapaneseI hope That… in Japanese

Hope in Japanese


If you to be to find “hope” in a Japanese dictionary, 希望 (kibou) will always be the first entry. 希望 (kibou) is a noun – the is the ideal translation that “hope” in Japanese. Depending upon the context, the can also overlap with nuances the wishing, or of an ambition/desire of something.

It is created of 2 kanji, 希 and 望.

The very first kanji, 希, way “hope” in Japanese. The is linked with scarcity, and also is provided in various other words such as 希薄 (kihaku), meaning “thin, lacking, insufficient” and 希少 (kishou), definition “rare”.

The 2nd kanji, 望, method “hope” or “ambition” in Japanese. This kanji appears in words that express “wish”, or “desire”.

These two similar kanji in succession type 希望 (kibou), a word we can understand together quite accurate “hope” in Japanese.

How To use 希望 (kibou)

Quite often, 希望 (kibou) is provided as a an unfavorable in neutral language.

私たちは生きているかぎりまだ希望があるwatashi tachi ha ikiteiru kagiri mada kibou ga aru.As long as we’re living, over there is tho hope.

In the very same way, it can additionally be used to express a wish.

karera ga watashi no kibou ni hantai shiteiru.They’re going versus my wishes.

In the first example, the final component “there is quiet hope” conveys a tiny positivity. However, the an interpretation of the sentence together a whole still has actually nuances of suspicion lingering about it. In the second example, although the speaker has not explicitly stated that they are unhappy through the situation, the is tho felt and understood by the listener the the speaker is most likely not precisely overjoyed.

You might use it come convey complete despair:

kibou ga nai.There is no hope.

In terms of neutral nuances, 希望 (kibou) can be used in Japanese Keigo come express a desire, desire or preference.

go kibou no jikan o wo shirasekudasai.Please permit us recognize your desired/preferred time.

In formal Japanese, 希望 (kibou) is supplied to to express a want/desire instead of the grammar たい (tai) or 欲しい (hoshii).

Hope/Wish in Japanese



If you’re confident around how something will certainly pan out, or possibly you desire to invoke the confidence in one more person, you deserve to use きっと (kitto). Back きっと (kitto) walk not explicitly mean “hope” in Japanese, you have the right to use it come convey miscellaneous a little stronger, or a little much more certain. 

For instance, imagine a girlfriend is really worried around their examination results that space due soon. Just saying “I hope it go well because that you” will probably not do them feel lot better. In fact, sometimes, it can even do the opposite and also make lock feel an ext uncertain.

That’s why, throughout this kind of situation, we might wish come send some positive power in our friend’s direction. We deserve to instead say something like:

きっと大丈夫だよ!kitto daijoubu da yo!I’m certain it’ll be okay!

You could even send an also stronger level of hope their means and say:

絶対に大丈夫だよ!zettaini daijoubu dayo!It’ll definitely be okay!

The word 絶対に (zettai ni) method “definitely” in Japanese, and also you deserve to use it exactly the same means as you would in English. 

Hopeful/Optimistic in Japanese


So after ~ we’ve expressed come our friend that they surely have passed the exam, we may come throughout as optimistic, or hopeful. We can describe ourselves favor this:

私は結構楽観的な人だよ!watashi ha kekkou rakkanteki na hito dayo!I’m fairly an hopeful person!

When explicate a noun, we constantly need to attach な (na) come the end of 楽観的 (rakkanteki), making it 楽観的な (rakkan teki na).

The kanji for 楽観的 (rakkan teki) is quite interesting. The an initial kanji, 楽 is one you’ve most likely seen in 楽しい (tanoshii), meaning “fun”. However, the can likewise mean “comfort” or “ease.” The second kanji 観 way “outlook” or “view”. 

So quite literally we can understand 楽観 (rakkan) together a “comfortable outlook.” A pretty an excellent word to explain someone who is hopeful in Japanese i think!

When we desire to say how we feel around something, we can attach する (suru) to 楽観 (rakkan). する (suru) is the verb for “do” in Japanese. Once there room two kanji compound together prefer 楽観 (rakkan), ripe times out of ten friend can connect する (suru) to it to do it a verb.

This enables us come say points like:

未来のことをかなり楽観する!mirai no koto wo kanari rakkan suru!I feel hopeful about the future!

Very optimistic!

Despair – the contrary of Hope


With all this hope and also optimism, we can need part ultimate despair to end up off the guide. The contrary of 希望 (kibou) is 絶望 (zetsubou), which quite literally means “despair” or “hopeless” in Japanese.

You may have noticed the 希望 (kibou) and 絶望 (zetsubou) re-superstructure the very same kanji, at the very least in the ending. We’ve created that 望 means “hope” or “ambition” in Japanese. 

The other kanji, 絶, i m sorry appears very first in 絶望 (zetsubou) means: discontinue, disrupt, suppress, or cut off. This means that we can understand the literal meaning translation that 絶望 (zetsubou) as “suppress hope” or “discontinue hope”.

You can use 絶望 (zetsubou) to explain really grim or dire situations, such as war. 

絶望に満ちた戦況だった。zetsubou ni michita senkyou datta.It was a war full of despair.

I expect You discover Something Useful

I expect you find some beneficial information here.
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That concludes today’s guide, ns hope you discovered it useful and enjoyable. There space a plethora of ways you have the right to say and also express all various kinds of hope in Japanese, in spite of it seeming no that method at first.

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