How can I say “about” in Japanese ?

You often use “about” in many situations in daily life. You can translate it into various expressions in Japanese depending on the situations. I think you don’t have to learn all expressions even if you live or work in Japan. I will introduce the representative expressions you should learn to stay in Japan.

1. nitsuite/について、nikanshite/に関して

These words mean you put something in the center and pick up various things surrounding it. “nitsuite”/「について」isn’t casual and polite, so there would no problem even if you use it in the business situations. “nikanshite”/「に関して」has a formal impression, so I don’t often hear it in daily conversation. It would be easy to understand for you if you see the following example.

Ex)

Could you tell me about Japanese cultures ?/日本の文化について教えて頂けませんか?

→In this case ”about Japanese cultures” means Japanese cultures and the surrounding information.

2. yaku/約、oyoso/およそ、daitai/大体、gurai/ぐらい

Also these words mean you put something in the center and pick up various things surrounding it. But normally you use them to number. “daitai”/「大体」, “gurai”/「ぐらい」are often used as spoken language. You put “yaku”/「約」, “oyoso”/「およそ」or “daitai”/「大体」before number and “gurai”/「ぐらい」after number. I will introduce the example.

Ex)

I will have about 300g of beef./大体300gの牛肉をください。

→You can also say 「約300gの牛肉をください。」,「およそ300gの牛肉をください。」or「300gぐらいの牛肉をください。」.

3. atarini/あたりに、tikakuni/近くに、henni/辺に

Also these words mean you put something in the center and pick up various things surrounding it. But normally you use them to place. “henni”/「辺に」is a little casual expression, but I think you can use it to someone whom you don’t know well or elderly people. You wouldn’t give them an impolite impression even if you say it to them. I will introduce the example.

Ex)

I live about here./私はこのあたりに住んでいます。

→You can also say 「私はこの近くに住んでいます。」or「私はこの辺に住んでいます。」

4. Summary

You can translate “about” into many expressions in Japanese and “about” has the meaning you put something in the center and pick up various things surrounding it. You can say “nitsuite”/「について」or “nikanshite”/「に関して」to matters, “yaku”/「約」, ”oyoso”/「およそ」, “daitai”/「大体」or “gurai”/「ぐらい」to number and “atarini”/「あたりに」, “tikakuni”/「近くに」or “henni”/「辺に」to place.

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