“Ouch” in Japanese – How to Say it in Different Situations

Today, we’ll learn how to say “ouch” in Japanese in different ways.

Our daily life is full of unexpected events. Sometimes they make us happy and cheerful, but there are moments when we feel “Oh no!” or “Wow! That was dangerous!A long-haired woman wearing an orange t-shirt is in pain while holding her lower back with her left hand.

Unfortunately, moments and situations like these sometimes could lead to an “ouch,” so we’ll teach you different ways to express that in Japanese.

How to Say “Ouch” in Japanese

We’ve listed the different ways to say “ouch” in the Japanese language below. The vocabulary is written in hiragana, romaji, and Kanji, along with their English meaning, so you can practice reading them easily.

Word for “Ouch” in Japanese

いたい (Itai | 痛い) is the translation of the English expression Ouch! / Ow! / It hurts! in Japanese. This also means painful or sore. It’s the most general way to say it, and you can hear it in various situations like the following:

  • You hit your head, and it hurts a bit.
  • You accidentally fell over, and you’ve got a bruise.
  • You cut your finger while cooking, and it started bleeding.

Here is the うきよえ (Ukiyo-e | 浮世絵) art series portrayed by a Japanese illustrator to present the situation to say Itai! in Japanese:


Vocabulary related to “Ouch” in Japanese

Below are the different Japanese words related to “ouch.” We’ve added information on how they’re used in the sentence, whether they are Japanese nouns, adjectives, and verbs.

“Pain” in Japanese

You can say “pain” in Japanese as いたみ (itami | 痛み). This word also refers to damage, ache, or sore. Another kanji used to write いたみ (itami ) is 傷み which apart from pain, damage, ache, and sore, can also refer to injury or food spoilage.

けがのいたみはどう? (Kega no itami wa dou? | 怪我の痛みはどう?)

How is your injury?

“Painful” in Japanese

The word used to describe a feeling as painful or sore is いたい (itai | 痛い).

いたいよ!やめて。(Itai yo! Yamete. | 痛いよ!止めて。)

Ouch! You’re hurting me.

“Hurt” in Japanese

If you want to say “hurt” in Japanese, you can use the word いたむ (itamu | 痛む). The same word is used to mean “suffer” or “ache.”

こないだのきずがまたいたむ。 (Konaida no kizu ga mada itamu. | こないだの傷がまだ痛む。)

My wounds from the other day still hurt.

Example Sentences with Conjugated Form:

いたかったらいってください。 (Itakattara itte kudasai. | 痛かったら言って下さい。)

Please tell me if it hurts.

むしばをちりょうしたからもういたくない。(Musiba wo chiryou sita kara mou itaku nai. | 虫歯を治療したからもう痛くない。)

I’ve treated my cavities, so it doesn’t hurt anymore

きのうはいたかったけれど、きょうはもうだいじょうぶです。(Kinou wa itakatta keredo, kyou wa mou daijoubu desu. | 昨日は痛かったけれど、今日はもう大丈夫です。)

It hurt yesterday, but it’s okay today.

Other Ways to Say “Ouch!”/”Ow!”/”It hurts!” in Japanese

Although the Japanese word いたい (Itai | 痛い) is the most basic word for Ouch!/Ow!/It hurts!, and it fits in all kinds of situations, Japanese people frequently use other colloquial expressions with the same meanings in everyday life.

Basic Form

  • いたい (itai | 痛い)

Abbreviated Form

  • いたっ (Ita | 痛っ)

いたっ!だれがこんなところにいすをおいたの? (Ita! Dare ga konna tokoro ni isu wo oita no? | 痛たっ! 誰がこんな所に椅子を置いたの?)

It hurts! Who put the chair in such a place?

Other Expressions related to “Itai”

  • いたた  (Itata | 痛たた)
  • いっつー (Ittsuu | 痛っつー)
  • いてっ (Ite | 痛てっ) *
  • いてて  (Itete | 痛てて) *
  • いってえ (Ittee | 痛ってえ) *

*These are more typical among men than women.

どあにひじをぶつけた。いてて! (Doa ni hiji wo butsuketa. Itete! |ドアに肘をぶつけた。痛てて!)

I hit my elbow against the door. Ow!

It seems that the romanized Japanese words don’t have a small っ (tsu), but don’t forget to make the glottal stop sound when you speak.

How to Make a Comment in Sympathy in Japanese

As you know already, English phrases don’t only refer to physical pain. It can also denote the seemingly painful incidents, impacts on the mental state, or empathy in these situations.

When you hear someone making a harsh comment about others, Ouch! might pop out of your mouth. In Japan, you can use the following words.

Example Sentence:

あそこのかれは、にかいつづけてふられたってきいたよ。 (Asoko no kare wa, nikai tsuzukete furaretatte kiita yo. | あそこの彼は、2回続けて振られたって聞いたよ。)

I hear the guy has got dumped twice in a row.

あちゃー!それはざんねんだね! (Achaa! Sore wa zannen da ne! | あちゃー!それは残念だね!)

Ouch! That’s too bad!

You can say いたそう (Itasou | 痛そう) when something happening in front of you looks sore or painful, though it’s not as typical as a comment. Many Japanese would probably say うわー(Uwaa), あぶない (Abunai! | 危ない), and a similar word.

"It looks painful" 痛そう いたそう Itasou
"Wow"/"Whoa"うわー Uwaa
"Wow"/"Whoa"うわっ Uwa
"Wow"/"Oh my god"ひー Hii
"Dangerous"/"Be careful" 危ない あぶない Abunai
"Be careful" 気を付けて きをつけて Ki wo tsukete
"Are you alright?" 大丈夫? だいじょうぶ? Daijoubu?

Example Sentence:

いたそう。だいじょうぶ? (Itasou. Daijoubu? | 痛そう。大丈夫?)

It looks painful. Are you OK?

It’s also common to use an i-adjective basic word or an i-adjective abbreviated word related to the situation rather than a simple Ouch! word in Japan.

hot 熱い あつい Atsui
hot あつっ あつっ Atsu
cold 冷たい つめたい Tsumetai
cold 冷たっ つめたっ Tsumeta
dangerous 危ない あぶない Abunai
dangerous 危なっ あぶなっ Abuna
dangerousやばい Yabai
dangerousやばっ Yaba

Example Sentence:

あつっ!このなべはあつすぎる! (Atsu! Kono nabe wa atsusugiru! | あつっ!この鍋は熱すぎる!)

Ouch! This pan is too hot!

Useful I-Adjective Words for “Ouch” Situations in Japanese

Here is the list of other i-adjective words that might come in handy in certain situations. These are also core vocabularies in にほんごのうりょくしけん (Nihongo Nouryoku Shiken | 日本語能力試験 | Japanese Language Proficiency Test), so learning them will help to improve your Japanese.

painful, hurt, sore 痛い いたい Itai
spicy 辛い からい Karai
yucky, taste bad 不味い まずい Mazui
hot, warm 暑い あつい Atsui
hot 熱い あつい Atsui
cold 寒い さむい Samui
insufficient, little 少ない すくない Sukunai
low 低い ひくい Hikui
small, tiny 小さい ちいさい Chiisai
dirty, messy 汚い きたない Kitanai
hard, firm, tight 固い かたい Katai
hard, solid 硬い かたい Katai
tight, intenseきつい Kitsui
smelly, stink 臭い くさい Kusai
salty 塩辛い しおからい Siokarai
harsh, severe 厳しい きびしい Kibishii
impudent 図々しい ずうずうしい Zuuzuushii
small, fine 細かい こまかい Komakai
embarrassing 恥ずかしい はずかしい Hazukashii
terrible 酷い ひどい Hidoi

A boy holding his head while in pain

How to Express and Explain When you’re in Pain in Japanese?

Knowing the word for Ouch!/Ow!/It hurts! is helpful, but it’s also important to understand your situation and explain your pain in Japanese when something happens. Let’s take a look at some expressions to conclude the lesson today!

Example Sentences:

あたまがいたい。/ ずつうがする。(Atama ga itai. / Zutsuu ga suru. | 頭が痛い。/ 頭痛がする。)

I have a headache.

おなかがいたい。きりきりしたいたみだ。(Onaka ga itai. Kirikiri shita itami da. | お腹が痛い。キリキリした痛みだ。)

My stomach hurts. It hurts sharply.

いたい!あしくびをくじきました。(Itai! Ashikubi wo kujikimashita. | 痛い!足首を挫きました。)

It’s really hurting! I sprained my ankle.

Wrap Up

There you have it! Now you learn how to say “ouch” in different ways in Japanese! However, “Ouch” is just one of the many common Japanese reaction words you could add to your Japanese vocabulary. Let us know which other words like “Ouch” you may be interested in learning, and we’ll work it out for you!

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