How to Say “Interesting” in Japanese: Formal and Informal Ways

Learning how to say “interesting” in Japanese can greatly enrich your conversations and help you express your thoughts and opinions. In this guide, we will explore both formal and informal expressions for “interesting” in Japanese, providing you with tips, examples, and even some regional variations. So, let’s dive into the wonderful world of expressing interest in Japanese!

Formal Expressions for “Interesting”

When it comes to formal situations, such as business meetings, interviews, or official conversations, it’s important to maintain a polite and respectful tone. Here are some formal ways to express “interesting” in Japanese:

  • おもしろい (omoshiroi) – This is the most common and versatile word for “interesting” in Japanese. It can be used in various situations and is well-suited for both people and things. For example, you could say:


(Kono hon wa totemo omoshiroi desu ne.)

This book is very interesting, isn’t it?

興味深い (kyōmibukai) – This phrase translates to “interesting” in a slightly formal and intellectual way. It implies a deeper level of fascination or curiosity. For instance:


(Sono hanashi wa kyōmibukakute, nagaku hanashi tsuzuketakunarimasu.)

The story is so interesting that I want to keep talking about it for a long time.

面白味のある (omoshiromi no aru) – This expression is used to denote the presence of interesting aspects or qualities. It’s often utilized to describe things or phenomena. Here is an example:


(Kare no sakuhin niwa dokutoku no omoshiromi no aru shiten ga arimasu.)

His works have a unique and interesting perspective.

Informal Ways to Say “Interesting”

When speaking with friends, family, or in informal situations, you can employ more casual expressions for “interesting” in Japanese. Here are some examples:

  • おもろい (omoroi) – This term is widely used in casual conversations, particularly in Kansai, the western region of Japan. It is a variation of “おもしろい” (omoshiroi). For instance:


(Sono eiga, omorokatta yo!)

That movie was interesting!

面白いっちゃ面白い (omoshiroi ccha omoshiroi) – This phrase is more colloquial and is often used to emphasize the intriguing nature of something. It has a playful tone and is commonly heard in casual conversations. For example:


(Ano hon, omoshiroi ccha omoshiroi n da kedo, chotto nagasugiru kamoshirenai.)

That book is definitely interesting, but it might be a little too long.

Regional Variations

While the expressions mentioned above are widely understood throughout Japan, it’s worth noting that regional variations exist. Here are a couple of examples:

  • おもしい (omoshii) – In the Tohoku region, especially in Aomori Prefecture, the locals often use this variation of “おもしろい” (omoshiroi). So, if you happen to be in the Aomori area, feel free to try it out!
  • おもちゃい (omochai) – In Okinawa, specifically in Okinawan dialect, they say “おもちゃい” (omochai) to express “interesting.” This unique variation reflects the distinct culture and language found in the Ryukyu Islands.


In conclusion, expressing “interesting” in Japanese is as diverse as the language itself. Whether you’re in a formal or informal setting, there are numerous ways to convey your interest in a person, object, or idea. Remember, using the formal options like “おもしろい” (omoshiroi) or “興味深い” (kyōmibukai) in appropriate situations will help you navigate formal settings smoothly. On the other hand, the more casual expressions such as “おもろい” (omoroi) or “面白いっちゃ面白い” (omoshiroi ccha omoshiroi) are great for friendly, relaxed conversations. Don’t forget to stay aware of regional variations, as they bring an additional layer of cultural richness to your language experience. So go ahead, embrace the Japanese language and let your conversations become infinitely more “interesting”!

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