Japanese culture

5 Best Compliment Ideas that Work Well for Japanese People with Short Video

What kind of compliment sentences work very well is country by country different. In this article we’d like to introduce 5 compliment ideas that work well for Japanese people. You can also watch our short video demonstrating how to tell those sentences in a real life.

You look like actor/actress

Japanese people tend to avoid direct complement. So if you want to compliment your Japanese friends, it’s better to compare the person with somebody else such as actor or actress.

Compliment their siblings

It is also a very common way to compliment their sister or brother. Because this comment is understood by Japanese as implication that siblings are similar:

your siblings are good looking = you are good looking

And don’t worry it won’t be understood like “What do you want with my siblings?🤨”

Praise their English language skill

Japanese people always become happy if you praise their English, although you don’t think so. Because most of Japanese people are not confident with their English skill. Maybe you have experiences that your Japanese friends gave you a big compliment about your Japanese language skill even though it wasn’t actually that good, and it sounded you too much. This is a hint and sign why Japanese people give compliment on it because they want to be said the same thing to their English.

Compliment their accessories & fashion

We love fashions and accessories. Even high school or university students spend plenty of money for their clothing and brand items. So this kind of compliment will make them happy. Also they will notice that you pay attention of their detail which will especially work with Japanese women.

Compliment their body, figure and muscle

Asian people are generally very thin, so are Japanese. It is not only because of what we eat, but also because of our mindset and virtue. Young women are giving their best to be very skinny, men have also less muscles than American or European guys. So the following compliments will significantly work with Japanese people:

  • Have you lost your weight? (rather for women)
  • You have thin legs (for women)
  • Have you gained muscles (for men)

But be careful with “You have thin legs” if you are men. Maybe you can save it because it might sound dirty-minded.

Yuki Nagahori
BA in German / Japan Country Manager at editorial company → Sales → currently sales planner based in Hamburg, Germany https://www.linkedin.com/in/yuki-nagahori/