light - what word?

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light - what word?

Post by OlgaD » Mon 05.31.2010 5:07 pm


I found many words meaning LIGHT. What is the diffrence between them?
光 - ひかり
灯り - あかり
明り - あかり

Thank You for Your help

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Re: light - what word?

Post by Figurethree » Mon 05.31.2010 10:54 pm

けい - I found translations of light as in "the issue was a light one" or trifling/unimportant
光 - ひかり - seems to be light, like a ray of light
でんき - light as in the electrical lights on your ceiling. 電気 is the kanji, which is basically "electrical energy" or: the lights/electricity :)
灯り - あかり - a lamp, or a light-giving thing like that
明り - あかり - light as in illumination, brightness, or the glow of something

At least, those are the definitions I already knew and could find in a few dictionaries.

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Re: light - what word?

Post by spin13 » Tue 06.01.2010 12:17 am

光 is the all purpose word that refers to the physical phenomenon, sight, and emotions.

灯り often refers to ともし火 (also written 灯火) or 電灯, or in English, a lamp. Other related words include 提灯(ちょうちん or 堤燈) and 街灯.

明かり can be either 光 or 灯り. When the former, it often has religious or spiritual connotations. The character 明 also has some temporal connotations (e.g., the verb 明ける).

電気 refers to electricity and by way of that electric lights.

To make matters worse, they also use the word ライト.

I guess it's only fair when you think about how many meanings the word "light" has in English.

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Re: light - what word?

Post by ss » Tue 06.01.2010 9:27 am

What Eric said. In English, we can say "Turn on the light." , "Turn on the lamp",
JP dictionary shows that both of these are fine:

太陽の光 (たいようのひかり) will be "sunlight" (the light of the sun)
太陽の光線 (たいようのこうせん) will be "sunbeams" (the rays of the sun)
蛍の光 (ほたるのひかり) the glimmer of a firefly
希望の光 (きぼうのひかり) a gleam of hope
星が光っている( ほしがひかってる) The stars are glittering

電 can mean light or electricity, as you can see 電流(でんりゅう)is "electric current", 電力 (でんりょく) is "electric power", 電圧 (でんあつ) is "voltage"

閃電 (せんでん) means "lightning"
雷電 (らいでん) means " thunder and lightning"
来電 (らいでん) means " incoming calls" :lol:

In Chinese, we have 不來電 (bu lai dian) meaning "sorry, no chemistry!" (not my type!) :lol:

灯 (ともしび,ひ) by itself has several meanings all associated with "light", "lamp", "brightness", "gleam"

角灯(かくとう)-- a square hand lantern
燈籠 / 灯籠 (とうろう) -- a lantern
燈心 / 灯心 (とうしん) -- a wick
燈火 / 灯火 (とうか) can mean light, lamp or even brightness

In Chinese, we have 萬家燈火 (wan jia deng huo) a myriad twinkling lights of a city/place (in the night scene when houses all lighted, the scene can be so beautiful and exquisite)

明かり as explained, it can also refer to reflected light
雪明り(ゆきあかり) - the reflected light of snow
電灯の明かり (でんとうのあかり) - the reflected light of lamp

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Re: light - what word?

Post by OlgaD » Tue 06.01.2010 11:14 am

Thank You for Your help! :)

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