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Thread: The words for "misunderstanding"

  1. #1
    Senior Member jeshipiyo's Avatar
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    Nov 2008

    Default The words for "misunderstanding"

    How would you guys explain the difference between 誤解(ごかい)and 勘違い(かんちがい)?

  2. #2
    Senior Member ampersand's Avatar
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    May 2008
    The august land of 10,000 islands.

    Default Re: The words for "misunderstanding"

    Isn't 誤解 like not understanding a word, concept, explanation, or the like, whereas 勘違い is to misperceive?
    "I have ... relations... with many of the students." -- Sai1

  3. #3


    misunderstanding : failure to understand .. misinterpretation ... quarrel or disagreement...

  4. #4
    Senior Member Mike_Davis's Avatar
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    Jun 2008
    Wakaba JHS


    誤解 and 勘違い are pretty different in terms of tone. The former sounds pretty neutral and stiff, like 'misunderstanding' or 'mistake' in English; the latter implies someone's judgment was wrong, or off. 勘違い can sound a little harsh if you're talking about someone other than yourself.
    Oh, no! My cola!

  5. #5


    勘違い is often used in the case of being a misunderstood person. For example, were you and a boyfriend/girlfriend about to break up over some quibble. Maybe you think he's been ignoring you because he's into someone else. You would use the term here because you misunderstood their feelings or their character.

    誤解 is usually more academic in the sense of the word. You misunderstood the meaning of something or the way something works. Its more knowledge than feeling based.

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