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As far as I understand it, 祝福{しゅくふく} means "bless". I came across it in this sentence, and it struck me as weird:

だれもが彼の成功をうらやむと同時に、心から祝福した。

My rough translation is, "At the same time that everyone was envious of his succes, they blessed him from their hearts."

I think I get the grammar and syntax, and I also get that people can be envious and grateful at the same time, or something like that.

It's just that to me (perhaps only to me), the word "blessed" has a lot of weight to it in terms of religious origins and conveys implications of ritual. I don't want to get too much into the English meaning of the word "bless", though.

My main point is that I wonder if "bless" is really the most accurate translation?

Perhaps it means more like "grateful"?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

In the example sentence, 祝福{しゅくふく}する means "congratulate." Although 祝福{しゅくふく} (する) is also used in religious contexts, that is not always the case.

祝福{しゅくふく}する can also mean “wish (someone) good luck / a happy life” as in 二人{ふたり}の前途{ぜんと}を祝福{しゅくふく}する.

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