This may be my Chinese getting in the way of my Japanese again, but doesn't 体育 and スポーツ both mean "sport"?
What are the differences between them, and when is one used over the other?

  • I think of 体育 as being the school subject.
    – Zhen Lin
    Commented Aug 31, 2013 at 14:21
  • And 体育館 is a "gymnasium" :)
    – execjosh
    Commented Sep 1, 2013 at 6:18

2 Answers 2


体育 is physical education, a class taken at school where students exercise and play sports.

スポーツ is sports in general, including professional sports or sports played as a hobby.


体育 = Physical education

スポーツ = sports

(I don't know Chinese but I am curious, is your Chinese getting in the way?)

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