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I am trying to teach myself some Japanese and I wanted to find out how to say "I don't trust anyone" or "I no longer trust this person (because of a bad experience".

So I thought it was a good idea to use Google translate and I got the following confusing results:

"I cannot trust anyone" gets translated to "私は誰を信頼することはできません"

but

"I don't trust anyone" gets translated to "私は誰を信用していません"

even though the meaning of the word trust in both English sentences is the same (as there is only one meaning of "to trust someone" in English).

Next I tried "I don't trust you" which gets translated to "私はあなたを信頼していません".

But why not "私はあなたを信用していません"?

Please could one of the native speakers here on this forum explain to me the nuances of 信用 and 信頼?

Personally, completely disregarding Google translate, I would say

"(あなたに)信用しないよ"

in a situation where for example the person I am talking to suggests to pick me up and drive me to the airport in time to catch a flight but I express my concern about their reliability.

And what would a spouse say to their better half after being cheated on? "あんたに信頼できない"?

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  • Related japanese.stackexchange.com/questions/24275
    – Earthliŋ
    Jun 13, 2015 at 14:27
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    "So I thought it was a good idea to use Google translate" Be careful. Using Google Translate for translations to or from Japanese is almost never a good idea.
    – Earthliŋ
    Jun 13, 2015 at 14:29
  • I think one is neutral, and the other one implies a dependency (because of 頼)
    – Flaw
    Jun 14, 2015 at 3:25
  • @Earthliŋ No, I didn't mean to "translate" I just wanted to use it as an aid. Jun 20, 2015 at 0:08

1 Answer 1

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A Japanese thesaurus has an entry.

In short, 信用 means that you believe them not to lie to you, and 信頼 that you trust them to work as you expected. These are often but other aspects of the same matter, but for example, a clever lawyer might be 信用できないが信頼できる to the client, and your nice but incompetent friend is 信用できるが信頼できない to you.

Unfortunately, Google Translate is 信用も信頼もできない. The result you got was likely to be an accidental difference in the source text (for "trust" can be translated either way) of parallel corpora they use.
(And it totally failed to translate "not any" construction into meaningful expression.)

PS
Both 信用 and 信頼 take objects with を case. Google was right on this point.

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  • So if you get cheated on by your wife you would say something like (あなたを)もう信用できない? Jul 18, 2015 at 8:27
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    You sound as right as reality show... Jul 18, 2015 at 8:34
  • (笑)Not sure that's a good thing! : D Jul 19, 2015 at 2:39

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