Is it true that when someone uses the word うるさい, it means that there is a feeling of "discontent" ?

Like for example, we will take this sentence: "It will be noisy in the factory"

"It will be noisy in the factory" is neutral. (no nuance of annoyance )

But is it true that if we translate that sentence into japanese using うるさい as a replacement for noisy, immediately we will have the nuance that the speaker is "annoyed" at the noisyness?

  • 3
    Actually, うるさい is so clearly negative, that it can be used to describe things or people that are annoying (in a certain kind of way), regardless of their noisiness...
    – Dave
    Commented Aug 23, 2011 at 14:02
  • 3
    Yes, I feel that うるさい has only negative connotations.
    – istrasci
    Commented Aug 23, 2011 at 14:40

3 Answers 3


うるさい definitely conveys a negative attribute which you could reasonably call "annoyance".

This is why in Japanese, the equivalent of "shut up!" is 「うるさい!」. It's saying the noise you're making is annoying, and therefor you should "shut up".

So if you say:


... you're definitely saying "the inside of the factory is loud" in an uncomfortable way. "Annoying," if you like.

If you wanted to say it with a neutral tone:


"There is a great deal of noise inside the factory."

On a side note, I actually think the English "noisy" is also negative. If I wanted to describe the sound in the factory without a negative connotation I'd say, "It's loud in the factory."

  • hey thx for the answer =) btw even though noisy has a negative nuance is it true to say that the nuance of うるさい is at least 10 times stronger than the nuance of "noisy" ?
    – Pacerier
    Commented Aug 23, 2011 at 9:02
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    I don't know about quantifying it with "ten times", but yes, I would say that うるさい is to some degree a little stronger than "noisy".
    – Questioner
    Commented Aug 23, 2011 at 10:12

Yes. It has negative connotation. I think the English noisy has it as well. The neutral way of saying it in Japanese is 音が大きい, and in English the sound is loud.

  • oh yea now if i think about it there's a subtle nuance in it
    – Pacerier
    Commented Aug 23, 2011 at 9:00

I think it has a negative nuance.

The other day, I was walking next to a laboratory with a lot of computers. It made hell of a noise. I said "うるさいですね" as we passed by, and some people around me told me that I had just done a blatant impoliteness.

I still think that it's no more impolite than saying "it's hot" during summer, but eh…

  • 1
    Not sure why you think that it is not impolite. “Hot” is a neutral word, and moreover even if you say “It’s annoyingly hot,” you are not blaming anyone (you are just frustrated by the climate). If you say うるさいですね (“They are annoyingly noisy”) about computers in a lab, you are blaming the people at the lab. Commented Aug 23, 2011 at 13:53
  • @Tsuyoshi Ito: Hum… Rather than "They are noisy", I meant "the computers are noisy", which is a fact blaming nothing else than hardware, and which cannot be solved in a server room, so no offence should be taken… But your translation makes a good point I had overlooked.
    – Axioplase
    Commented Aug 24, 2011 at 1:16
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    Maybe “blaming” was too strong, but I think that うるさい is closer to “annoyingly noisy” rather than just “noisy.” And if you say “the computers are annoyingly noisy,” I guess that it carries a similar impoliteness. Commented Aug 24, 2011 at 2:29
  • Even simpler than "annoyingly noisy": "too noisy"... Saying that the computers are "too noisy" would be somewhat impolite (in implying somebody should have done something about it).
    – Dave
    Commented Aug 24, 2011 at 2:59
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    I actually think @TsuyoshiIto is on the mark to use the word "blame". When I think about someone saying the word うるさい, there is a definite sense of responsibility: whoever or whatever XYZ is うるさい, or in charge of the うるさい thing, is being told 1) that XYZ is annoying, and 2) that XYZ should be made to not be so annoying. So when Axioplase expressed that the computer lab was うるさいですね, Axioplase was also saying that those in charge of the lab were somehow delinquent in letting the lab be so annoying. Meanwhile, 音【おと】が大【おお】きい is an objective statement of fact, neutral, no judgment attached. Commented Dec 2, 2021 at 17:44

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