As in, I want to say veterans/old hats at doing something instead of beginners at doing something.

Edit: Thank you for all the responses. I wasn't looking to imply skill, so I think 経験者 is the word I am looking for, but I learned a lot of other great words through the responses.

  • 2
    This is a pretty uncommon choice, and not really "the opposite" 初心者, so probably not a great answer, but I really like the word 老練 (which explicitly has the "old" nuance to it, so don't use it for someone young). :-) Commented Nov 3, 2015 at 18:17

7 Answers 7


The word I hear most common for this is: ベテラン.

The second one: 経験者{けいけんしゃ}.


I think it's [熟練者]{じゅくれんしゃ}...


  • I'd never heard that word before, so thank you. Though I think for what I was trying to get at, 経験者 is most appropriate.
    – Crowbeak
    Commented Nov 4, 2015 at 12:50
  • 4
    Oh, in that case, I think you should accept macraf's answer.
    – chocolate
    Commented Nov 4, 2015 at 16:37
  • I will change it because there seems to be a small consensus that I should; however, I just want it stated for the record that I chose this one because it seemed the best answer to the question I actually asked. I was thinking of future searchers.
    – Crowbeak
    Commented Nov 7, 2015 at 1:36

This depends on context. At this point I would say macraf's answer (particularly 経験者) is the best (at least in my findings), but if we are indeed talking about skill involved (IE, you can rank someone, like in a game) 中級者 and 上級者 must also be considered.

Again, considering the context (perhaps you can give a bit more?) none of these may sound natural.

  • 経験者 sounds like what I was looking for... experience, rather than indication of skill. Thank you, though, those are also excellent words to know.
    – Crowbeak
    Commented Nov 4, 2015 at 12:48

Again, depending on context, other possible terms include 玄人【くろうと】 and 専門家【せんもんか】.

  • 7
    OP may be interested to know that 玄人 is also more obviously an antonym of 素人【しろうと】.
    – senshin
    Commented Nov 3, 2015 at 21:52

If you are just looking to say someone who is very good at certain thing, then how about 達人【たつじん】? I hear that often.


You guys are all correct! :)

I would use 経験者(けいけんしゃ). It really depends on the context. I'll list the ones that weren't in this thread.

  • エキスパート(expert in katakana has the same meaning as in English)
  • プロ(professional)
  • 腕利き(うできき)
  • カリスマ(someone who is really good that he/she is almost revered.)

As you might know, a lot of English words are borrowed today, so it might be useful to know these words.


People also use プロ quite widely. I once tried to ask a host family if I could say 素人 and 玄人, and my host mother laughed and told me that nobody used 玄人 - only プロ。

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