Is there any practical way of translating 年相応 into English? The context it was used in was


I was under the impression "年相応" refers to women wanting to appear their real age, not younger than they are, but according to the comments and answers, I'm mistaken. Maybe the sentence as a whole has that meaning.

I'm familiar with an English expression for women wanting to appear younger than they are ("Mutton dressed as lamb"), but I haven't even heard of the concept of women wanting to appear their real age, let alone how to express that concept.

  • 2
    It is used for both men and women.
    – user4032
    Commented Dec 28, 2015 at 15:54
  • 3
    You probably are better off asking this in English.SE as a word request. Since you already wrote what it means in the question, the Japanese part of it isn't really necessary to answer.
    – Blavius
    Commented Dec 28, 2015 at 16:02
  • To add to 職場恋愛小説執筆中's comment, note that it's used for young people who act their age as well/
    – Jimmy
    Commented Dec 28, 2015 at 16:15
  • @Jimmy people who aren't yet adults deciding not to pretend to be adults, or something else?
    – Golden Cuy
    Commented Dec 28, 2015 at 22:04
  • I am sorry I would like to downvote ( I upvoted instead ). I regret very much I had answered without reading carefully, but after having read the entire sentence, I have no clue where the questioner got the idea Apparently it refers to women wanting to appear their real age, not younger than they are.
    – user7644
    Commented Dec 29, 2015 at 3:57

2 Answers 2


It seems your understanding of 年相応{としそうおう}(歳相応{としそうおう}) is a bit incorrect. It does not refer to women who want to appear their age.

年相応{としそうおう} means "appropriate according to one's age".

年相応{としそうおう}に見{み}える: to look one's age.

年相応{としそうおう}に振{ふ}る舞{ま}う:to act accordingly to one's age

This can refer to any age group and either sex. For example, you can tell an adult who is having a fit to act his/her age, and you can comment on a high school student who looks like he is in his twenties.

I don't know a Japanese word (real or made-up) that refers to the specific definition you are asking for. Note that if I were to say 「年相応{としそうおう}に見{み}られたい女性{じょせい}」(women who want to look their age), it can imply "women who want to look their age (not younger, not older)". Whether it's younger or older is relative to the person. Two example cases:

Imagine two people coming to ask me for advice on how to look 年相応{としそうおう}:

1) A high school boy that is constantly mistaken as his younger sister's father.

2) A 30-year old woman who constantly mistaken as a mid-schooler.

Both can ask the exact same question「年相応{としそうおう}に見{み}られたい」(I want to look my age.) and both questions would be valid. For 1, the boy wants to look younger, and for 2, the woman wants to look older.

Hopefully this clears up any misunderstanding you have about the word.


If you are looking for an English equivalent to "(彼女は) 年相応に見える", I would put it into "(She looks) right in / around her age (of 20, 30, 40 something)" in English.

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