I'm looking for a proper antonym for the word 多難 in a context where it's meaning is 'many difficulties'. Would for example the adverb 難なく be appropriate? It translates to 'easily' according to my dictionary.

I've tried searching the web and I'm certainly not happy with the antonym 多幸 provided on this page: thesaurus.weblio.jp

Ultimately I'd want to use the anotonym to reverse the meaning of the news headline 「拡大欧州、多難なスタート」 which roughly translates to "Expanding Europe – Start with many difficulties".

  • 3
    Can you give us the context where 多難 is used and/or where you want to use it's antonym?
    – Locksleyu
    Commented Feb 11, 2016 at 20:06
  • 1
    Perhaps 小難 dictionary.goon.e.jp/小難 Commented Feb 12, 2016 at 18:09
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    I would say [幸先]{さいさき}がいいスタート, [幸先]{さいさき}のいいスタート or [幸先良]{さいさきよ}いスタート.
    – marasai
    Commented Feb 12, 2016 at 19:24

1 Answer 1


多難{たなん} literally means "lots of difficulties". There are a few different ways of producing a potential "antonym", depending on what kind of meaning you're looking for. 多幸{たこう} literally means "lots of happinesses / good fortune", and this is often seen as the closest to an antonym. Other possibilities include 無難{ぶなん} "no difficulty", as noted by l'électeur earlier, or 小難{しょうなん} "minor difficulty, not much of a difficulty", as noted by フレヂィ in a comment above. Another possible antonym would conceivably be 少難{しょうなん} "few difficulties", but this seems to be a very rare word, appearing in only a few books, and this does not appear to be recognized as a valid Japanese word by most dictionaries.

All that said, simply using the antonym supplied by the thesaurus would seem to produce the desired reversal in meaning:

  • 「拡大欧州、多難なスタート」→ "European expansion off to a rocky start"

  • 「拡大欧州、多幸なスタート」→ "European expansion off to an auspicious start"

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    多幸なスタート would sound awkward because it actually means "ecstatic". Commented Feb 13, 2016 at 2:52

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