I was just sitting in a coffee shop, sheltering myself from the cloudburst over Tokyo a few minutes ago, and I couldn't help but overhear the conversation between to girls beside me.

They were talking about mobile phones, apps, and were showing each other pictures on their phones.

One of the girls said:


映{うつ}す means to reflect, or project, and I'm only familiar with it in the sense of a film projector projecting an image on a screen. However, it seemed they were talking about copying pictures to their SD card.

Is 映{うつ}す extended in use to mean copying data to a disk? As in, the bits are reflected on the disk? What are the nuances of 映{うつ}す that make it applicable here?

Is this a recent usage of 映{うつ}す?

1 Answer 1


As far as I know, 写{うつ}す is generally used for "copy (homework/data etc)"/"take a photo", and 映{うつ}す is generally used for "reflect/project", but that うつす can mean "copy" with the right Kanji.

Also note a third way of writing with 移{うつ}す, which means "move/remove/transfer" etc.

  • Aha! 移す makes way more sense in the context they were speaking.
    – Questioner
    May 6, 2012 at 8:40

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