In Chinese, 超级 means ‘super’. E.g 超级市场 means ‘supermarket’, or 超级战士 means ‘supersoldier’, etc etc. Of course, I've looked up each kanji separately, and it turns out that 超 is chō in Japanese and 级 is kyū.

So the question is, does the term 超级 chōkyū actually exist in Japanese? I'm asking because I've tried searching for the term 'chōkyū', but came up with none. Then again, it just seems to make sense intuitively, I mean the way in which we always derive the Japanese versions from Chinese terms. Does it work in this case?

And here's another thing, suppose that 超级 'chōkyū' exists in Japanese, is its meaning the same as in Chinese (meaning super).

Lastly, how exactly does one say things like Supermarket or supersoldier in Japanese? I mean, other than using ‘sūpā’. Does chōkyū shijō {超级市场} or chōkyū senshi {超级战士} work?

  • 1
    Have you tried to look this up, for example in a dictionary or simple in a web search?
    – Earthliŋ
    Dec 23, 2017 at 10:38
  • @Earthliŋ I did. But found none. Thats why I'm here. Most sources suggest 'suupaamaaketto' for supermarket. But I'm just really curious about how the language works. Because I've noticed some Chinese terms having Japanese counterparts. Like, 凶器 (kyoki) or 人 (Jin/nin) just wondering abt the generality of it all.
    – Anthony
    Dec 23, 2017 at 10:43
  • @Earthliŋ I don't really own a dictionary. But I did try to Google it.
    – Anthony
    Dec 23, 2017 at 10:45
  • You can access several monolingual dictionaries via kotobank.jp. You can also use ALC to check for translations of English words and phrases, e.g. for super.
    – Earthliŋ
    Dec 23, 2017 at 10:59

4 Answers 4


Of course there are Japanese translations for the Chinese 超级 (超級), スーパー sūpā or 超{ちょう} chō (without 級) come to mind. However, 超級 is not used with this meaning.

The only instances of 超級 seem to be expressions like 100kg超級 over 100kg category/division, where 超 means "over" and 級 means "class, division, category".

For 超 you have words like 超並列コンピューター super parallel computer, etc. スーパー and 超{ちょう} are interchangeable, which you can see in ドラゴンボール, using 超{スーパー}:

enter image description here

  • I see. So does choshijou or chosenshi work for supermarket or super soldier? Coz I know chojin means superhuman.
    – Anthony
    Dec 23, 2017 at 11:08
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    supermarket is スーパーマーケット or simply スーパー. 超市場 would be odd, especially if you just mean an ordinary supermarket. For super soldier, I guess 超戦士 could work in fiction (or cutting edge human experiments for "enhanced" soldiers...?).
    – Earthliŋ
    Dec 23, 2017 at 11:19
  • Wow. I see. But what about 'cho ningen' (超人间) which I understand to be an adjective that means 'super / meta human' or 'beyond human'. So if I want to say ‘super human abilities’ can I use chō ningen here? I mean it is an adjective after all. Or what about choningen senshi for super soldier. Sorry, Im just indulging my curiosity a bit.
    – Anthony
    Dec 23, 2017 at 11:22
  • I think you'll find much information using the resources I recommended in my comment on your question. Try superhuman on ALC.
    – Earthliŋ
    Dec 23, 2017 at 11:52
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    @CodeBreaker what about 'cho ningen' (超人间) -- I think [超人]{ちょうじん} (chojin) would be more natural/common. what about choningen senshi for super soldier. -- [超人]{ちょうじん}[戦士]{せんし} (chojin senshi) sounds better and more familiar to me... though 「スーパーソルジャー」 might be preferred
    – chocolate
    Dec 24, 2017 at 2:37

超級 doesn't have the meaning of ‘super’ or ‘supermarket’ in the Japanese language.

I think of only one word in which 超級 is used. It is 100kg超級. It means "over 100kg weight class in Judo".


超級 exists, and is not rare in the game/manga industry. For example パズドラ is one of the most successful smartphone games in Japan, and have many 超級クエスト which is even more difficult than 上級 quests:

enter image description here

I guess you can find the word 超級戦士 in some Dragon-Ball-like manga, too, although katakana loanwords tends to be preferred in many cases.

As other answers suggest, this type of 超級 is relatively uncommon outside of game/manga contexts, and it's not something you can find in dictionaries. You should not assume it's the default translation of "super-".

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    Wouldn't you rather analyse 超級クエスト as "ultra-level-quest" (with 超 being a modifier on 級) rather than "superquest" (with a lexical 超級), to contrast with "high-level", "mid-level", and "beginner-level"? Suggesting that 超級 is not a lexical unit that it is in Chinese.
    – Amadan
    Dec 25, 2017 at 8:13
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    What do you mean? We can analyze supermarket as "super-level market", can't we? 超級 is already a familiar "word" I've seen many times on various works, and that's why I posted an answer. Something like 激級 or 神級 used in some titles are still peculiar and not worth mentioning.
    – naruto
    Dec 25, 2017 at 8:26

スーパー is correct answer. 超 could be both used as an adverb and an adjective, but there is no such kanji arrangement as 超级 in Japanese,see goo辞書。 And it is because that when using kanji 級, it has to have, or come with another word that suggest "class", or 等級, in expreesion. Obviously, those two examples given above don't in CHinese, so not in Japanese either. While in Chinese, it doesn't matter a lot, for 级/級(not the true hanzi in traditonal CHinese area, see )has no meaning, except when associated with concept "class".

  • So can I say, chō shijou to mean supermarket? Or chō senshi to mean 超级战士?
    – Anthony
    Dec 23, 2017 at 11:12

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