Is it なか or うち? How about in set expressions like 心の中で思う as in 「私はとても幸運だわ」と彼女は心の中で思った。and how about 心の内?


心の中 is normally, and far more often, read as こころのなか.
I'd read it as こころのなか when it's used to mean "in(side) one's heart" "inside" "inwardly" or "silently", as in phrases like 「心の中でつぶやく」「心の中で自問する」 etc. So I'd read the 心の中 in 「私はとても幸運だわ」と彼女は心の中で思った as こころのなか.

心の中 can also be read as こころのうち.*
I'd read it as こころのうち when it's used to mean "one's heart" "one's feelings" "one's inner thought", as in phrases like 「心の中を明かす」「心の中を語る」「心の中を吐露する」 etc.
(You might find it more commonly written as 心の内 or 心のうち.)

*According to 明鏡国語辞典:

(表記) 🈩の❶❷❹は「中」とも。

  • I'm glad I wasn't reading it wrongly the whole time then because I've been always reading it as こころのなか. But according to Weblio it's read as こころのうち which got me even more confused so thanks for clarifying. – Omae wa mou shindeiru Apr 25 '18 at 1:17
  • 個人的には「心の中を明かす」と書かれていても、フリガナがなければ「こころのうち」とはまず読まないのですが、文脈によっては通常そう読むべきとどこかで教わったとかでしょうか。少なくともネットですぐ見つかるレベルの常識的知識ではなさそうですが…。 – naruto Apr 25 '18 at 1:27
  • え、そうなんですか・・・「心のなかを明かす」「心のなかを語る」「心のなかを吐露する」とかって不自然なので、これは「心のうち」って読んでほしいんだろうな、って思っていつもそう読んでるんですけど。。。(習ったとかはないと思いますけど、夏目漱石あたり?の小説とかで、そういう文脈で「うち」ってフリガナがうってあって、その習慣がついたのかも。) – Chocolate Apr 25 '18 at 1:29

It's こころのなか. 中 is very rarely read as うち at least in modern Japanese, although some dictionaries seem to recognize such a reading.

心の内【うち】 is also acceptable in this context, but I feel 心の内 tends to be used more often when your true feeling is different from what you say or how you appear. In this case such a contrast is not important, so 心の中 is fine.


I expect it to be こころのなか kokorononaka. I see that Google Translate comes up with kokoronouchi. This is a surprise. Even more of a surprise, if you have Google speak the pronunciation, it's kokorononaka.

  • 1
    This is a bad answer and (in my opinion) it should be downvoted or deleted. Google Translate does not give you useful information about a language. – snailplane Apr 25 '18 at 0:57
  • @snailboat I doubt this answer is based on Google Translate. He knows how it's normally read. – naruto Apr 25 '18 at 1:22
  • I can only judge the answer based on what it says. I'm fine with the first sentence of this answer, but most of the answer reports facts about Google Translate which I think, without any further explanation, may confuse readers. – snailplane Apr 25 '18 at 1:55
  • @snailboat It appears you're a moderator here. Is it possible to create a separate thread about whether Google Translate is a useful tool or not? If I had referenced 広辞苑, for example, would that have gotten as strong of a negative reaction? – Jesse Casman Apr 26 '18 at 5:20

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