After going on a long run, if you want to say, "My feet are sore", I would imagine that in Japanese you would say 「足が痛い」. If you want to say, "My legs are sore", I imagine that would be 「脚が痛い」.

How do you disambiguate one from the other in spoken Japanese, while minimizing additional explanation or without having to explain which kanji you mean?

  • Do you need to? – Sjiveru May 30 '18 at 17:04
  • It's more a question of "if you wanted to" versus "need". In English, depending on context, distinguishing one from the other may not be necessary either, but the language provides for the distinction regardless. I'm wondering if the same distinction can be made in Japanese – Otomatonium May 30 '18 at 17:10
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    I understand the desire to want to, but Japanese people don't, so if you do, that very act makes it unnatural, even if your grammar and everything are perfectly correct. – By137 May 30 '18 at 17:10
  • I agree with Naruto, I preferred crunchyt's answer as well. – Halfway Dillitante May 31 '18 at 5:07
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    あし may be less specific than leg, but leg is much less specific than ふともも/ひざ/すね/ふくらはぎ. If you have pain in your entire leg, you can say ふとももからすねの辺りが痛い, 足の付け根から足首までが痛い, etc. – naruto May 31 '18 at 6:17