I want to say that a person is wonderful:


Is there a more appropriate way to tell a person they are wonderful? This is my entire sentence:


I want to use the term to say to a friend.

  • If you look up 素敵 in a dictionary, what part of speech is it? (Is it a verb, noun, i-adjective, na-adjective, etc.) – Earthliŋ Jul 16 '18 at 12:09
  • I want to tell a person that they are wonderful. – Jack Bosma Jul 16 '18 at 12:10
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    I understand that, but you haven't shown us your research, which is why I'm asking you to look up the word in a dictionary and use this information in your attempt at a translation. – Earthliŋ Jul 16 '18 at 12:13
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    did you try looking up "how to compliment someone in Japanese" or anything like that? – ericfromabeno Jul 16 '18 at 12:55
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    not exclusively. You can describe the appearance of certain items and places as "suteki", too. – ericfromabeno Jul 16 '18 at 13:39

yes, you can use 素敵(な) to describe a person as well as things and places, but be careful.

You can use it to describe things and places in a way that could mean they have a "charming" or "lovely" look and or feel:


When describing people, depending on context, it MIGHT be understood that you mean "wonderful", BUT in general, in regards to people, 素敵 is a description of their appearance, not their personality.



(in this Q&A, it's possible 素敵な人 could be understood to mean "wonderful", depending on the context of the entire conversation, but from just this Q&A, it will almost certainly be thought to mean "lovely/pretty")


That girl is so lovely!

If you want to complement a friend in a nice way, and you're not looking to deepen the friendship into a romance, it's more appropriate to use words like


"wonderful" is a concept that is not really used to describe people, in Japanese. You can say 素晴らしい人 but it sounds very "over the top", and actually seems to place you in a position of "judging" them rather than complementing them, so I think it'd backfire on you.

  • @JACK you were a little quick to accept my answer, since someone seems to feel it's wrong. Waiting for someone else to weigh in. – ericfromabeno Jul 16 '18 at 12:32
  • Generally it's advised that you wait a day or so to accept an answer, to give people a chance to submit their own answers anyway. – Leebo Jul 16 '18 at 12:37
  • I think I see why this was downvoted. attempting to fix. – ericfromabeno Jul 16 '18 at 13:41
  • I appreciate it. – Jack Bosma Jul 16 '18 at 13:55
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    Are you maybe confusing 素敵 with 綺麗? I don't see why you would think that 素敵 is about someone's "appearance, not their personality". – Earthliŋ Jul 22 '18 at 14:14

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