I want to be able to say "my major is philosophy" and so I looked up the word for philosophy, but I'm not sure if it would be correct use the same word when talking about it as a major in college?

In other words, would this be correct?

私は専攻が哲学です。 【わたしはせんこうがてつがくです。】

Thank you!!



Yes, 哲学 is the correct word for philosophy (the subject) in Japanese.

The word 哲学 was basically invented in the 19th century for this very purpose and popularized by Nishi Amane (journal source here, wiki).

In Japanese, philosophy is sometimes applied by extension to non-Western thinkers, but if someone wants to avoid calling non-Western things philosophy, then [思想]{しそう} is often used instead.

Put another way, 哲学 is exactly the right word for Western philosophy, because it is a word that was created precisely to translate the term philosophy.

As naruto explained to me, your sentence is a natural way of stating your major:



In addition, you could use:


or in many contexts,


  • 1
    – naruto
    Oct 4 '18 at 23:15
  • @naruto 勉強になりました。その形を頭に入れておきます。
    – virmaior
    Oct 5 '18 at 0:03

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.