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What’s the difference between 「[独]{ひと}り[言]{ごと}」 and 「[独白]{どくはく}」? They both mean ‘monologue’?

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独り言 is anything that is said to yourself, typically when you are alone.

Today, 独白 is mainly used in the context of acting. A 独白 is meant to be heard by the audience, not someone else in the plot. In this sense, モノローグ is equally commonly understood. But in older novels, you may see 独白 used in the same manner as 独り言. In addition, recently I sometimes see 独白 used in the context of private interview, as if it were short for 独占告白 (for example this), but I'm not sure if this is a right usage of 独白.

  • That makes sense, thank you for clarifying this! – Shiota Sep 17 at 2:32

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