I was reading a Japanese version of 日常{にちじょう} where one of the main characters Yuuko is writing notecards for her English exam the next day (which she had not studied for). As she was translating “forever,” she said 永久{とわ} where I would have said 永遠{えいえん}. Is there a difference? Thank you!

  • 1
    Highly related: japanese.stackexchange.com/questions/3104/… Jan 21 '20 at 16:34
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    永久 is normally read えいきゅう, not とわ. Is the furigana とわ actually on the page? えいきゅう and とわ sound very different, and if a girl like Yukko says とわ, there should be a reason.
    – naruto
    Jan 22 '20 at 1:46
  • It is. I’ll see if I can get a pic but that is what she said. Jan 23 '20 at 2:23

There is almost no difference. To be exact, 永久 is used for material things while 永遠 is used for abstract notions. For example, 永久 is used for tooth(永久歯). Perpetual motion machine is 永久機関 in Japanese. And for instance 永遠 is used for time(時間).

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