I came across this phrase while playing a Japanese game:


I was just wondering what does 食欲がわかない mean in this context, furthermore, I want to know about what Kanji is わかない.

Appreciate the help!

2 Answers 2


食欲がわく literally means "appetite springs up (in one's mind/heart)" → "have a good appetite", "feel hungry" or "feel like eating". The わく here is like "spring up", close to 生じる or 出る.

わく in the phrase 食欲がわく should be 湧く (rather than 沸く, "to boil") in Kanji, but it's usually written in Hiragana.

A few examples of this わく(湧く) from プログレッシブ和英中辞典:

Your words have filled me with courage [hope]. / What you said has given me courage [hope].
恐怖心が湧いた。 Fear sprang up in 「my heart [me].
見る物すべてに興味がわいた。 I took interest in everything I saw.
それには全く好奇心がわかなかった。 It failed to excite my curiosity.


I found this: https://eow.alc.co.jp/search?q=%E9%A3%9F%E6%AC%B2%E3%81%8C%E3%82%8F%E3%81%8F

Which says it means to work up one's appetite

And I found this: https://eow.alc.co.jp/search?q=%E9%A3%9F%E6%AC%B2%E3%81%8C%E3%82%8F%E3%81%8F

For what the Kanji might be: 湧{わ}く

Does "I can't work up an appetite" make sense in the context of your game?

  • Yeah, in the context of my game, the character is talking about how their food wasn't the same as normal, because she was eating other people's dishes absent-mindedly. So I don't know how to translate that properly. Apr 7, 2020 at 8:34

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