I was watching an anime when a quite interesting conversation happened. I could only read the subtitles as my Japanese is really bad but I tried my best to reconstruct the sentence afterwards.

Here is a copy of the section:

From what I can understand (please correct me) it's something like


The subtitles where something like

Having doubts is human, that is why we try to be devine.

So I checked the 迷 in this sentence and there are many possible translations. In the context of the situation it really was about having doubts as a human and becoming someone like Bhudda,so maybe due to the 辶 in 迷 denoting a sort of path on which somebody is lost on his spiritual travel towards Nirvana? But out of this context is there any reason in using 迷 here instead of other things like 危疑?

  • 5
    You understand that 迷 is not a standalone thing, but part of the word 迷う?
    – Leebo
    Commented Aug 30, 2020 at 12:38
  • 3
    – Angelos
    Commented Aug 30, 2020 at 13:45
  • Ah I rather reverse translated that from the subtitles thinking it should end up with a noun, but if it's 迷うI guess the translation should have more emphasis on the journey and being lost rather than 'doubt' or 'doubting' hence the choise of words, right? So 'doubt' might have been the least fitting term here. Commented Aug 30, 2020 at 14:24
  • "To have doubts" is a possible way to translate 迷う. And the verb is being turned into a noun by the の after it.
    – Leebo
    Commented Aug 30, 2020 at 21:43
  • Minor point, but the word meaning "god-like" is divine. :) Commented Sep 1, 2020 at 17:19

2 Answers 2


First, the correct transcription is:


This 迷う is a verb that just means "to hesitate to make up one's mind" or "to think much and be unable to decide". Although there is no perfect equivalent in English, this is a very common and mundane verb in Japanese, and it has nothing to do with a specific religion. For example 迷っています usually just means "I'm still thinking". You can see several example sentences here and here. "Having doubts" should be one of the possible translations depending on the context.

Grammatically, this is a cleft sentence made from 人間は迷う.

Human beings cannot decide.

It's human beings who cannot decide.
(This が is for exhaustive-listing)

One sentence similar to this is 失敗するのが人間だ ("To err is human").

  • 1
    Okay thank you for correcting this sentence! So this means it's just a normal word. Commented Sep 2, 2020 at 6:52

I found it is very difficult to translate without some background info.I couldn't figure out what the speaker actually meant. Here could be one of possible interpretations.


We may make mistakes because we are human, therefore, I wish to follow noble instinct.

Does it make sense for the anime?

  • I think the one I gave is the most fitting in the situation. My question was more like, out of context, what else could this mean? Like, do the words used here already show that someone perhaps noble or a priest actually thought about their sentence? Commented Sep 2, 2020 at 7:22

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