I recently bought some highlighters from Japan that are pastel in color and on the front it says 「やさしい色のソフトカラー」 and I'm a bit confused since 「やさしい色」and 「ソフトカラー」both, in my mind, mean "pastels" so I don't understand what the の connecting the two means since they're both the same concepts.

What would be a good translation?

1 Answer 1


This sounds like an unnatural tautology to me, too. Sometimes people use two similar words effectively to emphasize some concept, but in my opinion, this tautology is not working very well as a catchphrase. You don't have to worry about this too much.

  • This reminds me of other tautologies in place names, such as the Shinsen-gawa River, displayed on the sign in Japanese as the 新川川【しんせんがわ】 -- making the English effectively decompose into, "New River River River". Commented May 6, 2022 at 0:17

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