Google gave me "disagreeable" for just "うとましく" and "to be shy" for "うとましく思う"

These obviously don't have the same meaning. What's more, when I put the full sentence that I'm trying to translate into DeepL Translator and Google Translate, (the sentence was "しかし、そんな将校をうとましく思う男がいた。それは、王様の下につく大臣だ") it came up with "to be envious"

So which is correct? or are none of those correct? Any reason why I got all these different answers (plus "to have an inferiority complex?)

  • 3
    If this is the level of Japanese you're consuming, you can probably read and understand a monolingual dictionary entry for うとましい, yes? It would be better to have more to base the question on than just machine translations.
    – Leebo
    Nov 8, 2022 at 9:18

1 Answer 1


I'm not quite sure how Google got "to be shy" for 疎【うと】ましく思【おも】う. In my experience, 疎ましく思う usually means more "to be annoyed", "to have bad feelings about (something/someone)", "to feel like (something) is not right/unfair", etc.

I suppose in some contexts, things like 疎ましく思う感じ can be interpreted as "feeling isolated/estranged", which may be where Google got "shy" from, but I think that's really more a feeling of not getting along with someone or being excluded from a group, etc, not merely being shy or introverted.

So given this, I think one can also see how it might actually make sense to translate it as something like "envious" too, in sentences like your example.

This is another good example of why you shouldn't put too much trust in things like Google Translate (DeepL is much better, IMHO, but still not perfect either), especially for translating individual words/phrases out of context...

  • +1. Also, please emphasize that machine translation engines are very unreliable for translating individual words and phrases out of context. 😄 Nov 8, 2022 at 23:09
  • Ok, so would "doubted" sound correct?
    – Marie OP
    Nov 10, 2022 at 9:23
  • @MarieOP I don't think I would say "doubted". When I said "not right" I wasn't talking about accuracy, but rather feeling that something is not the way it should be. Think more "dissatisfied".
    – Foogod
    Nov 10, 2022 at 21:13

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