Today I’m going to show you how to say don’t worry in Japanese. There are several ways that you can say this phrase, and some of them are pretty close in meaning, but some of them are better used in one particular situation than another.
Below you’ll find four main sections and each one will be centered around a different expression that you can use.
Be sure to check them all out and learn the differences between each one. Let’s begin!
1. 心配 (shinpai) for “Concern”
The first phrase centers around the word 心配 (shinpai) which can be translated into English as “worry; concern; anxiety” and the like.
There are three expressions that all use this word in order to tell a person not to worry or be concerned about a matter.
The first one is very polite. It would most likely be used from a hostess, attendant, or receptionist when assuring a customer that the problem will be taking care of and that they need not worry about it any further.
- go shinpai naku.
- Do not worry.
The second phrase that uses this word is more casual in nature and would probably be used by a buddy or a co-worker.
It also involves the word 要る (iru) which means “to be needed” but we change it into its negative form in order to say that something, or in case “concern”, is not needed.
- shinpai ira nai.
- There’s no need to worry.
The last expression that we will cover using 心配 is kind of an interesting one because it’s known as a “yoji juku go” which means that it’s an expression that is written with four kanji and has a special meaning.
I’m sure you’re familiar with one such expression already: 一石二鳥 (isseki nichou) which means “two birds with one stone.”
At any rate, there are tons of yoji juku go out there, but for now we will go over the one that has to do with 心配.
- shinpai muyou
- there is no need for anxiety
The new word in this construction is 無用 (muyou) which means “unnecessary; needless” and is combined with our “worry word” to say that there’s no need for it!
2. 気にする (ki ni suru) for “To Worry”
Now we move on to the second section to cover an expression that is probably used even more often that the first!
In this case, we want to take a look at the expression 気にする (ki ni suru) which means “to mind something (negatively); to worry about (something).”
So just like the phrases in the first section, we take this phrase and tell people not to do it!
There are two primary ways that this is done. One of them is more polite, softer, and feels like a request. The other is stronger, commanding, and usually comes from a person of higher status than the listener.
Let’s go over the softer version first.
- ki ni shi nai de.
- (please) don’t worry about it.
Here all we’ve done it change the する verb into its negative te-form. The te-form is very often used to make polite requests and even though the word please wasn’t expressly written, it is implied.
You could of course just add it to the end if you did want to say please and be extra polite. In that case, you would add on the word ください (kudasai) after the で (de).
Now let’s take a look at the more forceful version.
- ki ni suru na!
- Forget about it!
In this case we have taken our phrase that meant “to be concerned about something” and added on the ending na-particle.
What that does is prohibit the verb that came directly before it. This is really only used by men in Japanese, and due to it’s commanding nature, it’s not something you would ever say to someone above you in status (like your boss).
3. 安心 (anshin) for “Peace of Mind”
So far we’ve been learning how to tell people not to do something.
But what if we want to tell them to do something?
That can be accomplished with the help of this next word. It is 安心 (anshin) which translates as “peace of mind; relief” in English.
We take this word and combine it with the polite version of the verb “to do” like we did earlier to tell someone to “be at peace” because the matter will be taken care of.
- anshin shite.
- (please) rest assured.
This is kind of nice because the word has positive connotations and puts the focus on being calm and relaxed about a matter, rather than the other examples we saw that just said not to worry about what’s wrong.
4. 大丈夫 (daijoubu) for “Alright”
Another way that we say “don’t worry” in English is by telling someone that something is “alright.”
They tell you that they forgot to bring the dip, and now you just have chips to eat while watching the football game together.
But, you don’t really mind it because you happen to like these chips dry as well as with dip. So you tell your friend that it’s alright, and they don’t need to worry about it.
- daijoubu desu yo.
- It’s alright.
One of the dictionary definitions of 大丈夫 is “problem-free” which really encapsulates this word’s meaning.
Another thing about this word is that it requires the verb です (desu) or one of its variants in order to be grammatically correct, but since it is such a frequently used word it is actually pretty common to hear it used all by itself.
- daijoubu, daijoubu.
- It’s fine, everything is alright.
That’s all I’ve got for today’s lesson on the many different ways that you can tell a person not to worry about something.
If you’ve got any questions about any of the words or phrases that we covered, let me know by leaving a comment down below.
Or if you know of any additional ways to say this phrase in Japanese, then put it in and I will add it to the list!
Further Resources for Learning Japanese: