(Colloquial) 真逆 = まぎゃく( = magyaku ) + Other “contrary” words!


= Boku kogao desho!

= I have a small face, don’t I?


= Wah! Maggie sensei no kao deká!

= Wow! Maggie Sensei’s face is huge!


= Fun!

= Huh!


= Minasan Konnichiwa!

= Hi, everyone!


= Mata kono saito ni kite kurete arigatou!

= Thank you for visiting this site again.

Today’s guest teacher is マロン先生!( = Marron sensei) ! and today’s focus colloquial word is

:rrrr: 真逆 = まぎゃく = magyaku

It was one of the nominated trendy words of the year, 2004, but we still can’t find it in the dictionary.  However, a lot of comedians have started to use this on TV, so it has become a pretty standard word. I found it very interesting because it’s originally a slangy expression but we have started to hear/see this word in relatively serious TV shows, interviews, and even written articles!

Note : 真逆 is originally read as まさか  ( =  masaka) but it has a different meaning. (It means No way! There is no way, etc. I will teach you some other time.)

真逆 ( = magyaku) means 正反対= sei hantai ) exactly or just opposite of something or someone, contrary to something or someone


We often add ( = ma) when we stress the meaning.
This kanji can be read ( = ma)、まん ( = man)、まっ ( = matt) depending on the compound word

真後ろ =  maushiro = right behind

真上 = maue = right above

真下= mashita= right below

真夏 = manatsu = mid summer

真冬 = mafuyu= mid winter

真横 = mayoko = right next to

真っ青 = massao = deep blue

真っ白 = masshiro = stark white or pure white

真っ黒 = makkuro = pitch black

真っ新 = massara= brand new

真四角 = mashikaku = perfectly square

真っ直ぐ・真っすぐ = massugu = straight

真っ暗 = makkura = pitch dark

真っ裸 = mappadaka = stark naked, completely naked

真っ最中 = massaichuu = right in the middle of ~

真ん中 = mannaka = midst, right in the center

逆  ( = gyaku) means reverse, contrary, counter, opposite

Ex. 私達は逆の立場にいる。

= Watashitachi wa gyaku no tachiba ni iru.

= We are in opposite situations.

Ex. 逆の道を行く。

= Gyaku no michi wo iku

= to go the opposite route

so 真逆  ( = magyaku) = stresses the meaning of “opposite, contrary, reverse, different”

Let’s take a look at the picture above,



= Boku kogao desho!

= I have a small face, don’t I?


= Wah! Maggie sensei no kao deká!

= Wow! Your face is huge, Miss Maggie!

📝 Notes :

I think I mentioned in a past lesson that having a “small face” is considered to be a good thing in Japan.
There are lots of fashion magazines showing makeup or hair styling techniques that will make your face look smaller.
So when people see your face and say


= Waa kao ga chiisai!!

= Wow! You have a small face!

It is a compliment.


= Deká!

is a colloquial way to say でかい = dekai = huge.
A fairly new way to finish a word is with the small = small “”/”” = tsu

Ex. 眠い = ねむい = nemui = sleepyねむっ! = nemuh!

Ex. 寒い = さむい = samui = cold →さむっ! = samuh! 

When we compare two different things, ideas, concepts, or people, we say 真逆 (= magyaku)

Ex. 私達、真逆の性格だから…

= Watashitachi magyaku no seikaku dakara…

= We have completely different personalities so…

Ex. 真逆なタイプの二人の人を好きになってしまった。

= Magyaku na taipu no futari no hito wo suki ni natte shimatta.

= I fell in love with two completely different types of people.

Ex. 事実とは真逆

= Jijitsu to wa magyaku

= It is completely different from the truth, to be utterly false

Ex. 彼女は見た目と真逆なキャラだね。

= Kanojo wa mitame to magyaku na kyara dane.

= Her character is different from her appearance.

Ex. 最近、夜と昼、生活が真逆になっている。

= Saikin yoru to hiru seikatsu ga magyaku ni natteiru.

= My life has been reversed days and nights recently.

  Note : In regular Japanese, we just say ( = gyaku) or 反対  (  =hantai), 違う ( = chigau), when we want to stress out the meaning, just say 正反対 ( = seihantai) or 全く違う ( = mattaku chigau)


OK, since it is a good opportunity, I will teach you related words!

🔸 逆さま = sakasama = upside down

:rrrr: we also say 上下逆さま = jouge sakasama =  upside down

Ex. ずっと、知らずにこの絵を(上下)逆さまにかけていた。

= Zutto shirazu ni kono e wo (jouge) sakasama ni kakete ita.

= I’ve been hanging these pictures upside down all this time without knowing.

🔸裏返し = uragaeshi


= Maggie, Tshatsu uragaeshi ni kiteruyo.

= Maggie, you are wearing your T-shirt inside out.

左右逆= left-right reversal

(We also say 左右反対 = sayuu hantai )

Ex. 靴を左右逆に履いてしまった。

= Kutsu wo sayuu gyaku ni haite shimatta.

= I wore my shoes on the wrong feet.

🔸 反対 = hantai = opposite, reverse,

Ex. 反対側= hantaigawa = the opposite side


= Ai to nikushimi wa hantai da.

= Love is the opposite of hatred.

🔸 あべこべ = abekobe = the other way around

:rrrr: あべこべにする = abekobe ni suru = to get ~ the wrong way round


= Naifu to fooku no okikata ga abekobe dayo.

= You put the knife and a fork in backward.

Ex. あべこべの方向に進む

= abekobe no houkou ni susumu.

= to go in a different direction


= Maggie Sensei yori

= From Maggie Sensei

Marron is soo cute! If you want to see just how different we are, check out this video!



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  1. Hello, could you Dear Maggie Sensei perhaps please explain this one:
    what is the origin of the “ん” in “真ん中”.
    You say “真” has three different KUN readings, but if they were different readings, then the “ん” would be included in the “真” itself and not added after it.
    I thought that the “ん” is a remaining part of “の”, as in “真の中”. But I am wrong.

    What on earth is this “ん”. Could you perhaps look at it in 日本語源大辞典? I have no access to the book. I would be so grateful.

    Thank you.

    1. @Student

      Hi Student,
      I don’t have 日本語語源大辞典 but 真ん中 came from a word 真中 (manaka). For the pronunciation purpose, they added ん in the middle.

  2. it’s great. i would like to see more from your lessons. your lesson helped me understand clearly. thank you so much sensei

  3. Thank you so much for this lessons, and all others! I don’t comment much, but I am SERIOUSLY GRATEFUL for all of these!!!

  4. LOL… these cute puppies make me laugh.
    Maggie, don’t let marron sit on your hat! Because someday he maybe sits on your head too :P

    1. @Adelheid
      Thank you for your comment! Haha, OK, will be careful not to let him sit on my hat.
      MaggieとMarronの見かけ(=appearance) が、真逆です!

  5. your site is the best source to learn Japanese ^-^

    btw, I came across these words “よちちは”&”よちの” I always thought it means something like “watashi”…????not really sure?

    1. @manju

      Hi Manju!
      “よちちは”&”よちの” ? I have never heard of them. If I come across these words, I will let you know. Where did you see them? It would help if you give me the whole sentence.

  6. For me, Marron-sensei and Maggie-sensei are both cute! :D

    Btw, I have a question. I’m confused with these two words: 点検 and 検問. The dictionary says both mean inspection. But is/are there any difference/s? Like, when it comes to how it’s used or something?

    Thanks! ^^

    1. @amelie

      Oh there are very different.
      点検 is to check something is functioning properly.
      Ex. 車の点検、エンジンの点検
      検問 is used when police stop passersby or cars to inspect.

  7. デカイってスラングでしょう?
    先生、An Anっていう雑誌を知ってるの?女の子のためにの雑誌からジャニーズはモデルしてるんだ!赤西仁も山Pも真っ裸で雑誌にいったの。。。なんか嫌だね・・・


    1. @Aki
      Hi Aki! ”でかい”は”大きい”のくだけた(casual)言い方だけれどもスラングではなく昔からある言葉ですよ。カタカナで書くから新しく見えるよね。
      Akiの大学では日本人の留学生(りゅうがくせい)今年はいないの?残念!!でもAkiの大学に行く日本人留学生はラッキーだよね。Akiがいるから! :)

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