Japanese vocabulary list: Science terms

By | January 3, 2015

For this post I’ve decided to create a vocabulary list for scientific terms in Japanese.

I’m personally interested in science and enjoy trying to read Japanese magazines and books written about science, and I hope this list inspires some of you to try out the same.

I will try to stay to pretty general terms without spending too much time in any one specific field.

Many of the following words be used in both verb form and noun form (like 発明 (noun) vs 発明する(verb) ), and in cases like that I’ll just give the noun form instead of both.

  • 科学(かがく) science
  • 化学(かがく)chemistry  (can be differentiated against ‘Science’ by saying ‘ばけがく’ (化け学))
  • 物理学(ぶつりがく)physical science
  • 調べる(しらべる)research (verb)
  • 研究   (けんきゅう)research
  • 研究所 (けんきゅうしょ)  laboratory, research institute  (I’ve also seen ラボ used for this)
  • 研究者 (けんきゅうしゃ) researcher
  • 調査 (ちょうさ)investigation/inquiry
  • アンケート survey/questionnaire
  • 結果 (けっか)result
  • 研究結果 (けんきゅうけっか) research result
  • 原因(げんいん)cause
  • 結論(けつろん)conclusion
  • 解明する (かいめいする)to clarify
  • 実験 (じっけん) experiment
  • 実験レポート (じっけんれぽーと)experiment report (contains the results of the experiment and analysis, etc.)
  • 証拠 (しょうこ)evidence
  • 証明 (しょうめい)proof  (often used as a noun (as in 証明する) to mean something has been proven scientifically)
  • 成功 (せいこう)success
  • 失敗 (しっぱい)failure
  • 物質 (ぶっしつ)matter
  • 分子 (ぶんし)particle
  • 素粒子 (そりゅうし) elementary particle
  • 原子(げんし)atom
  • 原子核 (げんしかく)nucleus of an atom (or just 核)
  • 図(ず)diagram
  • 表(ひょう)chart
  • 電気(でんき)electricity (also can mean a light)
  • 静電気(せいでんき)static electricity
  • 重力(じゅうりょく) force of gravity
  • 磁石(じしゃく)magnet
  • 磁力(じりょく) magnetic force
  • 磁場(じば)magnetic field
  • 電磁波 (でんじは)electromagnetic wave
  • 電波  (でんぱ)electronic wave
  • 電流(でんりゅう)electric current
  • 電池(でんち)battery
  • 発明  (はつめい)invention
  • 発明家 (はつめいか)inventor
  • 無線 (むせん) wireless
  • 送信機(そうしんき)transmitter
  • 受信機(じゅしんき)receiver
  • 説明(せつめい)explanation
  • 技術(ぎじゅつ)technology
  • 動物(どうぶつ)animal
  • 植物(しょくぶつ)plant
  • 生物(せいぶつ) living thing
  • 生命体(せいめいたい)life form (more of a technical term than the previous word)
  • 微生物(びせいぶつ)microorganism
  • 細胞(さいぼう)cell
  • 顕微鏡(けんびきょう)microscope
  • 望遠鏡(ぼうえんきょう)telescope
  • 双眼鏡 (そうがんきょう)binoculars
  • 回路(かいろ)(electrical) circuit
  • 信号(しんごう)(electrical) signal
  • 陽子(ようし)proton
  • 電子(でんし)electron (or can be used as a prefix to mean something is electronic as well)
  • 電子レンジ(でんしれんじ)microwave (machine used to heat food in the kitchen)
  • 博士(はかせ or はかし)doctor (i.e. holder of a PHD)
  • 教授 (きょうじゅ) professor (that teaches at a college, etc.)
  • 活動(かつどう)activity (can be used to describe someone active in a certain scientific field)
  • 素材 (そざい)material (like that used in an experiment)
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8 thoughts on “Japanese vocabulary list: Science terms

  1. marik009

    You have a great blog BTW! Thanks for this awesome list. I know I could put these to good use as a science major myself.

  2. elektra298

    This is awesome. I am going to study abroad in a science lab in Japan and this is exactly what I’ve been looking for

    1. locksleyu Post author

      Glad it was useful to someone. If you any questions about these words or any other Japanese-related questions let me know. (:

  3. anto

    hey thanks for this and the math one. I hope there would also be another article like this for social studies and modern Japanese

    1. locksleyu Post author

      What do you mean by “modern Japanese”? Most of my posts and vocabulary lists are about modern Japanese, at least in the sense of they are words that are spoken by modern people in Japan.

  4. Annie

    Thank you for your efforts! You’ve made an amazing list which contains all information I was looking for. 🙂


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