Leaning Japanese : What’s the difference between ’souka(そうか)’ and ‘naruhodone(なるほどね)’

inspiration Leaning Japanese

A friend of mine who is learning Japanese asked me “What is the difference between ‘souka(そうか)’ and ‘naruhodone(なるほどね)'”.

I’m Japanese, so I understand the difference. But I couldn’t explain it well in English.
So I decided to write it in this blog so that I can explain it in English.

Leaning Japanese: What’s the difference between ’souka’ and ‘naruhodone’

‘souka(そうか)’ and ‘naruhodone(なるほどね)’ are used to show that you agree or understand what the other person is saying during conversation in Japanese.

They are equivalent to ‘I see’ and ‘That makes sense.’ in English.

Both are casual expressions, but ‘souka(そうか)’ is more so.

When written in sentences, it is expressed as ‘souka(そうか)’, but in actual conversation, it is often pronounced as ‘sokka(そっか)’.

You should avoid using these words in business scenes and only use them when talking to close friends.

If you say these words to your boss, you might be regarded as impolite.

’naruhodone(なるほどね)’ is also used in similar situations, but it is a little more formal.

However, there is a difference in strength. ’naruhodone(なるほどね)’ gives the impression that the speaker manage to give you deeper understanding and a better explanation.

And also, you shouldn’t really use it in business scenes.

If the speaker is very superior or is old-fashioned, they may think you are a bit rude.

In business scenes, it’s safer to use words like ‘wakarimashita (分りました)’ or ‘syouchishimasita (承知しました)’.


英語だと、’I see’ や ‘That makes sense.’ といった言葉と同様の場面で使用されます。

どちらもカジュアルな表現ですが、’souka(そうか)’ の方は、とてもカジュアルな表現です。

文章で書くと ‘souka(そうか)’ という表現ですが、実際の会話では、’sokka(そっか)’ と表現されることも多いです。



’naruhodone(なるほどね)’ も、ほとんど同じ場面で使われますが、こちらの方がややフォーマルです。

ただ、強度の違いがあります。 ’naruhodone(なるほどね)’ の方が、より深く理解できた、とても良い説明をしてくれた、という印象を与えます。



ビジネスの場面であれば、’wakarimashita(分りました)’, ‘syouchishimasita(承知しました)’ といった言葉を使う方が無難です。