Oishii vs. Umai vs. Uma vs. Yabai: Delicious in Japanese

To say “Delicious” almost always pleases the cook who prepared the dish, which (of course) also applies to Japan.

So if you memorize how to say Delicious in Japanese, you will be almost ready to enjoy dinner at Japanese restaurants or with Japanese friends.

Delicious in Japanese

Delicious in Japanese

Today for those who want to know how to say Delicious in Japanese, I will introduce the four most common ways, from formal to casual or slang.

Oishii (おいしい/美味しい)

First, Oishii (pronunciation), also spelled Oishi, is the most common and formal way to say Delicious in Japanese.

You can use the politer version Oishii-Desu (おいしいです) (pronunciation) in every situation without hesitation. 

Umai (うまい/美味い)

Next, Umai (pronunciation), whose antonym is Mazui (不味い: meaning Taste bad), is another common way to say Delicious/Tasty in Japanese.

But Umai is less formal than Oishii and not recommended to use with people you don’t know. Also, this phrase tends to be more often used by males than females.

Uma (うまっ)

Short for Umai, Uma (pronunciation) is a casual way to say Delicious in Japanese.

As we often use this expression among male friends or family members, it is inappropriate to say Uma to strangers.

Yabai (やばい)

Last, Yabai (pronunciation) is a Japanese slang word often used by young generations, which can mean Delicious.

Yabai is a contronym or a word with opposite meanings; Dangerous & Awesome, and it can also mean Taste very good.

(Reference Pages: Goo Japanese Dictionary 美味しい, うまい )


Hi, I'm Tomo, a Japanese blogger living in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. For the purpose of enriching your life, I would like to introduce things about Japan on this blog, especially unique Japanese products, cooking recipes, cultures, and facts and trivia.

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