A few of the translation apps I use show both to mean happy. Are these synonyms or is there a deeper level for one, like joy might be considered deeper than happy?
高 = highly; 兴= delighted
高兴 = happy; glad; delighted
describe a emotional state of being delighted
开= open; 心 = heart
开心 = happy; joyful
metaphorically describe an effect of being happy
Both 高兴 and 开心 means 'happy', but with different emphasis.
For example, if you are glad that you didn't get killed in a car accident, you can say: "我很高興我還活著" (I am glad that I am still alive), but you wouldn't say: "我很開心我還活著" (I am joyful that I am still alive)
Another example, We use 我很高興見到你 (I am glad to see you) as a polite greeting, but "見到你我很開心" (seeing you make me happy) would be a more passionate expression.
- 开心 is also more personal, e.g. "今天是我最开心的一天" is more natural than "今天是我最高興的一天"
Another word for 'happy:
快 = satisfactory; 樂 = delight
快樂 = happy/ joyful/ cheerful (describe a joyful emotional state). It can be a noun or an adjective
- 高兴[gāo xìng]
- (愉快而兴奋) glad; happy; pleased; elated; joyful; cheerful:
- I'm very glad to see you. 我见到你很高兴。
- He is sure to be pleased [happy] at the news. 他听到这个消息一定很高兴。
- 开心[kāi xīn]
- （快乐; 舒畅） feel happy; rejoice; joyful; be delighted; have a grand time:
- His joy was immense. 他开心极了。
- The children dance round him in delight. 孩子们开心地围着他跳舞。