Dictionaries lead me to understand 快乐 as happy. Whereas 喜乐 as delighted, happiness, joy. In English joy denotes a stronger, deeper emotion. Is the difference in meanings of 快乐 and 喜乐 great enough to express the same contrast?

  • +1. You can look at examples of 快乐 and 喜乐 here.
    – jsj
    Feb 7, 2013 at 13:28
  • @trideceth12 The examples of 喜乐 are a little “Bible” style. I only see sentences like this in the Chinese version of the Bible. 喜乐 is seldom used now in the Beijing area of China.
    – fefe
    Feb 9, 2013 at 5:23
  • 我从来没见过也没用过“喜乐”这个词,我也十分肯定现在的中国人不会用这个词。
    – Zhou Heng
    Feb 14, 2013 at 6:07
  • 1
    @Zhou Heng - See 圣经新世界译本 -> 腓立比书1:25 -> "我既然这样深信,就知道仍要住在世间,且与你们众人同住,使你们在所信的道上,又长进又喜乐"。 Feb 20, 2013 at 21:36
  • are you sure you doesn't make mistake “喜乐” for "喜悦" ? We never use "喜乐". It sounds like used in 民国. Mar 14, 2013 at 13:50

4 Answers 4


I think what you mean is 喜悦 not 喜乐 though 乐 can also be pronounced as yuè . This is how I differentiate the two:

  • 喜悦(xǐ yuè) is a passionate feeling of joy. This is usually expressed in the form of a smile.
  • 快乐(kuài lè) is a pleasant emotional response due to an external stimuli. This is usually expressed in the form of laughter.

快乐 is more obvious than 喜悦.

  • 1
    Actually I have to contradict you there. The 乐 in 喜乐 is pronounced as expected, which is lè. It wouldn't make any sense for it to be pronounced yuè as its meaning would change completely (it'd be "happy music" which is really a sum of parts compound). Here is the entry for it on zdic.net: zdic.net/cd/ci/12/ZdicE5Zdic96Zdic9C114284.htm. 喜乐 is a much rarer compound than 喜悦, that much I agree, but I have been able to find citations of it in various written texts online. I've included one example in my comment reply on the question. Feb 20, 2013 at 21:43
  • 1
    @JamesJiao, I am just pointing out what the OP could have meant based on the meaning (delighted, happiness, joy) that he wrote in his question and his request for a comparison with 快乐. Never did I suggest 喜乐 does not exist or that 喜乐 is 喜悦. If he understood what 喜乐 means and its usage, then in all likelihood, he wouldn't be asking for a comparison. In this case, I felt that it is more useful to introduce him to 喜悦 than to answer exactly what he wants.
    – 杨以轩
    Feb 22, 2013 at 7:25
  • 喜 -> you are happy, in the bottom of your heart, you're smiling, or no actions, though to be honest, you're happy.
  • 乐 -> you are happy, behaved outside your body, you're laughing, etc.

You can pretend to be 乐, but you can hardly pretend to be 喜. You can easily find someone 乐 but you cannot find someone 喜. That's why this word is seldom used. Here's a word 喜欢 which means 'like'. 欢 is happier than 乐, you may dance, sing and jump. Thus this word means "when you see this, you are 喜 and 欢", so this word means 'like'. In the ancient time, 喜欢 can also be written as 欢喜, but in modern Chinese 欢喜 only refers to an emotion.

快乐 is the same as 乐, while 喜乐 is happiness, joy.

When 喜 and 乐 are together, you're REALLY happy (not only 喜 but also 乐), you are laughing loudly, or other actions, for example, your emotion after you win a lottery ($999999999999999).

I don't agree that 喜乐 is 喜悦, because 乐 refers to music when 乐 is pronounced as yue4.


i did a quick search: https://www.google.com.sg/search?q=%E5%96%9C%E4%B9%90&oq=%E5%96%9C%E4%B9%90&aqs=chrome.0.57&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

喜乐 is common in the bible, we can deduce from sentences, it means 喜悦+快乐.


乐 of "快乐" : [1]:乐<- - - [1a]: It's a simplfied Chinese writing; while 樂 < - - - [1b]: this one Traditional Chinese writing.

[2]: the vey oiginal meaning of 樂 :: total of 樂 made of 3 patrs / components: [2a]: 2 "ㄠ" : these 2 ㄠ = 系 :: 窗簾的 蕾絲 = 窗帘的蕾丝 = Lace; the lowest-portiong of curtains. so. it's image/graph similar to "sum of strings".

[2b]: 白 : it's an image/graph the same as your 1st finge: thumb.= 拇指

[2c]: lowest paotion: 木. indicate a wood-made musical instrument.

[3]: violin = 弦琴, 弧琴: these musical instrument played by human-being's THUMB.

[4]: [1a+1c] = [ strings + wood ] = violin, or any Chinese 弦琴, 弧琴

[5]: { [1b]= THUMB ) + [4] } = when during human play music. they feel "HAPPY".

[6]: finally, 樂 = happhy.

to learn Chinese, when you see "simplified 乐" you can not link into [5]; you have to learn 樂 this taditional Chinese writing to get the image: human play music , then get the feeling : HAPPY.

  • This is interesting information, but it has nothing to do with the question! Jun 20, 2013 at 0:01

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