Is there an expression in Cantonese with roughly the same meaning as the Japanese 気分転換 (I guess it's 氣分轉換 in Chinese characters)?
I would include an English translation but something might get lost in translation, so I'll just refer to these examples.

  • I don't know about Cantonese specifically, but you might take a look at 耳目一新 and 面目一新 Mar 31, 2013 at 18:45
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    @StumpyJoePete It seems going for a walk or having cold beer after long work hours are also 気分転換, but there is nothing 耳目一新 in them. I can't think of a better Chinese word though...
    – NS.X.
    Mar 31, 2013 at 19:30
  • Any reason why this has to be specifically Cantonese? Idioms are usually the same across all Chinese dialects/topolects, if that's what you are looking for that is. Mar 31, 2013 at 20:17
  • @deutschZuid If it really is the same then of course it doesn't matter. But seeing how it's not borrowed from Chinese and used more casually than a proverb in Japanese (I think), I thought it could be something more colloquial.
    – Toerndev
    Apr 1, 2013 at 11:50
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    "换口气", "喘口气", "透透气", "放松一下", "稍事休息", "歇息一会儿" are those I can think of closer to "気分転換" in Janpanese. Apr 1, 2013 at 17:41

3 Answers 3


I think if this this phrase means

release your stress and get a little rest, (maybe take some breath to help you relex ?)

there is some Chinese expression “缓口气”

  • The original expression is something like what you wrote, but also means "for a change" and "to refresh oneself". This one only seems to has the "relax" part of the meaning, which is kind of close. At least it does appear to be used in Cantonese.
    – Toerndev
    Aug 1, 2013 at 21:03
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    I think it's too difficult to find a exact word in Chinese which has all the meanings. you may use different words depends on conditions.
    – Yang
    Aug 2, 2013 at 1:32
  • Is 缓口气 a Cantonese expression?
    – NS.X.
    Aug 2, 2013 at 4:48
  • yes, if you are really stressed out, you can say that, it equals you say, give me a relief. And also in Chinese you can say "缓一缓", and "缓口气" just happen to have the meaning of get another breath
    – Yang
    Aug 2, 2013 at 5:07
  • You're right that it's too difficult, and this is the closest one now that it's confirmed Cantonese. :)
    – Toerndev
    Aug 2, 2013 at 9:44

轉換心情 I think.

There are lots of Japanese words that have totally different meanings from Chinese words though they uses similar characters.

In your question, 気分 in 気分転換 often meaning feeling or mood in Japanese, but in Chinese, there is no such a word 氣分, but a similar word 氣氛, which means atmosphere or ambiance.

The word structure is different, too. In Chinese we won't say 心情轉換 (object then verb) but 轉換心情 (verb then object), because Chinese is a subject-verb-object language, but Japanese is an SOV language.

  • I always thought of 気分転換 as a noun-noun, a "feeling refresher". In Japanese it needs a "suru" to be a verb. Yes, Japanese has many unique expressions.
    – Toerndev
    Aug 2, 2013 at 9:43

I think you can just say "放松一下".

  • This does actually get pretty close, although it doesn't have the same sense of "for a change" or "refresh oneself". I could accept this answer until there's something closer, but is this really used in colloquial Cantonese too? It has a very Mandarin feel.
    – Toerndev
    Aug 1, 2013 at 20:53
  • It is used in colloquial Cantonese. Quite frequently in fact. Feb 5, 2018 at 13:52

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