What does charai mean in Japanese？ちゃらい？チャライ？
Perhaps there is at least one person around you with such a character.
I hope that person is not you though!
When Japanese people describe somebody as “charai", it doesn’t have a very good meaning.
Anyway, let’s take a closer look at “charai”.
What does “charai" mean?
“Charai” is a word expressing that someone’s behavior is frivolous.
The word is sometimes used for describing a woman but is often used for a man.
And a “charai" man usually is the followings;
· looks shallow
· likes dressing showy
· is all talk, no action
· is always goofing around
· is always just having fun
· likes flirting
· is over-friendly
In the case of a woman, it seems to be the followings;
· wears exposed clothes
· dresses not matching for her age
· has dyed her hair with a too-bright color
· speaks with not so good language
· keeps empty talks, like repeating “Kawaii—!”
I think you can see it in any country that there are some people who think they are stylish or fashionable (oshare:おしゃれ）doing his/her best, but they aren’t or people around him/her disagree. The person may be creating a “charai” atmosphere, unfortunately. In most cases, the person does not intend to be “charai” at all.
Origin of “charai"
In Japanese, there is an adverb called “Character”.
It is used as follows.
Chara chara suru.
Chara chara shiteiru.
”Chara chara" means 1. Thin metal like coins hit each other and make noises, 2. To speak like a machine gun without a pause, 3. To dress cheap and flashy clothes or to behave frivolously.
Kozeni ga poketto no naka de chara chara itte iru.
こぜに が ぽけっと の なか で ちゃらちゃら いっている。
小銭 が ポケット の 中 で チャラチャラ いっている。
Coins in the pockets are making noises.
Kanojo wa chara chara to ususai hito da.
かのじょ は ちゃらちゃら と うるさい ひと だ。
彼女 は チャラチャラ と うるさい 人 だ。
She is noisy and speaks endlessly.
Stop behaving like a woman!
Ano hito wa chara-chara shiteiru.
That person is frivolous.
“Charai” is a shortened version of “charachara”. It is used as an adjective with “i” at the end.
“Charai” is said to have appeared for the first time in the 1980s. Since it has been more than 30 years since its birth, many people know the words in Japan. Many people use it not only among young people but also some adults.
“Charachra" originally represented a woman’s gait expressing sexual attraction.
In addition, there is a noun called “chara”. The meaning of this word is bullshit, irresponsible, random, lying or the like, which doesn’t have not so nice meaning like “charai”.