Maybe you know the word “yatta” from a certain Japanese song, maybe you know it from anime. In this blog post, I am going to tell you everything you need to know about what “yatta” (やった) means in Japanese and how to translate it to English. As usual, here are its meaning and translations in a nutshell.
“Yatta” (やった) is a Japanese exclamation that means “I did it!”, “I made it!”, “Yay”, or “Hooray”. It is used to express joy and excitement about a usually hard-earned victory or accomplishment. The word is the past tense of the Japanese verb “yaru” (やる) and can also be used to say “I did …”.
Below I will illustrate the different meanings and translations of the word “yatta” (やった) with a bunch of examples. This will help you to fully understand when and how to use the word in Japanese. You will also find the meaning of the related expressions “Yatta ne!“, “Yoku yatta!“, and “Yatta desu ne!“. These phrases are not only useful for understanding anime but can be used in daily life as well.
The Meaning of “Yatta” in Japanese & English
In Japanese, “yatta” (やった) has two distinct meanings. It can be a stand-alone expression that is used as an exclamation of joy and excitement meaning “I did it!” or “Hooray“. But it can also be the conjugated form of the Japanese verb “yaru” (やる) that is used to talk about something you “did” in the past.
I did it!
Shukudai o yatta.
I did my homework.
When you use “yatta” (やった) as an exclamation it shows that you are really happy about a result, an outcome, or something you just did or finished. It usually includes being proud of what you did or feeling a sense of accomplishment because you put in a lot of effort and/or time.
That’s why depending on the situation, “yatta” (やった) can have the following English translations:
- I did it!
- I made it!
- Yay, I did it!
- Yes! I did it!
After winning a difficult match or tournament, for example, you can say “Yatta!” (やった) meaning “Hooray! I did it!” or “Yay, I did it!“. Or maybe after beating your best friend in a video game you can declare your victory by shouting “Yatta!” which I would translate as “Yes!” in this situation.
Shiai ni katta! Yatta!
I won the match! I did it!
Yatta! Ore no kachi da!
Yes! I won!
The word also often has the underlying meaning of “Finally!” and can be used when you have been working really hard or long on solving, finishing, or achieving something and well you finally did it.
So the following translations of the word “yatta” (やった) are also correct. As I said before, it all depends on the context and the situation.
- Yes! Finally!
- Finally, I did it!
- I made it! Finally!
- Yay, it’s over! Finally!
In anime, it is also sometimes used when another person (finally) agrees on giving something or doing something with the character. Usually, the character, who says “Yatta!” has been asking or pestering the other person for quite some time. That’s why they are so happy when they finally agree on taking them to a place or going on a date, etc.
Yatta! Jaa, Shibuya ni ikou!
Yay! Well then, let’s go to Shibuya!
One more thing you should know about the exclamation “yatta” (やった) is that it can also be mean “We did it!“, “You did it!“, “He did it!“, “She did it!“. Again, it all depends on the situation.
How to Use “Yatta” in Japanese – Common Phrases
Before we take a look at the translation and meaning of some of the most commonly encountered phrases with the word “yatta“, I want to give you a few more examples of how “yatta” (やった) or “o yatta” (をやった) is used in a sentence meaning “did“.
Kare ga sore o yatta!
He did that!
Nani o yatta no?
What did you do?
Naze anna koto o yatta n da?
Why did you do something like that?
Generally speaking, the sentence structure “…o yatta” (〇〇をやった) can be used to say “I did…” and sometimes “I gave…“. It is used in a few expressions like for example “shukudai o yatta” (宿題をやった) which means “did my homework” or “kane o yatta” (金をやった) which translates as “gave money“, etc.
shukudai o yatta
did my homework
kane o yatta
inu ni kukkii o yatta
gave my dog a cookie
Yatta ne – “Great!”, “Congrats” or “You Did it!”
“Yatta ne” (やったね) is best translated as “You did it“, “Great!”, or “Congrats!“. Its meaning is similar to “Yatta!” but the particle ne (ね) is often used when seeking agreement and can be translated as “isn’t it?” or “huh?“. It can also mean something along the lines of “I did it, don’t you agree?“.
You did it!
You did it, huh?
I did it, don’t you agree?
When “Yatta ne!” (やったね) is used to talk about one’s own victory or success it sounds softer and more humble than “Yatta!” (やった). In this case, I would translate it as “I did it, don’t you agree?“, “I did it, don’t you think so?“, or “I did it, right?“.
However, when you say “Yatta ne!” (やったね) to another person after they won or achieved something, it shows that you were rooting for them and that you are happy for them. Here, it can also be translated as “Great!” or “Congrats!” instead of “You did it!“.
Yoku Yatta – “Well Done” or “Good Job”
“Yoku yatta” (よくやった) means “Well done” or “Great job“. The phrase is used in Japanese to praise or compliment someone for something they did. Usually, it is used by a person of a higher status like your boss or senior to a person with lower status and it can also be translated as “You did well!“.
You did well!
Yatta desu ne – “We Did it!” or “You Did it!”
“Yatta desu ne” (やったですね) means “We did it!” or “You did it!“. The phrase is used to praise another person for something they did well and is politer than “Yatta!” (やった) and “Yatta ne!” (やったね). Generally speaking, the phrases have similar meanings, though, and can be used in the same situations.
Yatta desu ne!
You did it!
We did it!
Yatta vs Yokatta – What’s the Difference?
“Yatta” (やった) means “Yay“, “I did it“, or “I did (something)” and “yokatta” (よかった, 良かった) translates as “(something) was good“, “That’s great“, or “I’m glad to hear that“. Both phrases express joy and positive feelings, but “yatta” sounds more excited and “yokatta” can also express relief.
I did it!
I’m glad to hear that!
Since “yatta” and “yokatta” sound fairly similar I can see why people might confuse them. However, as you can see their meanings and translations are completely different.
“Yokatta” (よかった, 良かった) is used to respond to good news, but “yatta” (やった) is used when you have achieved something successfully after working really hard for it.
In addition, “yatta” (やった) is a rather casual phrase that should only be used with friends, while “yokatta” (よかった, 良かった) can be used in all kinds of formal and informal situations.
If you want to know more about the meaning and translation of “yokatta”, please check out my linked blog post.