Family Words

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Family words in Japanese image

Japanese Vocabulary: Family Words and Phrases

As you probably know, Japanese often has several ways to say the same thing depending on one's status and to whom one is speaking. Speaking of family members is no different.

Let's first take a look at names for family members:

one's own family other family
father

chichi
father
お父さん
otousan
mother

haha
mother
お母さん
okaasan
husband

otto
husband
ご主人
goshujin
wife

tsuma
wife
奥さん
okusan
son
息子
musuko
son
息子さん
musukosan
daughter

musume
daughter
娘さん
musumesan

Japanese also distinguishes between older and younger siblings:

one's own family other family
older brother

ani
older brother
お兄さん
oniisan
younger brother

otouto
younger brother
弟さん
otoutosan
older sister

ane
older sister
お姉さん
oneesan
younger sister

imouto
younger sister
妹さん
imouto san

oniisan and oneesan are also used in general for young adults (or teenagers).

Extended Family Members:

one's own family other family
grandfather
祖父
sofu
grandfather
おじいさん
ojiisan
grandmother
祖母
sobo
grandmother
おばあさん
obaasan
uncle
叔父
伯父

oji
[Both kanji above are pronounced the same way; the first means the uncle is younger than one's father and the second means the uncle is older.]
uncle
叔父さん
伯父さん

ojisan
[Both kanji above are pronounced the same way; the first means the uncle is younger than one's father and the second means the uncle is older.]
aunt
叔母
伯母

oba
aunt
叔母さん
伯母さん

obasan

Be careful with the obasan / obaasan and ojisan / ojiisan.

General Family Words:

family
家族
kazoku
relatives
親戚
shinseki
parents
両親
ryoushin
children
子供
kodomo
siblings
兄弟
kyoudai