Speakin' Japanese: All about the family

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Speakin' Japanese: All about the family

by: Tetsuo Nakahara | .
Stripes Japan | .
published: June 16, 2015

Father’s Day is here, so let’s talk about kazoku, or family in Japanese. Here are some useful phrases to introduce yourself when you meet someone for the first time in Japanese. Gambatte kudasai! 

• “Watashi no ryoshin wa America ni sundeimasu.” = My parents live in the U.S.

• “Nannin kyodai ga imasuka?” = How many brothers and sisters do you have?
“Nannin kodomo ga imasuka?” = How many children do you have?

• “Oniisan ga hitori imasu.” = I have an older brother.
“otouto” = younger brother, “oneisan” = older sister, “imouto” = younger sister, “musuko” = son, “musume” = daughter
When you count people: “hitori” = one, “futari”= two, “three” = sannin, “yonin” = four

• “Watashi no otousan wa heitai desu.” = My father is a soldier.
“okaasan” = mother

• “Watashi no otousan wa totemo tsuyokute yasashii desu.” = My father is very strong and gentle.

• “Watashi no ojiisan (or ojiichan) wa totemo kibishii desu.” = My grandfather is very strict.
“obaasan” or “obaachan” = grandmother

• “Kanojyo wa watashino okusan desu.” = She is my wife.
There are other ways to say wife in Japanese: “yome”, “tsuma” and “kanai”.
• “Kare wa watashino dannasan (or danna) desu.” = He is my husband.

•“Watashino okusan wa ninshin shiteimasu.” = My wife is pregnant.
• “Mousugu akachan ga umaremasu.” = Soon, a baby will be delivered.

“oba” = aunt, “oji” = uncle, “shinseki” = cousin.

When on OKINAWA, you can also say it in “Uchinaanguchi” (island dialect) like this:
“Suu” = father
“Anmar” = mother
“Ojii” = grandfather
“Obar” = grandmother
“Ikiganguwa” = son
“Miyarabi” = daughter

nakahara.tetsuo@stripes.com

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