007: Family Ties

Family is an important and often tricky thing. While at first it may appear as simple as Mom, Dad, Brother, and Sister, there are a few other perspectives that we forget when we assume family is that simple. Today’s lesson is about 1. Perspective, and 2. Respect. We will be breaking down the basic Japanese family unit and all it’s special intricacies. 

 

Mom. While this may be some people’s first word, there are numerous ways to say mom in English. Mom, Ma, Mother, Mommy, Mama, etc. However in Japanese there is considerably less variation. However, the word you use for you family members tends to be different than the words that you would use for another person’s family members. Therefore I will make two lists explaining the words used for each.

 

In the lists below you will notice that though you may refer to a person in one way, you may call them another. This is because when you speak to other people you are working to make the other person, the listener, feel comfortable. Hence, you will try to use more humble versions of the words. Your family always fall under your area of information.

 

If you would like to learn more about area of information check back on chapter two of the comic where we break down “Yo” and “Ne” which also use this very important concept. 

Listener’s Family

  1. Family 
  2. Mom
  3. Dad
  4. Husband 
  5. Wife
  6. Son
  7. Daughter
  8. Older Sister
  9. Older Brother
  10. Younger Sister
  11. Younger Brother
  12. Children
  13. Parents 
  14. Grandma
  15. Grandpa 
  16. Couple
  17. Siblings 

 

  1. ごかぞく
  2. おかあさん
  3. おとおさん
  4. ごしゅじん
  5. おくさん
  6. おむすこさん
  7. おじょうさん
  8. おねえさん
  9. おにいさん
  10. おいもうとさん
  11. おおとうとさん
  12. おこさん
  13. ごりょうしん 
  14. おばあさん
  15. おじいさん 
  16. ごふふ 
  17. ごきょうだい 

Speaker’s Family

  1. Family
  2. Mom
  3. Dad
  4. Husband
  5. Wife
  6. Son
  7. Daughter
  8. Older Sister
  9. Older Brother 
  10. Younger Sister
  11. Younger Brother
  12. Children
  13. Parents 
  14. Grandma
  15. Grandpa 
  16. Couple
  17. Siblings 

 

  1. かぞく
  2. はは*
  3. ちち*
  4. しゅじん・おっと**
  5. かない・つま**
  6. むすこ
  7. むすめ
  8. あね
  9. あに*
  10. いもうと
  11. おとうと
  12. こ・こども***
  13. おや
  14. そふ
  15. そば*
  16. ふふ*
  17. きょうだい 

*This is the term when referring to this member of your family, however you call them the title in the “listener’s” Column. 

** The first word is considered somewhat traditional and is being slowly fazed out. The second term is considered more politically correct.

*** The second implies that there are more than one. (Plural)

****You can be even more polite and replace “San” with “Sama”

 

 

 

 

あんた – You

こと – Thing (intangible object)

する – to verb

とか – “Things Like”

ホント(本当)*

信じられない (しんじられない) – Cannot Believe

 *Sometimes Japanese people write things in Katakana to add emphasis.

 

2人(ふたり) – 2 people

とも – Both

自分(じぶん) – individual

の – Connecting Particle

部屋(へや) – Room

に – Directional Particle

行き(いき いく) – To Go

な – Reflective Particle

お母さん(おかあさん) – Mom

に – Directional Particle

ストレス – Stress

を – Object Particle

かける – This verb has tons of meanings but in this case it means to add

んじゃない – Aren’t you

よ – !

今日(きょう) – Today

また – Again

別(べつ) – Separate 

の – Connecting Particle

予定(よてい) – Appointment

が – Subject Marker

ある – To exist

んだから  – Because

 

 

不可 (ふか) – Fail

 今夜(こんや) – Tonight

家(いえ) – House/Home

で – Location of Action Particle

ちゃんと – Like you should

勉強する(べんきょうする) – Study

ように – So That

クラス – Class

の – Connective Particle

後に(あとに) – After

一人(ひとり) – One Person

だけ – Only

に – Directional Particle

また – Again

教える(おしえる) – Teach

のは – Indicating an Explanation

もう – Already

御免(ごめん) – Sorry

なん – Something

だ – Predicate

よ – !

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