Languages › Japanese Japanese Vocabulary Related to the Concept of Family How to Talk About Your Family in Japanese Share Flipboard Email Print Jorge Hernández Valiñan/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY 2.0 Languages History & Culture Essential Japanese Vocabulary Japanese Grammar By Namiko Abe Japanese Language Expert B.A., Kwansei Gakuin University Namiko Abe is a Japanese language teacher and translator, as well as a Japanese calligraphy expert. She has been a freelance writer for nearly 20 years. our editorial process Namiko Abe Updated November 04, 2019 In Japan, family is important, just as it is in most other parts of the world. Learning the Japanese words for family terms such as father, mother, brother, and sister, is vital for anyone studying the language. But in Japanese, learning family-related terms can be tricky. In some cases, these terms may be different depending on what family you are discussing. In other cases, family-related terms are the same, regardless of whose family you are talking about. The tables below are organized in different ways depending on the context. Basic Family Words In Japanese—unlike in English—the terms for family relationships can differ according to whether you are talking about your own family to someone else or the other person's family. For ease of reference, the family term is listed in English in the first column. The second column lists term you would use when talking about your own family. In that column, the English transliteration of the Japanese word is listed first. Clicking on the link brings up a sound file that will allow you to hear how the word is pronounced in Japanese. Click on the file a few times and mimic the pronunciation before moving on. The family term is written in Japanese letters, called kanji, just below the sound file. The third column repeats the pattern of the first, but for terms, you would use when talking about another person's family. English Word Talking about your family Talking about another's family father chichi父 otousanお父さん mother haha母 okaasanお母さん older brother ani兄 oniisanお兄さん older sister ane姉 oneesanお姉さん younger brother otouto弟 otoutosan弟さん younger sister imouto妹 imoutosan妹さん grandfather sofu祖父 ojiisanおじいさん grandmother sobo祖母 obaasanおばあさん uncle oji叔父/伯父 ojisanおじさん aunt oba叔母/伯母 obasanおばさん husband otto夫 goshujinご主人 wife tsuma妻 okusan奥さん son musuko息子 musukosan息子さん daughter musume娘 ojousanお嬢さん General Family Terms Some family words in Japanese are the same whether you are talking about your family or another person's family. These are general terms such as "family," "parents," and "siblings." The table provides the sound file in the first column with the term written in Japanese kanji directly below the term. The second column lists the word in English Useful Family Words English Translation kazoku家族 family ryoushin両親 parents kyoudai兄弟 sibling kodomo子供 child itokoいとこ cousin shinseki親戚 relatives Family-Related Expressions It can also be helpful to learn common Japanese expressions and questions related to the family. The Japanese family-related phrase or question is provided in the first column. Click on the English transliteration of the phrase or question to bring up a sound file, just as in the previous sections. The phrase or question is written in Japanese letters directly below the sound file. The English translation is listed in the second column. Useful Japanese Expressions English Translation Kekkon shiteimasu ka.結婚していますか。 Are you married? Kekkon shiteimasu.結婚しています。 I am married. Dokushin desu独身です。 I am single. Kyoudai ga imasu ka.兄弟がいますか。 Do you have brothers and sisters? Kodomo ga imasu ka. 子供がいますか。 Do you have children? How to Say the Months, Days, and Seasons in Japanese The Difference Between "Kudasai" and "Onegaishimasu" in Japanese Fruits: Japanese Vocabulary 10 Animal Sounds in Japanese Words The Meaning of 'Nani' in Japanese Basic Japanese Language Vocabulary with Audio Files Formal Introductions in Japanese Japanese Body Parts Vocabulary How to Conjugate the Japanese Verb "Kuru" (to Come) How to Say Happy New Year in Japanese Japanese Lessons: Grammar, Vocabulary, Culture How to Begin Learning Japanese Frequently Asked Questions in Introductory Japanese Japanese Greetings and Parting Phrases Expressions of Ability and Potential Verbs in Japanese Learn the Japanese Phrase 'Ki o Tsukete'