Languages › Japanese Meaning of Mae in Japanese Share Flipboard Email Print presence in a crowd. Caiaimage/Martin Barraud / Getty Images Japanese Essential Japanese Vocabulary History & Culture 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 April 18, 2018 Mae is a Japanese word that means the front, or presence. Learn more about its meanings and usage in the Japanese language below. Pronunciation Click here to listen to the audio file. Meaning the front; presence; ago; before Japanese Characters 前 (まえ) Example & Translation Sono hanashi wa mae nimo kiita yo!その話は前にも聞いたよ。 or in English: I heard the story before!