Talking About Family in Japanese – 家族

Family – Kazoku – 家族
Father – Otousan – お父さん    (Formal) *
Mother – Okaasan – お母さん    (Formal) *
Older Brother – Ani – あに
Younger Brother – Otouto – おとうと
Older Sister – Ane – あね
Younger Sister – Imouto – いもうと
Siblings – Kyoudai – きょうだい
Baby – Akachan – あかちゃん

How many people are there in your family?
Kazoku wa nan nin ga imasu ka?
家族 は 何人 が いますか?

There are ..(5).. people In my family.
Kazoku wa ..(go).. nin ga imasu.**
家族は ..(五).. 人 が います

I have 2 little brothers and one little sister.
Otouto ga futari imasu, soshite imouto ga hitori imasu.***

* Mother (informal – talking about your own) = haha (母). Father (informal – talking about your own) = chichi (父)

** ‘Imasu’ is the Japanese word for ‘there is’ or ‘I have’. It’s literal meaning is ‘to exist’.

*** Since there is no plural in Japanese ‘counters’ must be used if you wish to indicate the amount of something (1 person = Hitori (一人), 2 People = Futari (二人). 3 people onwards is ‘san nin’, ‘yon non’, ‘go nin’ etc. To see numbers in Japanese click here)

*** It could also be said ‘Futari no otouto ga imasu’ for I have 2 brothers, and ‘hitotsu no imouto ga imasu’ for I have 1 sister. The ‘no’ (の) is a particle indicating possession. It is also used with certain adjectives. It link nouns to other nouns.

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6 thoughts on “Talking About Family in Japanese – 家族

  1. amazing blog! how long did it take you to learn Nihongo and their writing system? I’d like to start learning this year but I dunno where to start. Kanji, Hiragana, and Katakana, should I stick with Kanji first?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! I really appreciate it. I still have tons to learn about Japanese, but it took me a couple months I think to be comfortable and proficient in Hiragana and Katakana. At one point I learned 600 Kanji but I’ve forgotten many these last couple years. I’d studies for 3 years before and recently started again.

      I would recommend beginning with hiragana definitely, then katakana. But you can learn the odd kanji along the way too 🙂 And definitely go for it! It’s a fantastic language, well worth it and I wish you luck.


  2. Did you learn Romaji along the way too? I watched a lot of Japanese films and doramas so I’ve picked up a word or two but I’ve never really tried to read. Did you take classes or are you self-taught all the way?


    • What do you mean when you say learn romaji? I’m always jealous of people who can pick up bits of languages from films and such 🙂 I’m part self-taught part tutored. I learned independently for 6 months, then at school had an hour lesson a week for 3 years. Having a tutor is good to keep you on track, but you’ll find that either way you’ll do the majority of work independently. A good way to learn I having a Japanese pen pal too! 😀


      • I mean I have to learn Romaji first since i have to write “sumimasen” in kanji/hiragana/katakana rather than “excuse me”. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Where to begin with Japanese?! 10 Golden Steps | My Generation Japan

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