Lesson 41 - Family

Families are very important in Japanese culture. The word for family is kazoku. Father is otousan and mother is okaasan. However, when you are speaking about your own parents to others, father would be chichi and mother would be haha. Your own older brother would be ani, your younger brother being otouto. Your older sister would be called ane, and you would call your younger sister imouto. Grandmother is obaasan, while aunt is merely obasan. Conversely, grandfather is ojiisan and uncle is ojisan. Let's have a small conversation where Akihide shows his family to Yoko.

Akihide: Kore wa boku no kazoku desu. Kore wa boku desu.
Yoko: Sou desu ne. Dare desu ka.
Akihide: Haha desu. Haha no namae wa Shuuki desu. Kore wa chichi desu.
Yoko: Otousan wa nansai desu ka.
Akihide: Yonjuunanasai desu. Namae wa Yura desu. Kore wa imooto desu. Imouto no namae wa Kaede desu.
Yoko: Sou desu ka.
Akihide: Kore wa ani desu. Ani no namae wa Kenichi desu.
Yoko: Dare desu ka.
Akihide: Obaasan desu. Obaasan wa hachijuuissai desu. Kore wa ane desu. Ane wa hatachi desu.
Yoko: Namae wa nan desu ka.
Akihide: Meiko desu. Kore wa otouto desu. Otouto no namae wa Genji desu.
Yoko: Nansai desu ka.
Akihide: Juunisai desu.
Yoko: Ookii kazoku desu ne.
Akihide: Iie, chiisai kazoku desu.

In this conversation, Akihide starts off by saying, "This is my family. This is me." Yoko then asks who someone is. Akihide replies it is his mother, and her name is Shuuki. He then introduces his father. Yoko asks for his father's age. Akihide replies, "He is 47 years old. His name is Yura. This is my younger sister. Her name is Kaede." Akihide continues to introduce his older brother named Kenichi. Yoko then asks who another person is. Akihide replies, "It is my grandmother. My grandmother is 81 years old. This is my older sister. She is 20 years old." Yoko asks for her name and Akihide replies it is Meiko. He introduces his younger brother, Genji. Yoko asks his age and Akihide replies that he is 12 years old. Yoko then says, "You have a big family, don't you." The word ookii means big. Akihide replies, "No, my family is small." Chiisai means small.

Please note that when you talk about your own family, you never use san with their names. No suffix is neccessary. Also, you do not call your parents haha or chichi. You only say that when talking to someone else about them. Also, do not confuse obaasan/obasan and ojiisan/ojisan.

Vocabulary Review
家族 Kazoku- family
お父さん Otousan- father
お母さん Okaasan- mother
父 Chichi- Dad (own)
母 Haha- Mom (own)
兄 Ani- older brother (own)
弟 Otouto- younger brother (own)
姉 Ane- older sister (own)
妹 Imouto- younger sister (own)
おばあさん Obaasan- grandmother
おばさん Obasan- aunt
おじいさん Ojiisan- grandfather
おじさん Ojisan- uncle
大きい Ookii- big
小さい Chiisai- small