Japanese use different words for members of their own family and for members of someone else's family.
There are several different levels indicating politeness or closeness. For example when talking to or about your own older sister within the family you may use 'oneechan' or even the shorter 'neechan'. And when talking about the same sister with a neighbor lady, you would use 'ane'. And you wouldn't use 'ani' and 'ane'
for your own siblings when talking within the family.
Table of Words for Family Members
|Relation||My family||Your Family|
In the family there may be other, more casual ways to call family members. Here are some examples:
- Mother: kaasan, okan
- Father: tousan, oton
- Older sister: neechan, oneechan
- Older brother: niichan, oniichan
- Grandfather: jiji
- Grandmother: baaba
Also (young) men may call their wife (うちの) 奥さん "uchi no okusan" when talking with his friends.
Relation by Marriage
The adjective giri no means related by marriage:
giri no musuko
The 御 and お are used when you are speaking of someone elses family
in order to show respect and honor, but are not used when speaking of
your own family because this seems boastful and can be rude.
This page is a part of "Some Notes on Japanese Grammar"published for your personal use, with the kind permission of Keith Smillie (http://www.cs.ualberta.ca/~smillie/)