How many of you have actually a younger sister? How around any sister at all? together for me, I have actually one larger sister and three younger ones for a total of four sisters!

Now this is the amazing thing: in English we don’t distinguish between older and younger with our word because that “sister”. Yet in Japanese over there is both a word that method “younger sister” and a different word that means “older sister”.

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How perform you say small sister in Japanese? well the short answer is imouto.

But there’s a lot more to expertise this word, the kanji for it, and how the relates come the other household members.

To really recognize it, you will have to know around the uchi/soto concept, and also around the tate concept. Ns talked a little bit around it before when I explained the an interpretation of words senpai, but I will give a brief explanation around it below as well.

By the why, if girlfriend don’t understand what the word senpai means, climate you have the right to click here to uncover out.


Contents hide
1) tiny Sister – 妹 (imouto)
2) large Sister – 姉 (ane)
3) The concept of 縦 (tate)
4) your Sister vs. Someone Else’s sister
5) She’s no your enlarge sister, however you call her the anyway?
6) The much more You Know, The more You Know!

Little sister – 妹 (imouto)

The indigenous 妹 (imouto) method “younger sister” in Japanese. If you examine the kanji because that it, you will watch that that was produced by acquisition two various kanji, and then combine them right into a single brand-new kanji.



For the most part you are simply going to include on the さん honorific to the words because that “sister”. Yet pay close attention to “older sister” together the pronunciation transforms from “ane” to simply “nee” and the polite お is included to the beginning.

Even understanding all this, younger siblings will certainly still sometimes contact their older sisters 姉ちゃん (neechan) to show them some respect and familiarity. They room older ~ all.

She’s not your older sister, however you call her that anyway?

Have you ever before read a manga and also saw the key character contact a stranger お姉さん?

Or have you ever been the town hall an anime and heard “nee” included on come a girl’s name, kind of choose “good morning Miyuki-nee”?

The very first example is one that you will more than likely see and also hear a lot. That’s due to the fact that when someone doesn’t know a young woman’s name, they usually just call her お姉さん as a polite means of getting her attention. It would certainly be taken into consideration rude come just point and to speak “hey you!”

As for the 2nd example, periodically a human will include 姉 (nee) on come someone’s name as a suffix to display the relationship that they feel in the direction of them.

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So to highlight this, stop say that you flourished up v a neighbor named Miyuki that is a couple of years older 보다 you and she’s constantly been “like a large sister” to you. Girlfriend might contact her 美雪姉 (Miyuki-nee), which would certainly be sort of like calling her “Big-sis Miyuki”.

The an ext You Know, The more You Know!

So over there you have it. Friend now recognize the words for both older and younger sister, the kanji because that each one, exactly how to tell castle apart from every other, the concept of tate, and also the double concept of uchi/soto!

That’s a LOT! and also to think, girlfriend were only looking to learn just how to say “imouto” LOL!