Have sầu you ever wondered what it means onii-chan, onee-chan, onii-san, onee-san and other Japanese variations? These words are used khổng lồ refer khổng lồ brothers in the Japanese language and are often heard in anime. In this article we will vị a thorough search to lớn underst& the meaning và difference of these words.

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We have sầu previously written an article talking about the Japanese family members, khổng lồ rethành viên let's also leave sầu a Clip that our Sensei made about family members below.

Before you start reading this in-depth retìm kiếm và explanation of the different ways to lớn say brother or sister in Japanese, we recommover watching our video about family members in Japanese.


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Do you happen to lượt thích younger sisters? I hope you are none Lolicon if I'm not going to kill you! The younger sisters are all mine!


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Futago - When are twin brothers?

If both are twin brothers, what bởi they call each other? Who will decide khổng lồ be the younger brother or older brother? The Japanese word for twins is futago <双子> which literally means children in pairs or together.

In reality, everyone is already aware that even twins, even when born at the same time, are taken in an order, so those who first came out of the mother's belly are considered older. So it can be said:


futago no ani <双子の兄> twin brother; futago no ane <双子の姉> twin sister; futago no oniisan <双子のお兄さん> older twin brother; futago on oneesan <双子のお姉さん> older twin sister; futago in otouto <双子の弟> younger twin brother; futago no imouto <双子の妹> younger twin sister; tsuin <ツイン> from English twins;

Remember if! Never learn Japanese by studying isolated words. If you are confused about the correct order or way lớn study the Japanese language. We recommend reading our Study Guide for Learning Japanese.


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Two sisters hugging a Pokemon

The different ways to lớn speak older brother in Japanese

In Japanese there is a hierarchy of treatment, a formal, common & informal language. This is one of the main reasons why there are so many variations và ways khổng lồ say big brother in Japanese. To make it easier, let's put a list of words below, exemplifying the idea a little:

Remembering that all the words in the list below refer lớn older sisters or brothers:

descriptionOlder brotherElder sister
Keigo - Too formal - Sovereignonii-sama <お兄さま>onee-sama <お姉さま>
Sonkeigo (brothers from above)aniue <兄上>aneue <姉上>
Formal - Daily life - Commononii-san <お兄さん>onee-san <お姉さん>
A little more informalnii-san <兄さん>nee-san <姉さん>
Without any respectful, informal suffixnii <兄>nee <姉>
Informal và diminutive sầu suffixonii-chan <お兄ちゃん>onee-chan <お姉ちゃん>
Totally informal with diminutive sầu suffixnii-chan <兄ちゃん>nee-chan <姉ちゃん>
Alternative to nii & neeani <兄>ane <姉>
Precious, esteemed, honorableAniki <兄貴>aneki <姉貴>

Aniki it is often used by the yakuza, it is like a comrade brother, where the character <貴> refers to something precious, esteemed & valuable.

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Kyoudai & Shimai - Other ways lớn talk about siblings

The relationship between younger & older siblings is highly valued in Japan, not to lớn mention that the Japanese have a knachồng for placing younger sisters who gọi their brother onii-chan in anime.

We already mentioned that brother and little sister are imouto <妹> và otouto <弟>, but rethành viên that it is not as comtháng to lớn use suffixes as san <さん> & chan <ちゃん> for younger siblings, but neither is it wrong or unusual.

If you search for younger sister at the jisho you will see that there are infinite ways to convey the idea of a younger sister, however unusual.


If we want lớn speak in the plural brothers và sisters we can use the combination of the ideograms of older brother with younger brother. Speaking in Japanese kyoudai <兄弟> và sisters in Japanese are spelled shimai <姉妹>.

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Kyoudai can encompass all siblings even female, although you can rarely find Kyoudai written in other ways using 2 of the 4 characters used for siblings <兄 - 弟 - 姉 - 妹>.


Have you noticed how anime overvì chưng this little sister scheme? Most of the time they are lolis, but vì you know what loli means? Cliông xã here và read our article on loli, lolicon and lolita.

I hope this article has cleared all doubts about the words onii-chan, onee-chan, onii-san and onee-san, others related to brothers in Japanese like imouto lớn, otouto lớn, kyoudẻo and shimai! Thanks for the comments & shares!