Family Vocab In Japanese: Terms For People In Your Family

  • Ichika Yamamoto
    Written byIchika Yamamoto
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Family Vocab In Japanese: Terms For People In Your Family

Learning how to describe your family members in Japanese takes time.

It’s not quite as straightforward as it is in English.

Thankfully, I’ve put together a detailed reference for you right here with audio so you can refer to it as needed.

You might also like to follow this up with my guide on Japanese honorifics.


The example sentences are done in plain form with the polite form in parentheses.

Japanese family vocabulary chart 👨‍👩‍👦

In this table, you’ll find all the most important vocabulary for describing family members.

Below are a number of Japanese vocabulary words associated with the family.

All words are nouns unless otherwise specified.

Both Hiragana and Kanji as well as audio are provided for reference.

KanjiHiraganaRomajiEnglish MeaningListen
家族かぞくkazokufamilyPlay audio
親おやoyaparent(s)Play audio
両親りょうしんryoushinparentsPlay audio
夫婦ふうふfuufucouplePlay audio
夫おっとottohusband (your own)Play audio
主人しゅじんshujinhusband (your own)Play audio
ご主人ごしゅじんgoshujinhusband (someone else’s)Play audio
妻つまtsumawife (your own)Play audio
家内かないkanaiwife (your own)Play audio
奥さんおくさんokusanwife (someone else’s)Play audio
子こkochildPlay audio
子供こどもkodomochildrenPlay audio
赤ちゃんあかちゃんakachanbabyPlay audio
息子むすこmusukoson (your own)Play audio
息子さんむすこさんmusukosanson (someone else’s)Play audio
娘むすめmusumedaughter (your own)Play audio
娘さんむすめさんmusumesandaughter (someone else’s)Play audio
父ちちchichifather (your own)Play audio
お父さんおとうさんotousanfather (someone else’s)Play audio
母ははhahamother (your own)Play audio
お母さんおかあさんokaasanmother (someone else’s)Play audio
兄あにaniolder brother (your own)Play audio
お兄さんおにいさんoniisanolder brother (someone else’s)Play audio
弟おとうとotoutoyounger brother (your own)Play audio
弟さんおとうとさんotoutosanyounger brother (someone else’s)Play audio
兄弟きょうだいkyoudaibrother(s), sibling(s)Play audio
姉あねaneolder sister (your own)Play audio
お姉さんおねえさんoneesanolder sister (someone else’s)Play audio
妹いもうとimoutoyounger sister (your own)Play audio
妹さんいもうとさんimoutosanyounger sister (someone else’s)Play audio
姉妹しまいshimaisister(s)Play audio
祖父母そふぼsofubograndparentsPlay audio
祖父そふsofugrandfatherPlay audio
祖母そぼsobograndmotherPlay audio
お祖父さんおじいさんojiisangrandpaPlay audio
お祖母さんおばあさんobaasangrandmaPlay audio
おじさんおじさんojisanunclePlay audio
おばさんおばさんobasanauntPlay audio
甥おいoinephewPlay audio
姪めいmeiniecePlay audio
いとこいとこitokocousinPlay audio
はとこはとこhatokosecond cousinPlay audio
孫まごmagograndchildPlay audio
曽お祖父さんひおじいさんhiojiisangreat-grandfather (add an extra ‘hi’ for great-great, etc.)Play audio
曽お祖母さんひおばあさんhiobaasangreat-grandmother (add an extra ‘hi’ for great-great, etc.)Play audio
先祖せんぞsenzoancestorsPlay audio
親戚しんせきshinsekirelativesPlay audio

Example sentences describing your family in Japanese

Here are some example sentences using terms from the table above:

Listen to audio

Hiragana: きょうだいはさんにんであにひとりといもうとふたり(です)。

Kanji: 兄弟は三人で兄一人と妹二人(です)。

Kyoudai wa sannin de ani hitori to imouto futari (desu).
I have three siblings. One older brother and two younger sisters.
Listen to audio

Hiragana: ぼくはハーフだ(です)。ちちはアメリカじんではははにほんじんだ(です)。

Kanji: 僕はハーフだ(です)。父はアメリカ人で母は日本人だ(です)。

Boku wa ha-fu da (desu). Chichi wa amerikajin de haha wa nihonjin da (desu).
I am a 'half' (half Japanese, in this case). My dad is an American and my mom is Japanese.
Listen to audio

Hiragana: なつやすみはそふぼのいえにほうもんする(します)。

Kanji: 夏休みは祖父母の家に訪問する(します)。

Natsuyasumi wa sofubo no ie ni houmon suru (shimasu).
We visit our grandparents during summer vacation.

Additonal useful vocabulary

Here are some additional terms (including terms used in the sample sentences above):

一人ひとりhitorione personPlay audio
二人ふたりfutaritwo peoplePlay audio
三人さんにんsanninthree peoplePlay audio
ハーフha-fua ‘half’, typically a person that is half JapanesePlay audio
アメリカ人アメリカじんamerikajinAmerican personPlay audio
日本人にほんじんnihonjinJapanese personPlay audio
夏休みなつやすみnatsuyasumisummer vacationPlay audio
訪問するほうもんするhoumon suruto visitPlay audio

Describe your family in Japanese

I hope this simple reference guide has proven useful.

As you can see, Japanese family terminology can be a little more complex than English.

Memorizing these terms requires practice.

To take it further, there’s a great lesson that covers the topic of family in more detail in the Rocket Japanese course too.

Did I miss any family members?

Comment below.

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