How numerous of you have actually a younger sister? How about any sister at all? together for me, I have actually one larger sister and also three younger ones for a complete of four sisters!

Now this is the interesting thing: in English we don’t distinguish between older and also younger with our word for “sister”. However in Japanese over there is both a native that method “younger sister” and also a different word that method “older sister”.

You are watching: How to say little sister in japanese

How carry out you say small sister in Japanese? well the brief answer is imouto.

But yes sir a lot an ext to knowledge this word, the kanji because that it, and also how it relates come the other household members.

To really know it, you will have to know about the uchi/soto concept, and also also around the tate concept. I talked a little bit around it prior to when I explained the definition of words senpai, however I will give a quick explanation around it here as well.

By the why, if you don’t understand what words senpai means, climate you deserve to click right here to find out.


Contents hide
1) little Sister – 妹 (imouto)
2) big Sister – 姉 (ane)
3) The principle of 縦 (tate)
4) her Sister vs. Someone Else’s sister
5) She’s not your larger sister, yet you call her the anyway?
6) The an ext You Know, The much more You Know!

Little sister – 妹 (imouto)

The word 妹 (imouto) way “younger sister” in Japanese. If you study the kanji for it, you will see that it was created by taking two different kanji, and then combining them into a single new kanji.



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

Even learning all this, younger siblings will certainly still sometimes contact their older sister 姉ちゃん (neechan) to present them part respect and also familiarity. They room older after ~ all.

She’s no your enlarge sister, however you speak to 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 actually you ever before been watching an anime and heard “nee” included on to a girl’s name, kind of like “good morning Miyuki-nee”?

The very first example is one the you will more than likely see and hear a lot. That’s because when someone doesn’t recognize a young woman’s name, they generally just call her お姉さん as a polite way of obtaining her attention. It would certainly be taken into consideration rude come just allude and speak “hey you!”

As because that the second example, periodically a human being will include 姉 (nee) on come someone’s name as a suffix to show the partnership that castle feel in the direction of them.

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So to show this, let’s say the you flourished up v a neighbor named Miyuki that is a couple of years older 보다 you and she’s constantly been “like a big sister” to you. You might speak to her 美雪姉 (Miyuki-nee), which would be kind of prefer calling her “Big-sis Miyuki”.

The much more You Know, The much more You Know!

So over there you have it. Girlfriend now understand the words for both older and also younger sister, the kanji for each one, exactly how to tell lock apart from each other, the concept of tate, and the twin concept that uchi/soto!

That’s a LOT! and also to think, you were only looking to learn exactly how to speak “imouto” LOL!