第121課: Family

     Family terms are different for one's family and someone's family. One's family is 家族かぞく. Another person's is ご家族. ご is an honorific prefix that attaches to most Sino-Japanese words. 

      The traditional Japanese house structure, (いえ), is very different from a nuclear family.  The  is responsible for making contracts with Buddhist temples and is comprised of generations of married couples and unmarried children. Ancestors are thought to watch over their descendants. 

      The wife joins her husband's 家 and has no ritual obligations for her nuclear family. In real life one's nuclear family is still important, but death and lineage is dominated by one's . Only one child is a successor, and it's usually the oldest male child. Females are rarely chosen because they would be obligated for both families' rituals. Upon death, individuals who don't receive ritual care become 無縁仏むえんぼとけ. These people include singles, childless couples, etc. Family altar is 仏壇ぶつだん and family grave is はか. Ashes of past generations are kept there. 

       Nowadays, some are veering from this. Some have their ashes scattered and others have a grave plot, but these are hard to get.  

家族

     There are many important people in your family tree 家系図かけいず. Not all family terms have separate terms for one's family and someone else's family. When there is a term that has both an 音読み and a 訓読み, the first is usually for referring to them or in written terms. 

 Great-grandparents 曾祖父母 そうそふぼ
 Great-grandfather 曽祖父 そうそふ・ひ(い)じじ・ひおおじ
 Great-grandmother 曾祖母 そうそぼ・ひ(い)ばば・ひおおば
 Great-grandchild(ren) 曾孫 そうそん・ひ(い)まご・ひこ (Rare)
 Grandparents 祖父母 そふぼ
 Grandfather 祖父 そふ・おじ (Rare)・じじ(Dialect)・じい (~Old man)・おおじ (Rare)
 Grandmother 祖母 そぼ・ばば (Dialect/rude)・おおば (Rare)
 Grandchild(ren) 孫 まご
 Granduncle 大叔・伯父 おおおじ
 Grandaunt 大叔・伯母 おおおば
 Parents 両親 りょうしん
 Father 父(親) ちち(おや)
 Mother 母(親)、お袋 はは(おや)
 Dad パパ、おやじ パパ、おやじ
 Mom ママ、お袋 ママ、おふくろ
 Uncle 叔・伯父 おじ
 Aunt 叔・伯母 おば
 Husband 夫、旦那 おっと、だんな
 Wife 妻、女房、家内 つま、にょうぼう、かない
 Son 息子 むすこ
 Daughter 娘 むすめ
 Older Brother 兄(貴) あに(き)
 Younger Brother 弟 おとうと
 Older Sister 姉(貴) あね(き)
 Younger Sister 妹 いもうと

Word Notes:

1. 家内() is felt to be condescending because it suggests that women should be in the house.

2. For writing aunt and uncle, 叔 is used when they're younger and 伯 is used when they're older than your parents.

3. 母親() and 父親() shouldn't be used to address one's parents. () and () are similarly used. () and () may refer to the mother or father of anything also. 

4. ~() attached to () and () adds respect.

5. As you will learn, you will often or usually call family members with the titles originally for someone else's family. Some here include one's mother, father, grandfather, and grandmother. 兄 is often like this and 姉 is even more so replaced by the term originally reserved for someone else's older sister.  


Examples 

1. 私()兄弟(きょうだい)が3()います。
    I have three siblings.

2. 母なる大地 (Set Phrase)

     Mother Earth

3. 姉()()に似ている。
    My older sister resembles my mom

ご家族

     The main difference between the words for one's family with that of another is that someone's family is addressed with more honorific terms. The list below illustrates these terms with the same rules of age applying for aunt and uncle as before.  

 Great-grandfather 曾お祖父さん ひおじいさん
 Great-grandmother 曾お祖母さん ひおばあさん
 Great-grandchild(ren) 曾孫さん ひまごさん
 Grandfather お祖父さん おじいさん
 Grandmother お祖母さん おばあさん
 Grandchild(ren) お孫さん おまごさん
 Granduncle 大叔・伯父さん おおおじさん
 Grandaunt 大叔・伯母さん おおおばさん
 Parents ご両親 ごりょうしん
 Father お父さん おとうさん
 Mother お母さん おかあさん
 Uncle 叔・伯父さん おじさん
 Aunt 叔・叔母さん おばさん
 Husband ご主人、旦那さん ごしゅじん、だんなさん
 Wife 奥さん おくさん
 Child お子さん おこさん
 Son 息子さん むすこさん
 Daughter 娘さん、お嬢さん むすめさん、おじょうさん
 Older Brother お兄さん おにいさん
 Younger Brother 弟さん おとうとさん
 Older Sister お姉さん おねえさん
 Younger Sister 妹さん いもうとさん
 Siblings ご兄弟 ごきょうだい

4. 彼女は外見(がいけん)はお(ねえ)さんと似ているが、性格(せいかく)(こと)なるよ。
    She takes after her sister in appearance, but their characters differ.


 会話: アメリカ人りゅうがくせい、セス・クンロードがホームステイさきのおさんと話している。

5. 

お母さん: セス、家族()写真(しゃしん)(を)持ってる?
セス:ええ、あります。
お母さん: ちょっと見せてもらってもいい?
セス:ええ。
お母さん:へえ。これがお()さん?
セス:ええ、()です。
お母さん:セスは、お父さんによく似て(い)るね。
セス:ええ、よく言われます。それからこっちがです。
お母さん:ああ、弟さんか。今、大学生?
セス:いいえ、弟は私より4つ下で、今高校生です。
お母さん:ずいぶん若く見えるわねえ。とってもかわいい弟です。

語彙(ごい) Vocabulary

写真 = Picture    高校生 = High school student    若い = Young   よく言われます =  said a lot
~に似ている = To resemble... 

Neutral Family Terms

     Despite there being a great divide in family terminology, there are still many terms that are neutral and may be used for both one's own family and someone's family. Below is a list of the most common of these neutral terms. 

 Nephew 甥 おい
 Niece 姪 めい
 Cousin いとこ いとこ
 Second cousin はとこ・またいとこ・いとこの子 はとこ・またいとこ・いとこのこ
 Father and Mother 父母 ふぼ
 Sisters 姉妹 しまい
 Brothers/Siblings 兄弟 きょうだい
 Younger Siblings 弟妹 ていまい
 Brother-in-law 義兄弟 ぎきょうだい
 Brother-in-law 義弟 ぎてい
 Older sister-in-law 義姉 ぎし
 Younger sister-in-law 義妹 ぎまい
 Son-in-law 娘の夫、(婿)婿、女婿 むすめのおっと、(むすめ)むこ、じょせい
 Daughter-in-law 息子の妻、嫁、義理の娘 むすこのつま、よめ、ぎりのむすめ
 Father-in-law 義理の父、義父、舅 ぎりのちち、ぎふ、しゅうと
 Mother-in-law 義理の母、義母、姑 ぎりのはは、ぎぼ、しゅうと
 Relatives 親族、身寄り しんぞく、みより
 Ancestors 祖先、先祖 そせん、せんぞ

     Family members in this group can still be made polite in reference to someone else. For example, nephew and niece of another person can be referred to as ごさん" and ごさん respectively. Other family members are simply discussed, if necessary, with -さん to be polite. 親御おやご is a similar looking word that may respectfully be used to address someone's parents.


 Ancestor

  先祖 typically refers to one's ancestors, particularly those in your 家. You may hear people refer to them respectfully as ご先祖さま. You never hear ご祖先さま because 祖先 is impersonal. 祖 refers to the founder of a lineage, dynasty, or even a field of study. "Ancestor" as in biological origin is normally 始祖.


After Grandchildren

It's interesting to know that Japanese has words for those who have not just great-grandchildren, but offspring for 8 generations ahead of you (just in case you live that long). The terms up to great-great-great-grandchildren are usually known by most speakers. The others are just fun to look at. 

 子 → 孫 → ひ孫 → 玄孫(やしゃご) → 来孫 → 昆孫(こんそん) → 仍孫(じょうそん) → 雲孫 

How to Write いとこ

     The word for cousin, いとこ, is a very odd word to write in Japanese. It is written differently depending on the age and gender relationship with the speaker. 

 Older Girls/Younger Guys 従姉弟 Older Guys/Younger Girls 従兄妹
 Older Girls 従姉 Older Guys 従兄
 Younger Girls 従妹 Younger Guys 従弟
 Guys 従兄弟 Girls 従姉妹

Word Note: You may also use the 音読み of the characters to distinguish.

Using Terms for Someone Else's Family for Your Own

     Many speakers will call their mom, dad, older brother or sister, and grandparents with the terms that are supposed to be for someone's family. But, if you use them for you own, you may slightly change their appearance. For example, instead of -さん you might choose -ちゃん or drop -さん altogether. It’s also even possible to drop the お- at the beginning of these phrases. 

6. お()さん、おもちゃほしい!
    Mom, I want a toy!

7. お()さん、ほんとにしゃべりすぎだ。
    Dad, you really talk too much.

8. 姉()さん、()してる?
    Hey sis', what are you doin'?

Stepfamily


  Sino-Japanese Native
 Stepmother 継母(けいぼ) 継母(ままはは)
 Stepfather 継父(けいふ) 継父(ままちち)
 Stepchild  継子(けいし) 継子(ままこ)
 Stepson  継息子(ままむすこ)
 Stepdaughter  継娘(ままむすめ)

Half Family

     To create the terms for half-brother and half-sister, you first must decide whether they are from a stepfather or a stepmother. If from a stepfather, the first word is 異父いふ. If from a stepmother, the first word is 異母いぼ. Lastly, you simply add 兄弟きょうだい for brother and 姉妹しまい for sister.