Japanese Word of the Day #5: Imouto

Written by Althaea

26 July 2012

kyou_no_nihon_no_kotoba_005: imouto

kyou_no_nihon_no_kotoba_005: imouto

Info:

Word: いもうと
Kanji: 妹
Romaji: imouto
Type: Noun
Meaning: a younger sister

I’m gonna get into this since most people have encountered this word at least once since being exposed to Japanese media. The word 妹 pertains to a person’s “younger sister,” as they use different words to address their family members. Use this word if you’re talking about YOUR younger sister, but if you’re talking about another person’s, be polite and use “妹さん” instead (adding -san gives a better impression that you’re giving respect. Doing so without it indicates either closeness, or just being plain rude).

Kanji dissection:

(woman, female) + (not yet) = (imouto)

This word has two characters, 女(おんな / onna), pertaining to the female gender and 未(み / mi), which can also mean “not yet” (also, the same kanji used in 未だ/まだ). “Woman not yet” is what perfectly describes a young female member of the family, thus, the word.

Sample phrases / sentences:

私の妹がマニラにいます。
Watashi no imouto ga Manila ni imasu.
My younger sister is in Manila.

 

私の家族は5人です。父と母と妹が二人います。
Watashi no kazoku wa gonin desu. Chichi to haha to imouto ga futari imasu.
There are five people in my family. I have a father, a mother, and two younger sisters.

 

この中で一人が妹にいる!
Kono naka de hitori ga imouto ni iru!
One of them is my younger sister!

 

俺の妹がこんなにか可愛いわけがない!
Ore no imouto ga konna ni kawaii wake ga nai!
My little sister can’t be this cute!

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