With 130 million Japanese speakers on the earth, it would be surprising if you didn’t recognize one or two of them.

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If you’ve been researching Japanese for any length of time, you’ve most likely acquired to understand at least one aboriginal Japanese speaker to some extent.

They can be a teacher at your institution, a classmate, the brand-new man in the shipping logistics office at your task or probably someone you met on Twitch or one more video chat business.

Inevitably, you’re going to must describe your relationships with these friends and also acquaintances.

Below, I’ll teach you 11 various methods to say “friend” in Japanese and show you exactly once to usage each one!

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How to Say Frifinish in Japanese: From BFFs to Business Associates

“Friend” is an important word, and also it’s equally vital to understand just how to usage it properly.

It’s likewise essential to understand that making use of the word “friend” in spoken Japanese is not rather as basic as it is in English.

My friend Yoshiko explained it to me like this:

We carry out not use the word frifinish favor you execute in English. It would not be unusual for you to say to me something prefer, “Yoshiko, would certainly you be my friend?” in English, however it would be a tiny stselection if I were to say that to you in Japanese. We don’t really talk about being friends with the person we are friends through. We would certainly discover that uncomfortable. If you desire to know if we are friends, I am speaking through you in a friendly method.

So, why have the word “friend” at all?

Yoshiko continued:

We talk about our friends, colleagues, co-workers and other people we recognize or are close to in even more of a third perchild means. I would certainly say to my brother, “My frifinish John bought a television” or, “My co-workers went to eat sushi.”

Yoshiko additionally pointed out that there are, in reality, many type of words in Japanese that express friendship, yet that a lot of need to be provided through good treatment bereason they might just be spoken by particular forms of civilization or in very specific cases.


One of the ideal ways to learn when to usage friendship words in Japanese is to see them provided by aboriginal speakers in authentic conmessages, which you can carry out through juniorg8.com!

juniorg8.com takes real-human being videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and also inspiring talks—and transforms them into personalized language discovering lessons.

Each video comes with interenergetic subtitles so you have the right to click on a word or phrase to learn more around it and watch it used in additional videos.

You deserve to include words to customized vocabulary lists and flashcard sets or text your knowledge through fun quizzes. Sign up for a cost-free trial to see this cool application in action!

And now, for our list of 11 Japanese friendship words.


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Basic Ways to Say Friend in Japanese

友達 (ともだち) — Friend

This is the most recognizable word for “friend” that students of Japanese come throughout, and also via good reason. It’s the most analogous in intake to the English word and has the broadest use.

You’ll check out the word in movie titles (きみの友だち (きみの ともだち) — “Your Friend”), book titles (彼はトモダチ (かれは ともだち)— “He Is a Friend”) and famous songs (ともだち — “Friend”) also.

アキラは私の友達です。 (あきらは わたしの ともだち です。) — Akira is my frifinish.

私の友達は赤いジャケットを着ています。 (わたしの ともだちは あかい じゃけっとを きています。) — My frifinish wears a red jacket.

私の友達は政府機関に逮捕されました。 (わたしの ともだちは せいふきかんに たいほされました。) — My friend has actually been arrested by agents of the government.

友達 (ともだち) need to likewise be considered a casual word—polite, yet not correct for very formal conversation.

友人 (ゆうじん) — Frifinish (formal)

You might watch 友人 (ゆうじん) used in older Japanese language textbooks that rely on a more formal variation of spoken Japanese. If most your Japanese exercise originates from manga or anime, you’re a small much less likely to check out this intake outside of exceptionally certain scenes.

私の友人は向こうにいます。 (わたしの ゆうじんは むこうに います。) — My friend is way over there.

月に住んでいる友人がいます。 (つきに すんでいる ゆうじんが います。) — I have actually a friend who resides on the moon.

私の友人は月の皇帝です。 (わたしの ゆうじんは つきの こうてい です。) — My friend is the Emperor of the Moon.

親しい (したしい) — Cshed friend

When you’re talking around close friends or even ideal friends, you can use 親しい (したしい). Just remember that it functions best when talking about someone in the 3rd person—not with the perkid you’re describing as a cshed frifinish.

彼らは親しい友人です。 (かれらは したしい ゆうじん です。) — They are finest friends.

彼は彼女と親しいですか? (かれは かのじょと したしい ですか?) — Is he close to her?

私は犬を訓練する人と非常に親しいです。(わたしは いぬを くんれんする ひとと ひじょうに したしい です。) — I am very cshed to human being that train dogs.

親友 (しんゆう) — Close friend

This additionally refers to someone who’s a close friend. Just like 親しい (したしい), 親友 (しんゆう) is scheduled for exceptionally close friends, and the same rules use as soon as making use of it.

彼女の親友は猫です。 (かのじょの しんゆうは ねこ です。) — Her finest friend is a cat.

私の親友の猫は私を好きではありません。 (わたしの しんゆうの ねこは わたしを すきでは ありません。) — My cshed friend’s cat doesn’t prefer me.

私の親友は誰も猫を飼っていません。 (わたしの しんゆうは だれも ねこを かっていません。) — Namong my cshed friends have cats.

大親友 (だいしんゆう) — Very ideal friend

Many type of students will acknowledge that the enhancement of (だい) to the start of 親友 (しんゆう) indicates that 大親友 (だいしんゆう) refers to a really best frifinish.

私の大親友は魔法の豆を買った。 (わたしの だいしんゆうは まほうの まめを かった。) — My finest friend bought some magic beans.

私の大親友は魔法の豆を植えた。 (わたしの だいしんゆうは まほうの まめを うえた。) — My best friend planted some magic beans.

巨大な植物が私の大親友を雲に連れて行ってくれた。 (きょだいな しょくぶつが わたしの だいしんゆうを くもに つれていって くれた。) — A huge plant lugged my incredibly ideal friend approximately the clouds.

ダチ (だち) — Buddy, bro (incredibly informal slang, outdated)

While a dated expression, you may run across ダチ (だち) in an older manga or anime series. It’s slang that’s used largely by young world and is thought about incredibly informal speech. As such, it have to be provided with treatment. These days, it more than likely shouldn’t be offered at all unless you’re absolutely confident that you’re using it in the correct conmessage.

Its inclusion in this article is even more for you to have the ability to identify it when it appears in reading or viewing product.

俺のダチはレースカーが好きだ。 (おれの だちは れーすかーが すきだ。 ) — My friends favor race cars.

ダチの車が衝突した! (だちの くるまが しょうとつした!) — My friend’s vehicle has crashed!

ダチが燃えてる!助けてくれ! (だちが もえてる! たすけてくれ!) — My friends are on fire! Help!

Note that once referring to a cshed frifinish, you’d say マブダチ (まぶだち) — finest buddy/bro (exceptionally informal). Aacquire, treatment have to be supplied, as it’s an outdated phrase and also highly informal.

I’d even go so far as to say that you have to never usage ダチ (だち) or マブダチ (まぶだち) in a conversation, but at least now you have the right to recognize them as soon as you come across them.

連れ (つれ) or ツレ — Frifinish (informal, slang)

連れ (つれ), sometimes written as ツレ, is another informal/slang term for a frifinish or companion and also is many often supplied by young men. Similar to most slang words, you’re going to desire to be careful how you use it and also probably stop it unless you’re specific you’re using it in the best conmessage.

ツレは全員東京に行ってしまった。(つれは ぜんいん とうきょうに いってしまった。) — All of my friends have gone to Tokyo.

東京が消えて以来、俺は連れに会っていない。 (とうきょうが きえていらい、おれは つれに あっていない。) — I have not checked out friends because Tokyo disappeared.

連れの消息を聞いたことがあるかい? (つれの しょうそくを きいたことが あるかい?) — Have you heard the news of my friends?

Ways to Talk About Specific Kinds of Friends in Japanese

相棒 (あいぼう) — Partner, frifinish, associate

When referring to a partner in a common activity, you might pick to use 相棒 (あいぼう) as soon as describing the partnership. The friendship is generally connected to a similar interest in somepoint. 相棒 (あいぼう) have the right to define this connection in an extremely friendly manner and also is similar to the English word “buddy.”

僕の相棒は二人共、切手収集家だ。 (ぼくの あいぼうは ふたりとも きってしゅうしゅうか だ。) — Both of them are stamp collectors.

俺の相棒はとってもテニスがうまい。(おれの あいぼうは とっても てにすが うまい。) — My buddy is an extremely skilled tennis player.

相棒もチェスクラブにいる。 (あいぼうも ちぇす くらぶに いる。) — My friend is likewise in the chess club.

仲間 (なかま) — Colleague, fellow, comrade

You frequently hear this word supplied in anime or view it in manga. It’s a small rarer in general conversation, however it can be supplied in a few particular contexts. Its definition stresses the collegial nature of a friendship, either professionally or within a social group. In English, you could associate it with the words “fellow” or “comrade.”

仲間が富士山に登ります。 (なかまが ふじさんに のぼります。) — My friends climb Mount Fuji.

その人は私の仲間です。 (そのひとは わたしの なかま です。) — That male is my comrade.

私達は皆、チェスクラブの仲間です。 (わたしたちは みな、ちぇす くらぶの なかま です。) — We are all friends of the chess club.

Ways to Refer to Friends Around the Office in Japanese

We all have actually friends who are even more “work-related friends” than friends we’d typically socialize with exterior of the workarea. The Japanese are no different. When expressing this form of friendship, you have the right to use the following words.

同僚 (どうりょう) — Co-worker, colleague

This word refers to a co-worker or colleague.

同僚は今夜、バーで会っている。 (どうりょうは こんや、ばーで あっている。) — My co-workers are meeting at the bar tonight.

同僚は昨夜、非常に酔っていた。 (どうりょうは さくや、ひじょうに よっていた。) — My colleagues gained extremely drunk last night.

同僚は全員、刑務所にいる。 (どうりょうは ぜんいん、けいむしょに いる。) — All of my co-workers are in jail.

盟友 (めいゆう) — Business colleague or co-worker, political ally

When referring to a organization colleague or when indicating an ally in a political context, you can use 盟友.

私の盟友は政治職に立候補しています。(わたしの めいゆうは せいじしょくに りっこうほ しています。) — My colleague is running for political office.

私は緑の党に盟友がいません。 (わたしは みどりのとうに めいゆうが いません。) — I have no allies in the Environment-friendly Party.

盟友と私は固い握手を交わした。(めいゆうと わたしは かたい あくしゅを かわした。) — My colleague and also I clasped hands.

While Japanese speakers might not clearly discuss friendship among each other, there’s no shortage of Japanese words or phrases to show a variety of friendship forms. The selection of words referencing friendship outnumber those in English, yet, as through any type of language, it’s vital to understand also the context behind a word before using it.

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In many cases, 友達 (ともだち) and 友人 (ゆうじん) are the safest choices.

But, go ahead and also discover the wide spectrum of means to expush friendship in Japanese. Talking around friendship is constantly an excellent thing!

Download: This blog post is easily accessible as a convenient and also portable PDF that you have the right to take anywhere. Click right here to acquire a copy. (Download)