With 130 million Japanese speakers on the planet, it would be surprising if girlfriend didn’t know one or 2 of them.

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If did you do it been studying Japanese for any kind of length the time, you’ve likely obtained to know at the very least one indigenous Japanese speak to part extent.

They can be a teacher at her school, a classmate, the new guy in the shipping logistics office in ~ your project or probably someone you met top top Twitch or another video chat service.

Inevitably, you’re walking to require to define your relationships with these friends and also acquaintances.

Below, I’ll teach girlfriend 11 various ways to say “friend” in Japanese and show you exactly when to use each one!

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How to Say friend in Japanese: native BFFs to service Associates

“Friend” is critical word, and also it’s equally important to know just how to use it correctly.

It’s also important to recognize that using words “friend” in spoken Japanese is not rather as basic as it is in English.

My friend Yoshiko described it come me prefer this:

We perform not use words friend favor you do in English. It would certainly not be unexplained for you come say to me miscellaneous like, “Yoshiko, would you be my friend?” in English, however it would certainly be a small strange if i were come say that to girlfriend in Japanese. Us don’t yes, really talk around being friends with the person we room friends with. Us would discover that uncomfortable. If you desire to recognize if we are friends, i am speaking through you in a familiar way.

So, why have actually the native “friend” at all?

Yoshiko continued:

We talk around our friends, colleagues, co-workers and other civilization we know or room close come in much more of a 3rd person way. I would certainly say to my brother, “My friend man bought a television” or, “My co-workers visited eat sushi.”

Yoshiko likewise pointed the end that over there are, in fact, plenty of words in Japanese the express friendship, however that most should be used with great care because they could only be spoken by certain varieties of people or in very specific situations.


One the the best ways to discover when to usage friendship words in Japanese is to see them offered by indigenous speakers in authentic contexts, i m sorry you have the right to do v barisalcity.org!

barisalcity.org bring away real-world videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and also inspiring talks—and transforms them right into personalized language finding out lessons.

Each video comes v interactive subtitles so you can click on a indigenous or expression to learn more about it and see it provided in extr videos.

You can add words come customized vocabulary lists and also flashcard set or text your expertise with funny quizzes. Sign up for a free trial to check out this cool application in action!

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


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Basic means to Say girlfriend in Japanese

友達 (ともだち) — Friend

This is the most recognizable word for “friend” that students that Japanese come across, and also with an excellent reason. It’s the most analogous in consumption to the English word and has the broadest use.

You’ll see words 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 also popular songs (ともだち — “Friend”) together well.

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 mine friend.

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 friend 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 that the government.

友達 (ともだち) should also be considered a casual word—polite, yet not suitable for an extremely formal conversation.

友人 (ゆうじん) — girlfriend (formal)

You could see 友人 (ゆうじん) used in enlarge Japanese language textbooks that depend on a an ext formal version of talked Japanese. If a most your Japanese practice comes from manga or anime, you’re a tiny less most likely to watch this intake outside of very specific 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 girlfriend is method 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 a friend who stays 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 the the Moon.

親しい (したしい) — close friend

When she talking around close friend or even ideal friends, you deserve to use 親しい (したしい). Just remember the it works best when talking about someone in the third person—not through the human being you’re describing together a close friend.

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 ideal 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 that close come 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 really close to civilization who train dogs.

親友 (しんゆう) — near friend

This likewise refers to who who’s a near friend. As with 親しい (したしい), 親友 (しんゆう) is booked for very close friends, and the very same rules use when using 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 ideal 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 close friend’s cat doesn’t choose 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。) — none of my close friends have actually cats.

大親友 (だいしんゆう) — an extremely best friend

Many student will recognize that the enhancement of (だい) to the beginning of 親友 (しんゆう) shows that 大親友 (だいしんゆう) refers to a really best friend.

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 ideal 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 part 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 gigantic plant carried my an extremely best friend as much as the clouds.

ダチ (だち) — Buddy, bro (very not blocked slang, outdated)

While a date phrase, you might run across ダチ (だち) in an enlarge manga or anime series. It’s slang that’s used largely by young people and is considered really informal speech. Together such, it have to be provided with care. These days, it probably shouldn’t be provided at all uneven you’re for sure confident that you’re making use of it in the exactly context.

Its consists in this short article is much more for girlfriend to be able to recognize it once it appears in analysis or city hall material.

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 prefer 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!) — mine 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 space on fire! Help!

Note that once referring to a close friend, you’d say マブダチ (まぶだち) — best buddy/bro (very informal). Again, care should be used, together it’s an outdated phrase and also highly informal.

I’d also go for this reason far as to say the you should never usage ダチ (だち) or マブダチ (まぶだち) in a conversation, but at the very least now you can recognize them when you come throughout them.

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

連れ (つれ), occasionally written as ツレ, is another informal/slang term because that a friend or companion and also is most frequently used by young men. As with most slang words, you’re going to want to be mindful how you usage it and also probably protect against it uneven you’re particular you’re making use of it in the ideal context.

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。) — every one of my friends have actually 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 actually not watched friends due to the fact that 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 actually you heard the news of my friends?

Ways to talk About specific Kinds of friend in Japanese

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

When introduce to a companion in a usual activity, you might pick to usage 相棒 (あいぼう) when describing the relationship. The friendship is usually linked to a comparable interest in something. 相棒 (あいぼう) can define this connection in a very friendly manner and also is comparable 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 a really 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 girlfriend is additionally in the chess club.

仲間 (なかま) — Colleague, fellow, comrade

You frequently hear this word provided in anime or see it in manga. The a little rarer in general conversation, but it deserve to be used in a few specific contexts. Its meaning stresses the collegial nature that a friendship, either professionally or within a society group. In English, you can associate it with the indigenous “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 rise 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 space all girlfriend of the chess club.

Ways to refer to Friends approximately the Office in Japanese

We all have actually friends who are more “work friends” than friends we’d generally socialize with outside of the workplace. The Japanese room no different. Once expressing this type of friendship, you can use the adhering to words.

同僚 (どうりょう) — Co-worker, colleague

This word describes 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 space meeting in ~ 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 partner got an extremely drunk critical 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。) — every one of my co-workers space in jail.

盟友 (めいゆう) — service colleague or co-worker, politics ally

When introduce to a company colleague or when indicating an allied in a political context, you deserve to 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 to run for politics 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 actually no allies in the green 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 I clasped hands.

While Japanese speakers might not explicitly comment on friendship amongst each other, there’s no shortage of Japanese indigenous or unit volume to suggest a range of friendship types. The variety of indigenous referencing friendship outnumber those in English, but, as with any type of language, it’s essential to understand the paper definition behind a word prior to using it.

See more: We Wish You A Merry Christmas Song In Spanish, Barry White

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

But, walk ahead and also explore the large spectrum of means to refer friendship in Japanese. Talking around friendship is constantly a great thing!

Download: This blog article is obtainable as a convenient and also portable PDF the youcan take anywhere. Click here to obtain a copy. (Download)