In today’s lesson we are going to see how to ask someone’s age in Japanese, and how to answer the question. Let’s go!
How old are you?
To ask someone how old she/he is, let’s say Alice for instance, you will say:
Another way to ask for someone’s age is to use いくつ [ikutsu] /how much/:
(Note: The お in お歳 is an honorific and is optional)
(Note: Age (とし) can also be written using the kanji 歳)
Or more casually:
The kanji to count years of age (and also meaning age, year-end, opportunity or talent) is: 歳 (さい) [toshi, tose, yowai, SAI, SEI]. Yes, in addition to its many different meaning possibilities it has 13 strokes; it’s quite a complex kanji.
Happily, there exists another kanji that can be used to count years of age: 才 (さい) [SAI]. Less litterate, but far more simple ^^
As noted too, the kanji 歳 and 年, when meaning age (read とし), are interchangeable.
I am …
The table below presents the pronouciation for ages.
|一歳||いっさい||issai||1 year of age|
|二歳||にさい||ni sai||2 years of age|
|三歳||さんさい||san sai||3 years of age|
|四歳||よんさい||yon sai||4 years of age|
|五歳||ごさい||go sai||5 years of age|
|六歳||ろくさい||roku sai||6 years of age|
|七歳||ななさい||nana sai||7 years of age|
|八歳||はっさい||hassai||8 years of age|
|九歳||きゅうさい||kyu~ sai||9 years of age|
|十歳||じゅっさい||jussai||10 years of age|
|十一歳||じゅういっさい||ju~ issai||11 years of age|
|二十歳||はたち||hatachi||20 years of age|
|二十一歳||にじゅういっさい||ni ju~ issai||21 years of age|
It is to be noted that 20 has a specific reading. As 20 years was the age of majority in Japan, it is considered as a very special age.
Now, with this table in end, to tell your age you just have to say:
Let say if you are 23 years old:
Translate the question:
Answer in Japanese:
yon ju~ hassai desu.
And finally, translate the question in Japanese:
Answer the question in japanese with your age 🙂
Here we are for todays lesson. Hope you enjoyed it!