2016/03/13

Various ways of calling Mother

I took my children to my 5-year-old daughter's music school yesterday morning, then we visited my parent's house after a long interval.

It was good for my husband because we went out so that he was able to have free time.

He came home at 5:30am last Saturday, I mean, he worked overnight, so I wanted him to get enough sleep.

It was a really busy morning yesterday.

I made cookies with my daughter for White day.

We have a custom where we give cookies to those who gave us chocolate on Valentine's day on March 14 which is called White Day.

After that, since my 7-year-old son told me that she wanted to ride his bicycle, we went to the park near my house and he practiced it for a while.

Then we went to my son's friend's house to give her cookies which we made, then went to the music school.

On our way to my parents house, I had a slight headache and I felt sick.

I thought that it was because I worked too much in the morning and I had a lack of sleep.

When we reached my parent's house, I told my mother:

"Can I use a bed upstairs? I feel sick and have a headache. I think I will recover if I take a nap."

"Sure. We will take care of them."

I took a nap for about 1 hour, then I recovered from my headache.

I went to downstairs, my parents and my son were playing Donjyara (I wrote about Donjyara in my previous post : http://a-o-j-m.blogspot.jp/2015/02/donjara-good-old-game.html

My daughter was drawing pictures.

She told me:

"Mom, I am making the picture story! The title is "I love mom.""

She showed me a picture which she drew.

I was touched by her picture.


She drew me holding her.

My daughter and I looked very kind and calmm filled with love and contentment in her picture.

I was really glad to see it.

She also wrote "I love mom" in Japanese ( おかあさん すき).

She wrote mirror letters of さ and き.

But I didn't mind such slight mistakes.



By the way, my children usually call me "おかあさん".

But they sometimes call me "ママ" , "おかあちゃん" , "かあさん", "かあちゃん".

All of them mean mom and mother.

"母(haha)" is used when children (not young children) tell someone about their mothers.

"ママ" is usually used by young children.

"おかあちゃん" and "かあちゃん" sound more casual than "おかあさん" and "かあさん".

"おふくろ" is another way of saying mother.

It is mainly used by men, but it is only used when men tell someone about their mothers.


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3 件のコメント:

  1. Hello Kumi-san,

    Another interesting read. Hope you are feeling better still after you headache at your parents house. I had read a little about White Day on Google+. Is it a specific kind of cookie that is made on that day or can the cookies be of any kind?

    I was interested in all the different ways of saying the word mother in Japanese. I am curious however that 母[はは] was not mentioned as one of the ways your children can address you. Is this because it is too impolite or do I misunderstand how it is used?

    Here is a list of some of the issues found in the rest of the post:

    This line:
    He came home at 5:30am last Saturday, I mean, he worked overnight, so I wanted him to take a sleep enough.

    Should be:
    He came home at 5:30am last Saturday, I mean, he worked overnight, so I wanted him to get enough sleep.

    This line:
    It was really busy morning yesterday.

    Should be:
    It was a really busy morning yesterday.

    This line:
    We have a custom that we give them who gave us chocolate on Valentine's day cookies in return on March 14 which is called White Day.

    Should be:
    We have a custom where we give cookies to those who gave us chocolate on Valentine's day on March 14 which is called White Day.

    This line:
    After that, since my 7-year-old son told me that she wanted to ride a bicycle, we went to the park near my house and practice it for a while.

    Should be:
    After that, since my 7-year-old son told me that he wanted to ride his bicycle, we went to the park near my house and he practiced on it for a while.

    This line:
    "Can I use a bed upstairs? I feel sick and have a headache. I think I will recover it to take a nap."

    Should be:
    "Can I use a bed upstairs? I feel sick and have a headache. I think I will recover if I take a nap."

    This line:
    I took a nap for about 1 hour, then I recovered my headache.

    Should be:
    I took a nap for about 1 hour, then I recovered from my headache.

    This line:
    She showed me a picture which she drew.

    Should be:
    She showed me the picture which she drew.

    This line:
    She drew I am holding her.

    Should be:
    She drew me holding her.

    This line:
    My daughter and I looked very kind and calm with love filled with contentment in her picture.

    Should be:
    My daughter and I looked very kind and calm, filled with love and contentment in her picture.

    This line:
    She also wrote "I love mom" in Japanese ( おかあさん すき).

    Question: Just want to make sure but can 好き mean love? I have read that 好き is fond/like and that 愛 means love. So can the above line also translate to:

    She also wrote "I like mom" in Japanese (おかあさん すき).

    This line:
    "おふくろ" is another way of calling mother.

    Should be:
    "おふくろ" is another way of saying mother.

    This line:
    It is mainly used by men, but it is only used when men tell about their mothers to someone.

    Should be:
    It is mainly used by men, but it is only used when men tell someone about their mothers.

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    1. Thank you always, Terry.

      I would like to ask you this correction:

      We have a custom where we give cookies to those who gave us chocolate on Valentine's day on March 14 which is called White Day.

      I am not sure why "where" could be used in this sentence.
      Does it work as a relative pronoun?


      Question: Just want to make sure but can 好き mean love? I have read that 好き is fond/like and that 愛 means love. So can the above line also translate to:

      Yes, 好き(すき)means like, but I translated it "love" on purpose because I think the meaning of "love" is much suitable for telling love between parents and children.
      Actually Japanese people usually don't use the word of "love(愛している)" because we feel that the word of "love" is too dramatic to tell someone and we are embarrassed to use it in daily conversation, so it is rather used in sentences (writing).
      So if we want to say someone "I love you", we usually say "大好き(daisuki)", "好き(suki)", or like that.

      I also added about "母".
      It is not used by young children, so I didn't write about it.

      Thank you so much!

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    2. Hello Kumi-san,

      Regarding the question about "where"

      The word "where" as it is used in the sentence can be thought of an abbreviation for the word "in which", so the sentence:

      We have a custom where we give cookies to those who gave us chocolate on Valentine's day on March 14 which is called White Day.

      Could also translate to:
      We have a custom in which we give cookies to those who gave us chocolate on Valentine's day on March 14 which is called White Day.

      Here is the technical dictionary definition of where but to be honest it is probably more confusing than helpful, the 2nd entry is the way I am using where (in which) in the sentence:

      Where (when used as an adverb)

      1. at, in, or to which (used after reference to a place or situation).
      "I first saw him in Paris, where I lived in the early sixties"

      2. the place or situation in which.
      "this is where I live"
      * in or to a place or situation in which.
      "sit where I can see you"
      * in or to any place in which; wherever.
      "he was free to go where he liked"

      I Hope this cleared up the use of the where word. It is unfortunately one of the oddities of the English language.

      With regard to the question of "好き", thank-you for making it clear how that word and the other word "愛" is used. The sources I read from are often conflicting so it is good to get a clear answer from someone who knows for certain how to use them correctly.

      With regard to "母" again thankyou for clearing up my confusion. We have a similar system where we have different ways of saying mother and father based on the age of the person saying it:

      mama/mommy/daddy/dadda - said by toddlers and very young children
      mom/mum/dad - said by older children and adults (usually when talking to them directly)
      mother/father - can be said by everyone but is generally used in more formal situations such as when talking about your parents to a doctor or work colleague.

      Note: It is important to realize that in English the formality levels are not as clear cut and defined as they are in Japanese. So all the above rules or often broken.

      Again very informative post Kumi-san, thank-you for all the information.

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