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Generic word for sister (not younger or older)?

HanSolo

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How would you ask the following question in Japanese:
"Is she your sister?".
As far as I can see, there is only a word for 'older sister' or 'younger sister'.
Cheers!
 

Mike Cash

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How would you ask the following question in Japanese:
"Is she your sister?".
As far as I can see, there is only a word for 'older sister' or 'younger sister'.
Cheers!

姉妹ですか? (Shimai desu ka?) if you're asking a girl.

兄弟ですか (Kyoudai desu ka?) if you're asking a guy, but it will also work if asking a girl.
 

Toritoribe

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Yeah, ご兄弟ですか "Gokyōdai desu ka?" works fine. I would say "Imouto san desu ka?" when she looks like younger than the one you are talking to, and "Onee san desu ka?" for older case.
 

mdchachi

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Yeah, ご兄弟ですか "Gokyōdai desu ka?" works fine. I would say "Imouto san desu ka?" when she looks like younger than the one you are talking to, and "Onee san desu ka?" for older case.
But what if you're wrong? Couldn't it be rude?
 

Toritoribe

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About age? or not sister? I don't think it's rude, anyway.
 

mdchachi

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About age? or not sister? I don't think it's rude, anyway.
From U.S. perspective if you ask somebody if they are older but they are really younger then it's not a good feeling sometimes. Like if you ask somebody when they will have a baby but you find out they are not having a baby, they are just fat. 🤦
 

Toritoribe

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It's embarrassed also in Japan for "pregnant vs. fat", but "imouto vs. ane" is not the case, I believe. Of course, it depends on the situation(generation, male/female, the difference in age, etc.), though.
 
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