Japanese vocabulary list: School and Educational Institution Terms

By | March 27, 2017

This is a list of Japanese words related to school and educational institutions.

I’ve always enjoyed school and If you are staring to use these terms either for yourself, or for a loved one, I wish you the best luck! While I haven’t attended a school in Japan personally, I hear that they are much more difficult than American schools on average, especially for earlier grades.

  • 学校 (gakkou): school
  • 幼稚園 (youchien): kindergarten (also キンダー)
  • 小学校 (shougakkou): elementary school
  • 中学校 (chuugakkou): middle school
  • 高校 (koukou): high school
  • 大学 (daigaku): college or university
  • 専門学校 (senmon gakkou): vocational or technical school
  • 予備校 (yobikou): preparatory school (also 塾 ‘juku’)
  • 授業 (jugyou): class
  • 学生 (gakusei): student
  • クラスメート (kurasumeeto): classmate
  • 校内 (kounai): campus, school grounds
  • 教室 (kyoushitsu): classroom
  • 廊下 (rouka): hallway
  • 先生 (sensei): teacher
  • 担当 (tantou): person in charge (ex: 担当の先生: teacher in charge)
  • 教職員 (kyoushokuin): faculty or staff of a school  (also 教員)
  • 校長先生 (kouchou sensei): principle
  • 教頭先生 (kyoutou sensei): vice principle
  • 休園 (kyuuen): (kindergarten) closed
  • 休校 (kyuukou): school closed
  • 〜年生 (~nensei): student at a certain grade in school [ex: 二年生 (ninensei): second grade student]
  • 学年 (gakunen): grade in school (referring to 一年生、二年生, etc.)
  • 代講 (daikou): substitute teacher
  • アシスタント (ashisutanto): assistant (teacher)
  • (に) 落ちる (ochiru): to fail (a test, etc)
  • (に) 受かる (ukaru): to pass (a test, etc)
  • (を) 受ける (ukeru): to take (a test, etc.)
  • 合格 (goukaku): pass (a test, etc.)
  • 不合格 (fugoukaku): fail (a test, etc.)
  • 卒業する (sotsugyou suru): to graduate
  • 卒業生 (sotsugyousei): graduate, alumnus
  • 卒業アルバム (sotsuyou arubamu): yearbook
  • 試験 (shiken): test (also テスト)
  • 学期 (gakki): school term or semester
  • 中間 (chuukan): mid-term (ex: 中間テスト)
  • 期末 (kimatsu): end of term (ex: 期末テスト)
  • 見学する (kengaku suru): to observe (a class, etc.)
  • 飛び級する (tobikyuu suru): to skip a grade
  • 教科書 (kyoukasho): text book
  • 机 (tsukue): desk
  • 黒板 (kokuban): blackboard
  • 鉛筆 (enpitsu): pencil
  • 実習 (jisshuu): ‘real’ practice (actually doing something)
  • 自習 (jishuu): self-study (time given by teachers for students to study on their own, like before a test)
  • お休み (oyasumi): a day off or holiday (for work or school)
  • 休日(kyuujitsu): holiday (New Years, etc.)
  • 下駄箱 (getabako): shoe cupboard / rack
  • 単位 (tan’i):  (college) credit
  • 科目 (kamoku): subject / course
  • 必修科目 (hisshuu kamoku): required course
  • 退学する (taigaku suru): leaving / getting kicked out of school
  • 入学する (nyuugaku suru): entering school
  • 給食 (kyuushoku): school lunch
  • 理系 (rikei): science track, or a student in such a program
  • 文系 (bunkei): humanities track, or a student in such a program
  • クラブ (kurabu): a club (tennis, etc.)
  • 部活 (bukatsu): participation in a club (short for クラブ活動)
  • 稽古 (keiko): practice session for a club, like Karate (also お稽古)
  • 教育 (kyouiku): education
  • 教育制度 (kyouiku seido): educational system (also 教育システム)
  • 教育委員会 (kyouiku iinkai): board of education
  • 補習校 (hoshuukou): supplementary school (often weekends only)
  • 勉強する (benkyou suru): to study
  • 学ぶ (manabu): to learn
  • 専攻 (senkou): specialty/major
  • 運動場 (undoujou): playground/schoolyard
  • 体育館 (taiikukan): gymnasium
  • 食堂 (shokudou): cafeteria (also カフェテリア)
  • 不登校 (futoukou): not attending school
  • 成績表 (seisekihyou): report card (that contains grades)
  • 文科省 (monkashou): Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) [short for 文部科学省]
    • I was recently told this is something like a ‘board of education’ in the sense that it decides the educational standards for Japan, although this is just a subset of it’s duties. See more information here.

 

 

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