Japanese Vocabulary List: raising children

By | November 18, 2015

Today I’m going to provide a vocabulary list for a topic that I discuss on a daily basis on Japanese: child upbringing. I’ll be focusing on words that are useful for babies  through toddlers (roughly ages 0-4), but some of the terms can be used for any age.

  • 子育て (kosodate): child upbringing
  • 育てる (sodateru): to raise (a child, plant, etc.) [transitive]
  • 育つ (sodatsu): to grow up (a child, plant, etc.) [intransitive]
  • 面倒を見る (mendou wo miru): to watch or take care of (a child, etc.)
  • すくすく (suku suku): growing up healthy (ex: すくすく育ってる)
  • のびのび (nobi nobi): similar meaning to “suku suku”
  • 成長する (seichou suru): to grow (mentally, physically, etc.)
  • イヤイヤ期 (iya iya ki): a period where children want to rebel and don’t listen to what their parents say (often used for 2-3 year olds)
  • 魔の2歳 (ma no ni sai): a period where children are very hard to deal with, similar to “iya iya ki”
  • ~児 (~ji): suffix for children (i.e.: 2歳児 = “2 year old child”)
  • 反抗期 (hankouki): rebellious age (usually used for older kids, like teenagers)
  • 反抗する(hankou suru): to rebel, resist
  • お漏らし (omorashi): bed wetting
  • おむつ (omutsu): diaper
  • おむつ がぱんぱん(omutsu ga pan pan): diaper is full (=dirty)
  • おしゃぶり (oshaburi): pacifier [not to be confused with “oshaberi”)
  • 言うことをきく (iu koto wo kiku): to listen/follow what is said
  • あばれる (abareru): to go crazy (jump around, etc.)
  • 野放し (nobanashi): the practice of letting a child by her/himself without interfering too much
  • 叱る (shikaru): to scold, or reprimand
  • 怒鳴る (donaru): to yell
  • 読み聞かせする (yomikikase suru): to read a book out loud (to a child)
  • 絵本 (ehon): picture book
  • おもちゃ (omocha): toy
  • 寝かしつける (nekashitsukeru): to put a child to bed
  • 寝かす (nekasu): similar to “nekashitsukeru”.
  • いやがる (iyagaru): to act/look like you dislike something
  • 喜ぶ (yorokobu): to enjoy or appreciate something
  • 乱暴する (ranbou suru): to act violently
  • 優しくする (yasashiku suru): to be nice to something or someone
  • 仲良くする (nakayoku suru): to be get along with friends
  • 公園 (kouen): (nature) park  (usually has swings and a slide, etc.)
  • うんち・うんこ (unchi / unko): poo
  • おしっこ (oshikko): pee
  • 抱っこする (dakko suru): to hug
  • シュウシュウする: (shuu shuu suru): to make a shushing sound (i.e. to try and quiet a baby)
  • ぐっすり眠る (gussuri nemuru): to sleep soundly
  • おんぶ (onbu): carrying someone (usually a child) on your back, with their arms around your neck or shoulders
  • 肩車 (kataguruma): carrying someone on your shoulders, with their legs around your neck
  • はいはいする (haihai suru): crawl on all fours
  • 四つん這いする (yotsunbai suru): similar to “haihai suru”
  • 友達 (tomodachi): “friend”, but can also be used to refer to young people whom you don’t know or haven’t met before
  • 拗ねる(suneru): to pout
  • ぐずる (guzuru): to fret or complain about something
  • 歯ぐずり (haguzuri): teething (complaining due to pain and itching as a result of baby teeth coming in)
  • 首がすわる (kubi ga suwaru): refers to the act or stage of development when a baby can support his or her own neck and move it freely (literally: “The neck sits”).
  • 遊ぶ (asobu): to play
  • 喋る (shaberu): to talk
  • 泣き止む (nakiyamu): to stop crying
  • ひゃっくり (hakkuri): hickups
  • げっぷ (geppu): burp
  • 食べさせる (tabesaseru): to feed (a baby, etc.)
  • 歯を磨かせる (ha wo migakaseru): to brush someone’s teeth
  • 母乳 (bo’nyuu): breast milk
  • 授乳 (ju’nyuu): breast feed
  • 卒乳 (sotsunyuu): to stop breast feeding (permanently)
  • おむつはずれ (omutsuhazure): to stop using diapers (permanently)
  • 予防接種 (yobou sesshu): vaccine
  • 昼寝 (hirune): nap
  • お熱 (onetsu): fever (can be used without the “お”)
  • 体温計 (taionkei): thermometer
  • 風邪をひく(kaze wo hiku): to catch a cold
  • 薬 (kusuri): medicine
  • 〜ごっこ (~gokko): pretend play (ex: お医者さんごっこ = “play doctor”)
  • 割礼(katsurei): circumcision

“Baby talk” words (not recommended to use use but just for reference)

  • あんよ (anyo): the leg or the act of walking
  • ねんねする (nen’ne suru): to sleep
  • めめ (me me): eye(s)
  • てて(te te): hand(s)
  • イタイイタイする (itai itai suru): to hurt or get hurt
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