Japanese language question

When should -san, -chan, or -kun be used to address people? What other address terms are there, and how are they used?


Add -san to the name (either family name or given name) of anyone you meet that you are not very close to. It is roughly equivalent to Mr, but is unisex. -chan is only for children or somebody you feel affectionate towards. -kun is for boys.

Traditionally, it’s only been used for guys (Especially for students/subordinants), but people are starting to use it for girls of the same ages. (-chan for primary and junior high school, -kun beyond.)

Also -sama is used like -san but in situations where great respect is called for. Tengu, that’s very interesting about -kun for girls!

sama-great respect, such as royalty or god(s)

san-equivalent to Mr., Mrs.

kun-Used for the younger

chan-can be used for the young, but I call people I know and love by this addition. (Erin-chan, Paul-chan, Ry-chan, Stefi-chan). Ryan’s older than me, and Paul and Erin are younger.

ko-used to denominate a girl (girl’s name?)

oneesan-older sister?