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Age in Japanese : How to ask age politely?

Age in Japanese
Written by Kaori sensei

Do you know how to ask for age in Japanese? Is it okay to ask for age to Japanese people? Today, let’s learn not only the language but also the manner.

Age in Japanese

First, learn how to say your age.Basically, you can say with adding the counter “歳(さい/sai)” to the number.

The special is the age of 20, “はたち(hatachi)”. This is not only a number, but traditionally the age at which Japanese people become adults. (In 2022, the legal adult is now 18 years old.)

Age in Japanese
Age in Japanese

▶PDF is Here.

Japan is famous for its many special birthday events.We celebrate by wearing special kimonos.

Is it okay to ask age in Japan?

By the way,have you ever been asked your age in Japan? Why do Japanese people always ask for your age? I have also been asked this question.In Japan, of course, it would be rude to ask someone who you would expect would not want to tell you much about their age. If you are in a company or community, they might ask someone they just met.

This is due to the Japanese language. We speak politely to our elders, using honorifics. If we speak to our elders in a casual manner, it is impolite and creates friction in later relationships. To avoid this problem, we verify age.

Etiquette Guide to Japan

How do you ask age in Japanese?

So how do we ask?

First, learn formal and indirect expressions.


Um, excuse me, how old are you?

Another way, When you directly ask someone’s age, it means that the two parties are not concerned about each other’s age, for example, young people.

なんさい ですか。

How old are you?

Next ,if you were invited to a Japanese birthday party, here’s how you’d ask!

なんさい に なりますか。

how old will you be?

If you want to talk about birthdays with your friends, check this out!

Want to know more about Japanese?

About the author

Kaori sensei

Japanese online teacher, live in Kamakura, Japan. She is currently working as a language teacher and online Japanese experience host to introduce Japanese culture to the world. She originally worked as an engineer at a Japanese company, so she is familiar with Japanese business culture too.


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