How to describe adopted/found family in japanese

I have someone in my life who has become a part of my family over the years and they are for all intents and purposes a younger sibling to me. We consider each other family, but as I am not Japanese and they are, we’ve struggled to find a balance on how to describe found family in Japanese to other native speakers. Any advice?


妹/弟みたいな友達? Or something other discriptive of your relationship?

I wonder, what is your relationship to the rest of their family? And vice versa? Is this close relationship only limited to the two of you, or also extends to each others parents? What age are you guys, anyway?

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Thank you for the suggestion!

I am 29 and they are 24. The close relationship is essentially between the two of us. Ultimately, both sets of parents (mine and theirs) are very much out of the picture for difficult and complicated reasons. Thus the found family nature of the relationship. While it doesn’t normally come up since any extended family is across the ocean, there are community groups we participate in where explaining the relationship has occasionally come up where they have referred to me as “兄貴” and we’ve stumbled back and forth between English and Japanese trying to describe it. I invite them along on outings with my other younger siblings, they are a part of holidays, we take care of each other and this has generally just been normal over the years our friendship. I hope that helps describe it a little better!

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make sure you guys are properly colloquial with eachother in online chats as well, that will no doubt also help to show your closeness. but I guess you already do that.

How have you been explaining it, so far? You tell this whole story you’ve shared now? And switch to English when you get stuck with the Japanese, or is this for mixed audiences?

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