Okaasan and otousan to own father and mother talking to other people

hello, i’m passing through level 3 in WK, where it’s teaching that we could use お母さん・お父さん including to my own father/mother (referring to them), talking to other people. but i learned before that in this case I should use kenjougo (humble speech), so haha / chichi. could you solve this for me please?

reference: “This word begins with an honorific (お) making whatever comes after it more elevated. Then there’s 父, which you know means father. Lastly, we have the honorific (things you put on people’s names in Japanese) さん. This is a nice way to say father. You use it when you’re talking to your own dad or talking about him with friends. You can also use this when you’re talking about your friends’ dads.”

You’re correct.
Through-out WaniKani, you’ll be taught lots of words, but not always how to use them, or in this case context for politeness level, For those answers its best to add resources outside of WK too.

edit: for this particular example, I added my mother and my father as synonyms for just 父/母 to help myself


When referring to your own parents when talking to someone else, use 母 and 父.

When referring talking about someone else’s parent’s, especially to them, use お母さん and お父さん.

Talking to your own parents I think there’s a lot of different choices ranging from very formal to informal.

Source: Japanese Tutor

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From Genki I:



Do people really call their husband/wife お父さん and お母さん when speaking to them?

Yes, I’ve heard my own parents say “Hey Mom/Dad” to get each other’s attention :slight_smile: it’s obviously more common in a context where the husband/wife have kids together and will call each other Mom/Dad in front of the kids or something like that :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:


thank you! what’s that “genki”? a self tutor course? free, paid?

ok, thanks for clarifying that to me… hehe. :slight_smile: but maybe wanikani could explain better that situation in the text then, if they took the time to write a lot about it…

Genki is a Japanese textbook used by many language schools and self study-ers. Another popular one youll here people reference as minna is Minna no Nihongo


WK would need to devote a huge amount of effort to revamping the entire way the site functions if they were going to start teaching how to use the words they teach. We’re here to learn how to read words written in kanji, so it’s incumbent on us to pick up our vocab studies in full elsewhere.

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i was never expecting so many details on the explanation of the readings of the kanjis, but at least not errors, mistakes. i thought that we could not use okaasan and otousan to refer to our own parents to other people, but MissMisc brought us a table explaining that it’s possible too as a informal speech, so it’s ok.

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