Age In Japanese

How to say age in Japanese

In Japanese, the counter sai is used to express how old one is. It can be written with two different kanji: the traditional 歳 and the simplified and most commonly used 才.

To ask someone "how old are you?," you can say:

  • Nan sai desu ka (何歳ですか);
  • Or in a more formal way, O ikutsu desu ka (おいくつですか).

The answer will be constructed with the number corresponding to the age followed by sai, then desu for politeness.

For example, to reply "I am 25 years old," say: (Watashi wa) nidjugo-sai desu ((私は) 二十五歳です。)

The table below is a useful reminder on how to say age:

In Japanese Pronunciation Translation
一歳 issai 1 year old
二歳 ni-sai 2 years old
三歳 san'-sai 3 years old
四歳 yon'-sai 4 years old
五歳 go-sai 5 years old
六歳 roku-sai 6 years old
七歳 nana-sai 7 years old
八歳 hassai 8 years old
九歳 kyuu-sai 9 years old
十歳 djuussai or djissai 10 years old
十一歳 djuuissai 11 years old
十二歳 djuuni-sai 12 years old
... ... ...

"20 years old" is the only phonetic irregularity and is pronounced hatatchi (二十歳). The counter sai is omitted despite being used in the written form. If you are 20 years old, you will say: Hatatchi desu (二十歳です。)

To say "and a half," just add han (半) after sai. For example, "I am two and a half years old" is translated as Ni-sai han desu (二才半です).

Last Updated on September 09, 2020 Comment donner son âge en japonais