We Japanese Language School in Shibuya Tokyo Japanese Language School



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≪The other side of Japanese≫日本語の側面 「恋人」or 「愛人」?

Is Your Loved One Your “Koibito” or “Aijin“?


[1]The song “Koibito yo“,by the female Japanese singer songwriter ITSUWA Mayumi, sold a million copies after it was released in 1980.

日本(にほん)の女性(じょせい)シンガーソングライター、五輪真弓(いつわ まゆみ)の曲(きょく)「恋人(こいびと)よ」が、1980年(ねん)に発売(はつばい)されるとミリオンセラー(みりおんせらー)になりました。

[2]In 1985  the song “Aijin”sung in Japanese by the female Taiwanese singer Teresa TEN – who was also popular in Japan – also sold a million copies.


[3]Both songs expressed a woman’s feelings towards the man she loves, but koibito and aijin are completely different.


[4]An appropriate English translation of koi might “romance” and of ai “love”.


[5]Koibito refers to a partner of the opposite sex, who makes your heart throb when you see them and as such is somebody you are seeing with a view to marriage.


[6]On the other hand, ai refers to the absolute affection you might also feel for members of your family.


[7]This is why women are named “Ai”or have this character as part of their name.


[8]However,aijin, in which jin or hito (person) is added after ai,means a person of the opposite sex who is married. In short, it is a lover who is committing adultery.


[9]If you combine the kanji for koi and ai you get the word “rennai”.


[10]This may be taken to mean romance with affection, but in fact it is generally used in the same way as koi.


[11]These days the term koibito is not often used, indeed, a male partner is casually called “kare / kareshi” and female partner “kanojyo”.


[12]You can say “sukina hito” to refer to someone you have romantic feeling towards, regardless of weather that person reciprocates your affection.



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