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I am a beginner in Japanese and so far, I've met two words for "neighbor": 隣人 (りんじん) and となり, as in となりのトトロ :)

In Danish, there are different words for neighbor, depending on the location of his/her place in relation to yours. For example, the word for neighbor living across the street is different from the word for neighbor living just next house.

Does the word 隣人 give any information as for where the neighbor is located in relation to my place? For example, is it neighbor to the left, or above (in apartment complex) or across the street?

If there is no such separation, what is the most commonly used word for "neighbor" in Japanese?

Thank you for reading this far, and any answers are very appreciated!

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In Danish, there are different words for neighbor, depending on the location of his/her place in relation to yours. For example, the word for neighbor living across the street is different from the word for neighbor living just next house.

We have these words in Japanese, too; the neighbor living next door is お[隣]{とな}り(さん) or 隣りの人, across the street is お[向]{む}かい(さん) or 向かいの人, and next to お向かい (on the left/right) is ([左]{ひだり}/[右]{みぎ})[斜]{なな}め向かい or はす向かい. 

Does the word 隣人 give any information as for where the neighbor is located in relation to my place? For example, is it neighbor to the left, or above (in apartment complex) or across the street?

隣人 would be お隣りさん, neighbor living next door. 隣人 is literary and お隣りさん is casual and conversational.

Neighbor to the left/right is [左]{ひだり}[隣]{どな}り/[右]{みぎ}隣り, above in the apartment complex is [上]{うえ}の人, 上の[階]{かい}の人, or [上階]{じょうかい}の人/[方]{かた}(more formal).

what is the most commonly used word for "neighbor" in Japanese?

We have ご[近所]{きんじょ}(さん) (casual), [隣近所]{となりきんじょ}(casual), 近所の人, [近隣]{きんりん}(住民/の人)(more formal), etc.

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First off, here are some terms for the word "neighbor".

近所の人 (きんじょのひと)

Literally "neighborhood person" or "person in your neighborhood" within a housing unit.

隣席の人(りんせきのひと)

Used in seating arrangements.

仲間 (なかま)

Friend or "Neighbor" in a Biblical context.

隣接 (りんせつ)

This is used in terms when using "neighboring" countries or such terms involving political connections.


In your question

Does the word 隣人 give any information as for where the neighbor is located in relation to my place? For example, is it neighbor to the left, or above (in apartment complex) or across the street?

となりのひと、左の人、前の人、後ろのひと or 右のひと will suffice.

Hope this helps.

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