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What is the difference between chan and san and sempai?

  • I believe sempai is for an older friend you admire and have as example – Pablo Aug 7 '16 at 16:28
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    Yes, sempai is used for an older, san is for other, chan is for pretty child or girl. – Takahiro Waki Aug 7 '16 at 18:12
  • In a dubbed anime, sempai was translated as "big brother" – Pablo Aug 7 '16 at 18:14
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San title of respect typically used between equals of any age.

Chan it expresses that the speaker finds a person endearing. It comes from a "cute" pronouncing of -san (in Japanese, replacing s sounds with ch sounds is seen as cute). In general, chan is used for babies, young children, grandparents and teenagers.

Sempai is used to address or refer to one's senior colleagues (respected colleagues) in a school, dojo, or sports club. So at school, the students in higher grades than oneself are senpai.

crédit : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_honorifics#Senpai_and_k.C5.8Dhai

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