In my Japanese book it gives the following examples:

  • Nihongo o hanashite mo iidesuka? Renshuu o shitai desu. = Do you mind if we speak Japanese, I would like to practice it.
  • ohanashi suru = have a talk
  • Ohanashi dekite yokatta desu. = It was nice talking with you.
  • Motto oshiete kudasai! = tell me more
  • Anata no kazoku ni tsuite oshiete kudasai. = Tell me about your family

What's the difference between ohanashi and oshiete? They both seem to relate to talking/speaking, but I can't tell the difference.

1 Answer 1


おしえて (from おしえる) means "to teach". So you can think of these examples as passing on information about the topic.

  • Tell me about your family → "Teach me information about your family" (even though we wouldn't say it that way in English)
  • "Tell me more (information about whatever we're talking about)"

Note that there is even a difference between はなす and はなし(を)する. The former simply means "to talk" (the act of talking), while the latter means "to have a talk" (2 or more people actively engaged).

  • What's the difference in meaning between "the act of talking" and "having a talk". It seems quite similar to me? Thanks!
    – big_smile
    Commented Oct 28, 2016 at 10:59
  • 1
    Let me ask you this: "My boss is talking with one of my co-workers" vs "My boss is having a talk with one of my co-workers". What kind of feeling does each one give you?
    – istrasci
    Commented Oct 28, 2016 at 15:07

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