Say you are in public and see some other people's kids misbehaving. What is the appropriate way to address them? (both sexes)

Something on the line of: "Hey kid, don't do ..."

It might be specific to the degree of misbehavior so let's give some kind of scale:

  1. Culturally not accepted I.e.: Being loud in a temple
  2. Not immediately dangerous I.e. Littering
  3. Not life-threatening I.e.: Being in a fight
  4. Life threatening I.e.: Playing very closely to train tracks of an incoming train
  • Aside from depending on each individual situation's dynamics, your own appearance (size, sex, age, mode of dress), and your own personality (assertiveness or lack thereof), you've proffered no suggestions of your own...
    – BJCUAI
    Mar 21, 2019 at 10:15
  • Because I have none? Why would I ask if I knew already?
    – steros
    Mar 21, 2019 at 10:16
  • The rules of this site require you to indicate prior research effort of your own if you ask for a translation.
    – Angelos
    Mar 21, 2019 at 11:31
  • That's actually exactly why I'm asking here. Of course I can open a dictionary but I don't know any that offers much context. I tried jisho.org but even the sentence examples do not give any clue as for what situation which term would be appropriate, if any. I could watch hundreds of movies to find any scene that has some situation similar to the mentioned ones. But of course that is not very practical. If you have any suggestion how to research for this I'd be more than happy!
    – steros
    Mar 21, 2019 at 11:57
  • 1
    I think answering this would be too opinion-based. There are multiple ways to say each of those phrases, but it all depends on the situation, your personality, their personality, the severity of it all, etc.
    – istrasci
    Mar 21, 2019 at 15:44

2 Answers 2


It's indeed hard to say as there are many ways and it depends on the situation. That said, こら(or コラ) can be used in most situations. All you need to do is regulate how short and loud you say it, depending on severity.

When you say こら loud and short, it unmistakably signals you are scolding the other person. It can be used as a joke, but if you say it to young children they will almost always interpret it as being scolded. It can be used for any severity IMO, and you can basically escalate on a continuous scale. Though if the situation is urgent one might want to shout instructions instead (降りろ・降りなさい、離れろ・離れなさい、やめろ・やめなさい etc)


As was mentioned in the comments above, this kind of language is very sensitive to the situation and could be very opinion based. However, there are some basic phrases that are used pretty universally that could help you as a starting-off point to find more phrases.

  • こら (hey/cut it out - really depends on tone of voice, can be used at the beginning of any corrective command)
  • 静かにして (be quiet)
  • 止めなさい (stop that)
  • 止めろ (stop that - forceful)
  • ~するな (喧嘩{けんか}するな、そこで遊{あそ}ぶな)- (don't ~ - forceful)
  • Thank you for your answer! Unfortunately the other post came first, so I'm thinking of checking that one out of fairness. But actually your posts adds some nice examples. Care to add them to the other post so you get some credit as well?
    – steros
    Mar 23, 2019 at 7:45

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