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Till what age can an infant be called akachan. When can we use musuko-chan till any particular age or till he is able to walk. Please clarify

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”Akachan” is ”baby.” The meaning of it has not far from born and depending mother. If he walk stable or talk, or you talk with one who thinks he is not a baby, you cannot use it.

On the other hand, you can use ”musuko” even if he is a baby. But, ”-chan” is not suited. If you talk about other’s son or daughter, you can use ”musuko-san” or ”musume-san, ” or simply ”oko-san.”

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赤ちゃん (aka-chan) is a familiar derivative of 赤ん坊 (akanbou). 赤ちゃん (aka-chan) is only used for one's own child.

According this dictionnary entry it is said that 赤ん坊 is a fetus, a newborn or an infant. An infant being a child less than 18 months old or that cannot not walk nor talk. It is fairly close to the meaning of the English word "baby".

https://kotobank.jp/word/%E8%B5%A4%E3%82%93%E5%9D%8A-422963

The suffix -ちゃん (-chan) can be used on 息子 (musuko) and 娘 (musume) for one's own child or the child of a familly member. However, note that this usage is not appropriate for someone else's child. It should be preferably used for newborns and infants.

  • This is one of those linguistic things (like not splitting infinitives) that people state as a rule but don't actually practice. It's totally common, normal, and not rude to use 赤ちゃん to refer to other people's babies. – mamster Apr 23 at 21:38

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