What are the first few words that are taught to a baby in Japan? I would assume はは and ちち are couple of them to call mom and dad.

1 Answer 1


According to one survey introduced in this article, here is the list of most common words a baby says first in their life:

Rank Japanese English
1 ばあ (Peek-a-)Boo
2 まんま I'm hungry
3 わんわん doggie
4 ママ Mom
5 パパ Dad
6 あっ Ah! / Hey!
7 はい Yeah / Here you go
8 バイバイ Bye-bye
9 あーあ Uh-oh
10 アンパンマン Anpanman

(Note that this is not the list of first 10 words babies learn. Babies usually understand many words before they learn to say them out loud.)

I'm pretty certain that はは and ちち are not even in the list of first 1000 words babies learn. These are humble (keigo) versions of "my mother" and "my father". It is not until they become teenagers that they start to use those words correctly and naturally. What they learn instead is ママ and パパ, as shown in the list above.

まんま is a word used only in babyhood. おなかすいた is too long, so parents usually teach まんま first.

  • 1
    – Angelos
    Jul 19, 2022 at 21:57
  • 2
    @Angelos 自分も意外でした
    – naruto
    Jul 20, 2022 at 2:04

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