Age related lesson! :さばを読む ( = saba wo yomu)



= Maggie sensei, ikutsu?

= How old are you, Maggie Sensei?


= Nisai!

=Two years old!

Hi, everyone!

Yesterday, September 20th was my birthday! Many people sent me nice messages, saying,


=Otanjoubi omedetou!

=Happy Birthday!!


Now, some “brave” person asked me,


= Maggie sensei ikutsu? (very casual)

= How old are you, Maggie Sensei?

(Don’t ask ladies their age!)

And I answered,


= Nisai!

=Two years old!

Shhhhhh!!! 🤫 Don’t tell anybody but I’m actually 5 years old now.

So today’s key idiom is,

⭐️さばを読む = saba wo yomu.

鯖 さば =サバ = chub mackerel

読む = yomu = to read

It is an idiom that means

to fudge a number or numbers or fudge one’s age./to lie about one’s age.

Ex. マギーはさばを読んでいる。

= Maggie wa saba wo yonde iru.

= Maggie is fudging her age. / Maggie is lying about her age.

OK, let’s study lots of age related expressions and words today!

Reaching a certain age,

〜才(歳)になる = ~ sai ni naru = will be /turn/reach~ years old

〜才(歳)になった = ~ sai ni natta= to have turned/reached ~ years old

“How old are you? ,



= Nansai desuka?


= (Otoshi wa) oikutsu desuka?


:rrrr:「(年) いくつ? 」(Very casual)

= (Toshi) ikutsu?

You can answer,


= (Ima) Nijuu go (sai) desu.

=I’m 25 (years old) (now).


= Juugatsu de juuhassai ni narimasu.

=I will be 18 years old in October.

Ex. 「今年、20歳(才)になりました。」

= Kotoshi hatachi (nijussai) ni narimashita.

I turned 20 (years old) this year.

(Remember, 20歳  20 years old can be read either にじっさい ( = nijissai), にじゅっさい ( = nijussai) or はたち (  = hatachi) )

:k: Age,

* / = toshi = age, years

*年齢 / 年令 = nenrei = age

:n: Young and old,

*若い = wakai = young

adverb 若く= wakaku = young


=Itsumademo wakaku ite kudasai.

=Please stay young forever!

noun 若さ = wakasa =youth

Ex. 若さを保つ

= Wakasa wo tamotsu

= to preserve youth

Ex. 若さの秘密は何ですか?

= Wakasa no himitsu wa nan dedsuka?

=What is your secret to keeping young?

people 若者 = wakamono = young people

Ex. 最近の若者は礼儀を知らない。

= Saikin no wakamono wa reigi wo shiranai.

Young people these days don’t have manners.

*中年 = chuunen = middle-aged people

adjective 中年の = chuunen no

*中高年 = chuukounen = middle-aged and elderly people

adjective 中高年の = chuukounen no

*(お)年寄り = (o)toshiyori = elderly people

adjective お年寄りの ( = otoshiyori no)

老いた ( = oita)

年を取った ( = toshi wo tottta)

*高齢者 = koureisha = elderly people

Older than 75 yeas old we call 後期高齢者  ( = kouki koureisha)  (This is not an expression you would use in daily conversation. You’ll most often hear this when discussing insurance brackets or in official discussions.)

*老人 = roujin = old people

“The Old Man and the Sea” by Ernest Hemingway → “老人と海”( = roujin to umi)

*(ご)年配 (者)= (go)nenpai(sha)= elderly  people

•ご年配の方 = gonenpai no kata (sound a bit more polite)

方々 ( = katagata)

*シルバー = shirubaa = (from silver): to refer to elderly people.

Ex. シルバーシート = shirubaa shiito =seats for the elderly and/or the disabled

Ex. シルバーエイジ = shirubaa eiji=old age

Note : When you talk about elder people, 年寄り ( = toshiyori) and 老人 ( = roujin) sound very cold and rude.

And a lot of aged people hated to be called “old” and treated as an old person.

Ex. 年寄り扱いしないで欲しい!

=Toshiyori atsukai shinai de hoshii!

=I don’t want you to treat me like an old person.

We should treat them with respect.

They are our 人生の先輩 ( =  jinsei no senpai) . (先輩 = senpai = seniors, elders, mentors. In this case, mentors of life.)

⭐️ aging, to get old(er)

:rrrr: 歳(年)を取る = toshi wo toru

Ex. 年を取るにつれ涙もろくなってきた。

= Toshi wo toru ni tsure namida moroku natte kita.

As I get older I have become more sentimental.

:rrrr: 歳(年)を重ねる = toshi wo kasaneru

Ex. 歳を重ねると何事にも動じなくなる。

= Toshi wo kasaneru to nanigoto nimo doujinaku naru.

= The older you get,  you get more immune you get to everything.

:rrrr: 老いる = oiru or 年老いる = toshioiru

Ex. (年)老いた母 = (toshi)oita haha= aged mother

:rrrr: 年(歳)= toshi) means age but it also means “getting old” or “aging”

Ex. うちの父も、もう年(歳)だから労ってあげないと。

= Uchi no chichi mo, mou toshi dakara itawatte agenaito.

= My father is getting older so we have to take care of him.

⭐️ Other age-related words,

若作りをする = wakazukuri wo suru = make oneself look young

Ex. 彼女は若作りをしているから本当の年がわからない。

= Kanojo wa wakazukuri wo shiteiru kara hontou no toshi ga wakaranai.

She has made herself look young so nobody can tell her real age.

若返る wakagaeru = to rejuvenate

Ex. 若返りの薬が欲しい!

= Wakagaeri no kusuri ga hoshii!

= I wanna rejuvenation pills!

年を取らない = toshi wo toranai = ageless, stay young

Ex. 彼は全然、年を取らない。

= Kare wa zenzen toshi wo toranai.

= He stays young. / He never seems to get old.

老ける = fukeru = put on years

Ex. 最近、父は、めっきり老けてきた。

= Saikin chichi wa, mekkiri fukete kita.

= Recently my father has got older noticeably.

老化 = rouka =growing old, process of aging

Ex. 適度な運動は老化を遅らせる

= Tekido na undou wa rouka wo okuraseru

= Proper exercise delays the process of growing old.

• 若くみえる = wakaku mieru = look younger

• 老けてみえる = fukete mieru = look older

Ex. マギーは年齢よりも若く(or 老けて)見える。

= Maggie wa nenrei yori mo wakaku (or fukete)  mieru.

Maggie looks younger (or older)  than her age.

🐶 Did you like my birthday cake? It is Hello Kitty cheesecake!

I loooove kitties! ❤️ Yum! Yum!!! :)



maggie-sensei マギー先生より=Maggie Sensei yori=From Maggie Sensei


= Hai hontou wa gosai ni narimashita.

= Yes, I  actually just turned five years old.


= Ningen dattara ikutu nante keisan shinaidene.

Don’t even try to calculate my age in human age!



Will you be my Patron? 

I appreciate your support!  サポートありがとう!

Become a Patron!


You may also like


  1. really?? u are 5!!? u look younger ^^ 若くみえる!!
    here they say that 1 dog year=7 human years, is it the same in japan?
    and some japanese and korean people are the most 年を取らない people I know!!!! but then again, they say I say that cause I can’t tell asian people’s age just like they can’t tell our age… so I don’t know, they just look younger than their real age to me ^^; skin careかな?cause they usually take much better skin care than us…. I m bad at teling age anyway~! when people ask me to guess their age I usually say a few years younger than what I really think, just in case I m totally off xD

    1. @Aki

      Do I look younger? Thank you!!!! I guess everybody wants to look younger. I use special “doggie facial cream” when I sleep :)
      Hey, don’t calculate my age in “dog years”! :wink: (But, yes, we have the same calculation!)

  2. はい、元気です=)お蔭様で

    1. @LadySapphire


      (添削 : 蚊の刺しから受けます→蚊に刺されたらかかります。蚊はもっと多くなって気がします。→蚊がもっと多くなった気がします。)

  3. Hi Maggie先生!お久しぶり!
    Belated Happy Birthday は日本語でどう言いますか?
    私の誕生日は先生のと近く日ですよ、私のは9月22日です =)

    1. @LadySapphire
      LasySapphireさんも「遅くなりましたがお誕生日おめでとう!」= Happy Belated Birthday!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *