You vs. Baby Japanese Quiz

You’ve been studying for a while now. Gained a little confidence. You’re not yet where you want to be, but you are getting there. You may have tested your progress before, but I bet you there is one test you’ve never taken. Can you beat a baby’s Japanese?Is Your Japanese Better Than A Baby 1

NTT Communication did a study ranking the top words a Japanese baby first learns to say. You’re smarter than a baby. So you should know all of these…right? Well it’s time to find out.

Take a deep breath, and read through the following short list (which I rearranged in order from easiest to hardest for a foreigner)

1. はい
2. ママ
3. パパ
4. お母さん
5. お父さん
6. どうぞ
7. バイバイ
8. バナナ
9. ある
10. あった
11. 痛い
12. おっぱい
13. よいしょ
14. ワンワン
15. ニャンニャン
16. いないいないばぁ
17. ねんね
18. ないない
19. まんま
20. くっく
21. ブーブー

See Answers: show

Out of the 21, how many did you get right? Leave your score and what you had trouble with in the comments! I missed the last few (the last 4 are especially difficult as these are baby exclusives).

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Founder of Jalup. Spends most of his time absorbing and spreading thrilling information about learning Japanese.


You vs. Baby Japanese Quiz — 11 Comments

  1. LOL, awesome article. I got everything up to おっぱい♡ correct, then I got them all wrong. I still have much to learn.

  2. Didn’t know 16, 20, and 21, but everything else yep. Though I did teach preschool for a year so I guess I have an unfair advantage >_>
    Fun fact: まんま is used both when they want food and when they’re done :’)

  3. 16/21…Just yesterday I watched a doraemon episode with いないいないばぁ so I had an unfair advantage…

  4. 13/21. Luckily these words are not all important to know. Though I’m sure I would’ve gotten more if I had seen the words in action since they are fairly simple.

  5. 13/21, I got 1-11 and 14+15. おっぱい I actually knew from Japanese in MangaLand. One of the example sentences include the word but I did not recall the meaning when I saw it out of context. Maybe if I had baby-sitted a Japanese baby I would’ve known the baby exclusive ones :P but unfortunately haven’t had the pleasure of meeting any Japanese babies ^^. ねんね is some kind of conjugation of 眠る I suppose? I have recently encountered 眠い in JALUP Beginner, so I might have understood the word in some kind of context, but out of context and without kanji the connection didn’t occur to me.

    Fun challenge though :D

  6. 16/21: Missed 17-21, not good at baby talk at all! I’ve also learned that “o-meme” is “eye/eyes”, “o-tete” is “hand/hands” and “anyo” is “foot/feet/leg/legs” thanks to a children’s song.

  7. Nice test! I missed the last four as well. The only reason I knew ねんね was because its in the one deck, thanks Adam

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