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Friday, October 7, 2016

Kochira, Sochira, Achira, Dochira - Meaning in Japanese

In the Japanese language, there are four pronouns ending in chira ちら, they are: kochira こちら, sochira そちら, achira あちら and dochira どちら. Amongst these, dochira is the most common, while the words are often spoken in dialogues, but what do they really mean?

Just like other kosoado pronouns, we can divide these words and their meaning like this:
  • kochira こちら
    This side. My side.
    This way.
  • sochira そちら
    That side. Your side.
    That way.
  • achira あちら
    That side over there. His side.
    That way over there.
  • dochira どちら
    What side? Whose side?
    What way?

These words can be used either to represent people, sides, or directions. Like other pronouns in Japanese, sochira is used to what's close to you and to who you're talking to, while achira is used for what's far from both.

Usage Examples

Let's see some examples to have a better idea:
  • kochira de nantoka suru こちらで何とかする
    We'll do it somehow. We'll fix it somehow.
    (this means that you, sochira, shouldn't worry about it as we, this side, will manage)
  • kochira e douzo こちらへどうぞ
    Come here.
    Come to us.
  • kochira ni mukatte kuru! こちらに向かってくる!
    (the enemy, monster, whatever) is coming at us!
  • sochira wa dou desu ka? そちらはどうですか?
    How are things there?
    (here we're talking about your side, the side of the listener)
  • achira wa watashi no tomodachi desu あちらは私の友達です
    Those are my friends.
    (those, on that side, over there, are my friends)
  • dochira-sama desu ka? どちら様ですか
    Who are you?
  • okane to shiawase dochira ga hoshii desu ka? お金と幸せどちらが欲しいですか?
    Money or happiness, which do you want?

These meanings may look similar to the pronouns konata, sonata, anata and donata because, in fact, they are similar, however, the chira pronouns put emphasis on direction and side while the nata pronouns put emphasis on the person. One big different, for example, is that sochira can be used for "you guys" as a group, while sonata and anata can only refer to one person.

These words are also more formal variants of kocchi, socchi, acchi and docchi, which are more frequently used in anime.

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