Thursday, November 23, 2017

小1, 中2, 高3, 大4 - Abbreviated School Years

In manga and anime, sometimes when characters are introduced by a panel with some text, there's a certain kanji followed by a number that doesn't make much sense. Such kanji are 小, 中, 高 and 大, and the numbers often range from 1 to 3. But what does it mean?!


Basically, it's abbreviated way of saying which school year a character attends. The number tells whether the character is an ichinensei, ninensei, sannensei, etc. And the kanji tells the educational stage of the character.

List of Abbreviations

For reference, the full list:


shou ichi 小1 means
shougakkou ichinen 小学校1年
Ages 6–7. First year elementary school.

shou ni 小2 means
shougakkou ninen 小学校2年
Ages 7–8. Second year elementary school.

shou san 小3 means
shougakkou sannen 小学校3年
Ages 8–9. Third year elementary school.

shou yon 小4 means
shougakkou yonnen 小学校4年
Ages 9–10. Fourth year elementary school.

shou go 小5 means
shougakkou gonen 小学校5年
Ages 10–11. Fifth year elementary school.

shou roku 小6 means
shougakkou rokuen 小学校6年
Ages 11–12. Sixth year elementary school.


chuu ichi 中1 means
chuugaku ichinen 中学1年
Ages 12–13. First year middle school.

chuu ni 中2 means
chuugaku ninen 中学2年
Ages 13–14. Second year middle school.

chuu san 中3 means
chuugaku sannen 中学3年
Ages 14–15. Third year middle school.


kou ichi 高1 means
koukou ichinen 高校1年
Ages 15–16. First year high school.

kou ni 高2 means
koukou ninen 高校2年
Ages 16–17. Second year middle school.

kou san 高3 means
koukou sannen 高校3年
Ages 17–18. Third year middle school.


dai ichi 大1 means
daigaku ichinen 大学1年
Ages 18–19. First year college or university.

dai ni 大2 means
daigaku ninen 大学2年
Ages 19–20. Second year college or university.

dai san 大3 means
daigaku sannen 大学3年
Ages 20–21. Third year college or university.

dai yon 大4 means
daigaku yonnen 大学4年
Ages 21–22. Fouth year college or university.

dai go 大5 means
daigaku gonen 大学5年
Ages 22–23. Fifth year college or university.

dai roku 大6 means
daigaku rokunen 大学6年
Ages 23–24. Sixth year college or university.

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