Monday, February 18, 2019

kono ko, sono so, ano ko この子, その子, あの子

In Japanese, the phrases kono ko, sono ko, ano ko この子, その子, あの子 are used to refer to children, or to people the same age or younger than the speaker, or even to animals.

この子は姉妹たちの中でも特に臆病で人見知りなの あんまり吃驚させないであげてちょうだい
Manga: Rozen Maiden, ローゼンメイデン (Chapter 10)

Usage

Literally, the words mean:
  • kono ko この子
    This child.
  • sono ko その子
    That child. (near you.)
  • ano ko あの子
    That child. (not near you.)

However, they aren't used only toward children.

Most of the time, sono ko その子 is almost synonymous with sono hito その人, "that person," except for nuance:
  • It's only used toward people younger than you, not older.
  • Women use kono ko, sono ko, ano ko more often than men.
  • The ko is usually female, too.
    • Guy don't call other guys ko, but they may call girls ko, and girls may call guys ko.
    • In romantic songs, ano ko is probably "that girl/boy" the speaker is in love with.

Also, the words may be spelled kono ko, sono ko, ano ko この娘, その娘, あの娘, with the kanji for "daughter," musume, in which case it's always female, a girl, never male.

You may want to see how Ko 子 works and Kono, Sono, Ano この, その, あの for details.

Examples

For reference, some examples of ko 子 being used with kono, sono, ano.
  • sono ko wa doushita no?
    その子はどうしたの?
    What happened to that kid next to you?
    What happened to [him]?
    What happened to [her]?

この子は姉妹たちの中でも特に臆病で人見知りなの あんまり吃驚させないであげてちょうだい
Manga: Rozen Maiden, ローゼンメイデン (Chapter 10)
  • Jun
    ジュン
    (Character name.)
  • kono ko wa shimai-tachi
    no naka demo toku ni okubyou de
    hito mi-shiri nano

    この子は姉妹たちの中でも特に臆病人見知りなの
    Even among the sisters, this [girl] is particularly timid and afraid of strangers.
  • anmari bikkuri
    sasenaide agete
    choudai

    あんまり吃驚させないであげてちょうだい
    Please refrain from surprising her too much.
  • Despite looking practically the same age, Shinku 真紅 (right) refers her sister Suiseiseki 翠星石 (left) as kono ko.

嬢ちゃん!あんたもちょっとはあの子を見習いな。
Manga: Black Lagoon (Chapter 9)
  • Context: an old woman gives advice to an adult woman.
  • jouchan!
    嬢ちゃん!
    [Hey]!
  • anta mo
    chotto wa
    ano ko wo
    minarai na.

    あんたもちょっとはあの子を見習いな。
    You [should] learn a little more [from] that [boy].
    • Here, "that boy" refers to Rock, who is an adult man, but nonetheless a "kid" to the speaker who's a much older woman.
    • anta あんた
      anata あなた
      You.
    • mo chotto もちょっと
      mou chotto もうちょっと
      A little more.
    • wo mi-narau を見習う
      To see and learn from. (to learn something by watching how someone else does it.)

あいつと打てる? あ うーん あの子は・・・
Manga: Hikaru no Go ヒカルの碁 (Chapter 2, はるかな高み)
  • Context: Hikaru is looking for an adversary.
  • aitsu to uteru?
    あいつと打てる?
    Can [I] [play] with [him]?
    • utsu 打つ
      To hit.
      To play. (a game like Go, in which you hit stones on a board.)
  • gata.. ガタ・・
    *chair feet hitting the floor as he gets up.* (onomatopoeia.)
  • a, uun, ano ko wa...
    あ うーん あの子は・・・
    Ah, err, [he] [is]...

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