"Since we don't have specific words "妹" in English, we don't say "younger" or "older" brother or sister as often as Japanese do. It would actually sound offensive if you said "my older brother" a lot since it would emphasize that he is old."
Actually, I've never thought of it before. It's true that Japanese people pay much attention who is older and who is younger. Time to time, they change their words or attitude when they talk to a person who is older than they.
I have a big brother who is one year older than I. We are almost same age but I've never called him by his first name. I've called him by "兄ちゃん (an elder brother)". On the other hand, he has called me by my first name. Nowadays, there are no such strict rules. My daughters call each other by their first names.
Still, social norms that you should respect elder people exist here in Japan, on the contrary I found out that people in Western countries don't pay much attention to their age.
「英語には”妹” というような特別な単語がないので日本人が使うほど頻繁に ”younger brother/ sister” または "older brother/sister" という言い方をしません。”my older brother” を必要以上に使うと年を取っていることを強調することになり相手に嫌な思いをさせたりします。」
私は一歳年上の兄がいる。ほとんど同じ年だが私は兄を名前で呼んだことは一度もない。今までずっと「兄ちゃん（an older brother）」と呼んできた。だが兄は私を名前で呼ぶ。今ではそのような厳格なきまりはない。私の二人の娘はお互いを名前で呼び合っている。
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Since I described "my younger daughter" instead of "my daughter" in my previous entry, one of my Lang-8 friends made comments as follows. "Since we don't have specific words "妹" in English, we don't say "younger" or "older" brother or sister as often as Japanese do. It would actually sound offe