What is the Japanese word for mother?

Okasan.

Alternately, when referring to your parents while talking to others, your own mother is "haha".

Oka-san is commonly used to address mothers in Japanese. Oka-sama is more formal.

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Mother:

Okasan (Common/Standard; Addressing your mother or speaking about somebody's mother) O-Kah-San

Okasama (Formal; Addressing your mother or speaking about somebody's mother) O-Kah-Saw-Muh

Ka-chan (Less formal; Common; Addressing your mother) Kah-Chan

Haha (Only in reference of your own mother)

Hahaoya (Only in reference of your own mother; Impolite)

Mama (Becoming popular with young children; Usually only in reference of your own mother)

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You never put a hyphen in for family members. Instead of "

Ok

ā-san" you would write "Ok

āsan". If referring to someone else's mother, you would only ever use "Ok

āsan".

Ok

āsan and its more similar variants (e.x.

Kāchan,

Okāsama, etc.) all have a long "a" sound, and so you will either see them spelled with "

ā" (e.x.

Okāsan) or "aa" (e.x. Okaasan).

In addition to the examples given above (let me point out that "Hahaoya" is not polite; in fact, it is rather formal), some are:

-K

ā (can be considered impolite, depending on the relationship with the mother)

-Hahaue (formal and outdated; this was generally used when addressing your mother if you were from a prestigious family, such a family of samurai)

-

Kāsan (casual)

-Ofukuro (probably even more risky to use than "K

ā",

as it is somewhere along the lines of something like "old bag")