What is the Chinese word for Senpai

What does "Senpai" mean? Meaning, translation in German

"Senpai" (Japanese: 先輩) is used to describe someone who has been employed in a company longer than you are.

The term “senpai” is widespread in everyday Japanese life. It also applies in organizations, in schools, in universities, in departments or in sports clubs. “Senpai” exist wherever hierarchies exist and these are also arranged according to age, among other things. For example, students are referred to as "Senpai" if they are in a higher school form.

The expression "Senpai" is the salutation for the person who has been working in the company for longer than the person using the salutation.

"Senpais" are persons of respect and respect is expressed by using the term "Senpai".

The “Senpai” does not have to be older than the one who started in a company. All that counts is time in the company. This means that a 30-year-old who has worked in a company for four years is “Senpai” for someone who is 40 years old and has only worked for the company for one year.

The opposite of Senpai is "Kōhai". "Kōhai" are people who started in the company after themselves. Peers refer to themselves as "Dōhai".

In animes and mangas, older or advanced students are referred to as "senpai". From middle school onwards, students can be addressed as senpai by younger ones.

Senpais often act as mentors. The expression “Senpai” can therefore also be translated as “mentor”, “master” or “teacher”.

Senpai-Kōhai relationship

The principle of Senpai regulates the relationship with younger employees (Kōhai). The Senpai has various tasks, such as protecting young people, guiding them and looking after their well-being. A Senpai gives orientation, advice and acts as a role model. A senpai takes responsibility.

A kōhai is invited by a senpai, among other things, when they go out for a drink. A kōhai pays respect to the senpai and owes him obedience.

If a Kōhai misbehaves or behaves badly, the Senpai is held responsible for his behavior.

The Senpai-Kōhai relationship pervades all structures in Japan. Wherever experienced people in a higher position (Senpai) work together with younger inexperienced people (Kōhai), the more experienced people begin to act as mentors.

Situation in Europe

This relationship between master and journeyman is also known in Europe and Germany. In mentoring programs, mentors help their mentees.


The term “Senpai” can be added to the Senpai's name. So “Sanji” would become “Sanji-Senpai”. Usually only "Senpai" is said.

According to the old and unrevised script, Senpai is also written "Senpai". This is due to the translation of Japanese and the Latin alphabet according to the Hepburn system.

“Senpai” is made up of the Middle Chinese “sen” (先) which means “first” or “earlier” and “hai” (輩) which means “colleague” or “comrade”. A "Senpai" is a former colleague, someone who has been in the organization for a long time.

The expression "notice me senpai" has spread through animes. This means that a pupil of the lower grades wishes to be noticed by a pupil of the upper grades. In addition, "notice me senpai" is now also used in the fan-star relationship - also with a similar intention, so that the fan is noticed by the star.

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