In Japanese, Chinese and Korean etc, they all have specific "term" to address the older/younger brothers and sisters.

In Korean, there are even separate terms called by female and male, like Hyung by male and Oppa by female, and they both mean older brother. For example,

Girl: He's my Oppa.

Boy: He's my Hyung.

He's her Oppa and his Hyung.

I wonder if there is any word in English that describes the relations instead of using the combination of an adjective and a noun.

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    Not that I'm aware of. – Catija Jun 15 '15 at 17:07
  • Agreed. It's always hard to be sure that there isn't a particular term, but if there is one, it certainly isn't common. – Morton Jun 15 '15 at 17:14
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    This is similar to, but the reverse of, speakers of English (and other Germanic languages) learning Japanese, Korean, Chinese, etc. who wonder why there is no such thing in those language as a simple, generic word for sibling. (Disclaimer: I don’t know any Korean, so I don’t know if they have such a word; Chinese and Japanese do not.) – Janus Bahs Jacquet Jun 15 '15 at 17:33

Indeed there is no distinction in Modern English in terms for older or younger siblings outside of adjectives. I can not say the same for Middle or Old English however. It is quite possible that any distinction that may have been was stripped along with the myriad of verb conjugations and pluralizations that bespeckeled our language when the Vikings simplified the British tongue

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  • The Vikings didn’t simplify the British tongue. They spoke Old Norse, which had just as many morphological markers and categories as Old English did—indeed, Modern Icelandic still retains the vast majority of them to this day. Their loss in English was quite a natural consequence of final syllables being lost along the way from Old English to Middle English and onwards. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Jun 15 '15 at 17:37
  • It would be more accurate to say that contact with Romans, Vikings, and Normans all influenced English to reduce the amount of conjugations, and of irregular word forms. Both types of simplification are typical of linguistic development in populations where foreign contact and 2nd language learners become common. – Jessa Jun 15 '15 at 19:21
  • Ah, but until Jutes, Angels and Saxons (who spoke a form of Germanic) colonized the island, there was no English, What would've been spoken in Roman times would've been closer to Welsh as it is in the same branch of the Gaelic language tree as Ancient Brythonic. After the colonization, the language would've been a mash of all three languages, Brythonic, Latin and Germanic. When the Norsemen came and started to deal with the Brits, they forced the standardization of a lot of the language because it was a confusing kettle of fish. link – Rowan Silverleaf Jun 15 '15 at 21:31

I will fairly confidently state that there is no such word. This is based on interactions with a friend who is a translator, and had this issue translating a language which did have such a distinction.

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Elders? eg. listen to your elders -- is an in/famous retort or order. Though theres none i can recall for direct referencing eg call your (older) sister/brother. And elder as a whole, encompasses both peers ie same/close generation and or age group eg siblings,cousins and those further away eg grandparents, parents, parent's siblings,..

There's senior vs juniors which can be used somewhat directly. And maybe superiors but both imply an individual rank/relation outside of merely being younger. Not to mention evolved or original meanings ie senior vs young/youth and superior vs inferior. sir/mr/mam/miss is occasionally used in polite/respectful context. Though casually or everyday with peers eg classmates or seniors, would be odd.

All are also very much more known as titles now, than noun or address.

It would be truly impossible to find a real (everyday) equivalent for sure, as age-awareness is inbuilt into their everyday speech incl sentence structures. whilst in english, it'll be a rare or very telling upbringing to have either younger OR older to address their elder siblings/peers even, as sister/brother.

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