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Lesson Transcript

Hi everybody! Hiroko here. Welcome to Ask a Teacher, where I’ll answer some of your most common Japanese questions.
The question for this lesson is…How do I use できる(dekiru) to talk about making a new friend or family member in Japanese?
You may already know that できる(dekiru) means “to be able to.” However, you can also use it in a few other situations.
できる(dekiru) also means something has been made or completed. Therefore you can use it in this situation, 新しいビルができました。(Atarashii biru ga dekimashita.) “The new building was built/made.” You can also use it when you’ve made a friend or have fallen in love with someone, because it can be literally translated as “a friend is made” in Japanese.
Let’s go through some examples so you can learn how to use できる(dekiru) correctly.
妹ができました。(Imōto ga dekimashita.)
This phrase literally translates as “I ‘got’ a younger sister.” The nuance is that your mother has just given birth and has essentially “made” you a sister.
Let’s do another example--
新しいお父さんができました。(Atarashii o-tōsan ga dekimashita.)
This phrase means, “I’ve got a step father.” Literally, “I have a new father.” You would use this if your mother got divorced and then remarried, thus, “making” her new husband your “new father.”
Remember, you can’t say, 先生ができました(Sensei ga dekimashita) if you get a new teacher. This is because as long as there are lessons, there’s always a teacher. You can say, 新しいクラスメートができました。(Atarashii kurasu-mēto ga dekimashita.) ”I have a new classmate,” because that’s not something that’s guaranteed; something has been essentially “made” where nothing was before.
How was this lesson? Pretty interesting, right?
Do you have any more questions? Leave them in the comments below and I’ll try to answer them!
またね![mata ne!] See you!