The basic ranks in “Naruto” are: academy student, genin, chunin, jounin. The syllable “nin” in every word comes from ninja, and respectively genin means ninja from low rank, chunin is a ninja from middle rank, and jonin- from high rank.
The academic students tasks are only studying and training. They are gathered in classes (probably no one is surprised:)) and are tutored by a chunin. After passing their genin exam, the students are officially ninjas. It’s usually a test and a practical exam for the main techniques like fighting with a shuriken, kunai; ninjutsu techniques- henge no jutsu(transformation), kawarimi no jutsu(body substitute technique), nawanuki no jutsu(untying yourself), and bunshin no jutsu(clone technique). Then they receive a band (forehead protector) with the sign of their village, as a symbol that they are real ninjas. An example of an academy student is Konohamaru.
The genin is the lowest ninja rank. They are given missions of the lowest ranks (D and rarely C). These missions are mostly cleaning trash, taking care of rich people’s pets (and also finding the lost ones.), agricultural work, and all kinds of common jobs. The genins are formed in groups of three with a chunin for a leader, who is also their examiner in the genin exam. Examples of genins are Naruto, Sasuke and Sakura.
The chuunin is a leader of lowest level. To chuunins are given missions with higher rank than to the genins. To become a chuunin, every genin must pass a very hard and dangerous for his life exam (and before that must have completed 8 missions). Some of them become teachers. Chuunins wear a special uniform for a ninja. An example for chuunin is Iruka.
The jounin executes the hardest missions and is a leader of s team. Kakashi is a jounin.
Special Jounin is a variety of the Jounin. The difference between them is that the Special Jounin can have a trainee (ninja student) or can give private lessons. Special Jounin is Ebisu.
Besides those four there are a few additional ranks.
In Japanese ANBU means dark side, but as abbreviation (ANsatsu senjutsu tokushu BUtai) is translated Special Tactical Troop for assassinations. These are ninjas that serve right under the command of the Kage. They wear animal masks in order to hide their identity. Their job is often killing someone dangerous to the village. As the standard teams of four, ANBU teams also have three people of lower rang and a captain. Besides their masks, typical for them is the “Bingo Book”, which is a notebook with the faces of their targets.
This rank is for the most important ninjas of the village- they are something like a president or a king. Kage is literally translated from Japanese as “shadow”, and before “kage” is added Ho (fire), Kaze (wind), Mizu (water), Tsuchi (earth), Rai (lightning), depending on the country in which they live. Usually the kage is the most powerful ninja in the village. It is possible that the kage retires, and a new one is chosen. Example of that is The Third Hokage. He disposes his place to The Fourth, but after Fourth’s death becomes Hokage again (so don’t wonder when I speak of the Fourth when the current Hokage is the Third:)). Example for a kage is Sarutobi(The third Hokage)
They are something like head hunters. They are being paid to destroy completely a ninja (usually a criminal) without leaving anything of him. The people making these orders are often from targets home village. This has to be done to keep the families/villages secrets. Hunter nins are also wearing masks to hide their identity. Actually in the manga/anime are not seen any hunter ninjas, but Haku is pretending to be one.
These are very qualified ninjas with long experience. Maybe they are as strong as the kage. These ninjas are respected from the other villagers, and are thought as people of wisdom. Sannins can summon huge beasts by parallel worlds. They are called with the name of the animal they can summon. For example Jiraiya is called Gamasannin (in Japanese gama means frog). Examples for a sannin are the three sannins from Konoha- Jiraiya, Tsunade and Orochimaru.
Missing nin (Missing Nin)
These are ninjas that have left their villages. Usually they are criminals thrown out of their village. Zabuza is a missing nin (the devil from the Mist), and also are everyone from Akatsuki (which are also S class criminals).
These are students and followers of a sannin or special jounin. An Example is Shizune.
Translated from Bulgarian language by:allegra