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Chinese phrases to know about Mother’s Day

Mother's Day, how to call mom in Chinese, learning Chinese

Today is Mother's Day (母亲节, mǔ qīn jié), a day to celebrate all of the wonderful moms of the world.

To help you celebrate Mother's Day in Chinese, here're some useful phrases and expressions:

Mother's Day (母亲节, mǔ qīn jié)

mother (母亲, mǔ qīn)

mom (妈妈, mā mā)

Happy Mother's Day (母亲节快乐, mǔ qīn jié kuài lè)

gift (礼物, lǐ wù)

greeting card (贺卡, hè kǎ)

carnation (康乃馨, kāng nǎi xīn)

rose (玫瑰, méi guī)

a box of chocolate (一盒巧克力, yī hé qiǎo kè lì)

gift certificate (礼券, lǐ quàn)

breakfast in bed (在床上吃早餐, zài chuáng shàng chī zǎo cān)

Put those words to use by answering these questions:

How do you celebrate Mother's Day?


nǐ zěn me qìng zhù mǔ qīn jié?

What gift would you like to give to your mother?


nǐ xiǎng sòng gěi nǐ māma shén me lǐ wù?

Have you decided what present to give to your mother? Wouldn't learning to address your mother in Chinese be a big surprise and a sweet gift?

In oral Chinese, there are many ways to say mother, for example, 妈 (mā), 妈妈 (māma), 阿妈 (ā'mā) and 娘亲 (niángqīn). The most frequently used addresses are: 母亲 (mǔqīn), 娘 (niáng) and 妈(妈) (mā (ma)).

To call your mother "母亲 (mǔqīn)" is considered very formal in Chinese. It's most commonly seen in various types of media; in literature for example there is the book "母亲 (mǔqīn)" by Gorky, and in fact, there is a TV series that's actually named "母亲 (mǔqīn)."

"娘 (niáng)" was used in ancient times and is now used in areas with rich culture and tradition, such as northwest China and the Central Plains. In Henan, Hebei and Shandong provinces, and especially in some remote districts in the countryside, children will still call their mothers "娘 (niáng)."

"妈妈 (māma)" is the most used variant of mother. When children are young, they'll call their mother "妈妈 (māma)," when they grow up, the name is shortened to "妈 (mā)" much like the switch from "mommy" to "mom/mum" in English. Nowadays, many children also call their mother "老妈 (lǎomā)."


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