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Chinese family tree: how to address family members

chinese family tree, chinese kinship terms

It is very important in Chinese culture to be able to address everyone by their correct kinship term as a sign of politeness and respect. Especially to the older generation, having children or grandchildren who are well-versed in kinship terms is something they can be truly proud of, and reflects well on their parenting skills. 

If you want to marry a Chinese girl/man, it will be a big job for you to address her/his family members

chinese family tree, chinese kinship terms

Immediate family

Your Mom – 妈妈 (māma)

Your Dad – 爸爸 (bàba)

Your Wife – 妻子 (qīzi) or 老婆 (lǎopó)

Your Husband – 丈夫 (zhàngfū) or 老公 (lǎogōng)

Your older brother – 哥哥 (gēge)

Your older sister – 姐姐 (jiějie)

Your younger brother – 弟弟 (dìdi)

Your younger sister – 妹妹 (mèimei)

Your son – 儿子 (Érzi)

Your daughter – 女儿 (Nǚ'ér)

"Grandma" in Chinese 

Grandmother on Dad's side – 奶奶 (nǎinai) 

Grandmother on Mom's side -外婆 (wàipó)

"Grandpa" in Chinese 

Grandfather on Dad's side – 爷爷 (yéyé)

Grandfather on Mom's side – 外公 (wàigōng)

"Uncle" in Chinese

Dad's older brother – 伯伯 (bóbo)

Dad's younger brother – 叔叔 (Shūshu)

Dad's older sister's husband – 姑夫 (Gūfū)

Dad's younger sister's husband – 姑夫 (Gūfū)

Mom's older or younger brother -舅舅 (Jiùjiu)

"Aunt" in Chinese

Dad's older sister – 姑妈 (Gūmā)

Dad's younger sister – 姑姑 (Gūgū)

Dad's older brother's wife -伯母 (Bómǔ)

Dad's younger brother's wife -婶婶 (Shěnshěn)

Mom's older sister – 姨妈 (Yímā)

Mom's younger sister -阿姨 (Āyí)

Mom's brother's wife – 舅母 (Jiùmu)

"Cousin" in Chinese

Dad's sibling's son (if older than you) – 堂兄 (Táng xiōng)

Dad's sibling's son (if younger than you) – 堂弟 (Táng dì)

Dad's sibling's daughter (if older than you) – 堂姐 (Táng jiě)

Dad's sibling's daughter (if younger than you) – 堂妹 (Táng Mèi)

Mom's sibling's son (if older than you) –表哥 (Biǎo gē)

Mom's sibling's son (if younger than you) – 表弟 (Biǎo dì)

Mom's sibling's daughter (if older than you) -表姐 (Biǎo jiě)

Mom's sibling's daughter (if younger than you) -表妹 (Biǎo mèi)

"Nephew" in Chinese

Brother's son – 姪子 (zhízi)

Sister's son – 外甥 (wàishēng)

"Niece" in Chinese  

Brother's daughter – 姪女 (zhínǚ)

Sister's daughter – 外甥女 (wàishengnǚ)

"Father-in-law" in Chinese

Husband's father – 公公 (gōnggong)

Wife's father – 岳父 (yuèfù)

"Mother-in-law" in Chinese 

Husband's mother – 婆婆 (pópo)

Wife's mother – 岳母 (yuèmǔ)

"Brother-in-law" in Chinese 

Your older sister's husband – 姐夫 (Jiěfū)

Your younger sister's husband – 妹夫 (Mèifū)

"Sister-in-law" in Chinese 

Your older brother's wife- 嫂子 (Sǎo zi)

Your younger brother's wife – 弟妇 (Dìfù)

Multiple siblings of the same gender 

China recently abolished it's one-child policy, so what if you run into a situation where your relative has multiple siblings? Let's say for example, your mom has three younger sisters. How do you differentiate from all of them at family reunions? A common way to do this in Chinese would be to refer to the oldest as " 大姨 (dà yí)" and then refer to the second and third as "二姨 (èr yí) second aunt" and "三姨 (sān yí) third aunt" respectively.

Interchangeable terms 

姥姥 (lǎolao) or 外婆 (wàipó)" for maternal grandmother

姥爷 (lǎo yé) or 外公 (wài gōng) for paternal grandfather


The article is editted by Chinlingo. Please indicate the source (info.chinlingo.com) for any use, reproduction or transfer. 

本文由Chinlingo编译后发布,如需转载,请标明来源:info.chinlingo.com.

2016-06-21

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