Chinese Words for Family Members

Posted by Iris Liu on Dec 14, 2015

 Chinese family tree

There is a saying in the West, "There's no place like home." We also believe that is China and have a similar saying that translates into "home is the best."

Jīn wō yín wō bǐ bù shàng zìjiā de gǒu wō

金窝银窝比不上自家的狗窝

Literally, the Chinese meaning is no matter the golden or silver palace, it's far behind our own humble dwelling even if it is only the size of a doghouse. Family is important across all cultures around the world. For Chinese, this topic is always comes up wherever we are, so we always get together for major festivals to share happiness with our families. Here are some words for close family members that you may find useful.

Yéyé wàigōng

爷爷/外公

Grandpa

Nǎinai wàipó

奶奶/外婆

Grandma

bàba

爸爸

Father

māma

妈妈

Mother

gēge

哥哥

Elder brother

jiě jie

姐姐

Elder sister

dìdi

弟弟

Younger brother

mèi mei

妹妹

Younger sister

ér zi

儿子

Son

nǚ ér

女儿

Daughter

Shūshu/bóbo/jiùjiu

叔叔/伯伯/舅舅

Uncle

Gūgū/āyí

姑姑/阿姨

Aunty

There is a Chinese song for kids explaining the relationship of each family member.

Yéyé bàba de bàba jiào yéyé

爷爷 爸爸的爸爸叫爷爷

Grandpa: Father's father

Nǎinai bàba de māmā jiào nǎinai

奶奶 爸爸的妈妈叫奶奶

Grandma: Mother's mother

Bóbo bàba dí gēgē jiào bóbo

伯伯 爸爸的哥哥叫伯伯

Uncle: Father's elder brother

Shūshu bàba de dìdì jiào shūshu

叔叔 爸爸的弟弟叫叔叔

Uncle: Father's younger brother

Gūgū bàba de mèimei jiào gūgū

姑姑 爸爸的妹妹叫姑姑

Aunty: Father's younger sister

Wàigōng māmā de bàba jiào wàigōng

外公 妈妈的爸爸叫外公

Grandpa: Mother's father

Wàipó māmā de māmā jiào wàipó

外婆 妈妈的妈妈叫外婆

Grandma: Mother's mother

Jiùjiu māmā de xiōngdì jiào jiùjiu

舅舅 妈妈的兄弟叫舅舅

Uncle: Mother's brother

Āyí māmā de jiěmèi jiào āyí

阿姨 妈妈的姐妹叫阿姨

Aunty: Mother's sister



About The Author

Iris Liu

Iris Liu is a Chinese Learning teacher at Hanbridge Mandarin. Iris holds a MTCSOL degree from Jilin University. Iris has the skills and drive to make learning Chinese both fun and fruitful for her students.

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