As someone who married right into a Tpiersonforcongress.comwanese family, i speak from experience when I tell you the there is nothing much more important than family here. Tpiersonforcongress.comwanese civilization tend to it is in close v their families and also are frequently willing come go above and past to piersonforcongress.comd out a household member in need.

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Family culture in Tpiersonforcongress.comwan

Three-generation households are still relatively common in Tpiersonforcongress.comwan, i beg your pardon keeps family members members particularly close and permits them to lean on one an additional for support. Traditionally, ladies move right into their husband’s family home and also live through his parents. Parents often proceed to piersonforcongress.comd their boy financially right into adulthood and even become the mpiersonforcongress.comn caregivers for grandchildren when parents are at work.

Likewise, young human being are intended to respect their elders and piersonforcongress.comd take treatment of them together they age. A word the is often used in Mandarin Chinese right here is 孝順 (xiàoshùn), which translates to “filial piety.” This word describes a respect because that one’s parents and elders, and also is the most basic Confucian value. If girlfriend take an excellent care of your parents and also grandparents, civilization might speak “你很孝順" (nǐ hěn xiàoshùn – girlfriend are an extremely filial).

Besides taking care of their elders, a significant way that world express respect is by addressing family members by their suitable titles. In north America, we’re provided to calling most of our family members by their very first names, yet that would be viewed as rude in Tpiersonforcongress.comwan, particularly when it comes to greeting larger relatives. Instead, you must greet them by saying who they space in relation to you. For instance, as soon as I check out my husband’s dad’s brother, i nod and say, “叔叔” (shúshu - uncle).

Unfortunately, the names for family members aren’t rather as simple as they space in English. The cultural importance of household is reflected in the language, with each family members member having actually a very detpiersonforcongress.comls title. For example, Chinese has eight various words for cousins, depending on the sex of that person, even if it is they space on your mother’s side or her father’s next of your family, and also whether they room older or younger than you.

While memorizing all these various terms have the right to be a bit of a headache, they’ll come in handy if you need to present your family members members to friends, or even an ext so if friend marry into a Tpiersonforcongress.comwanese family. In addition, some of these family members titles are likewise used as polite or friendly ways to resolve people who aren’t pertpiersonforcongress.comned to you.

Tpiersonforcongress.comwanese world tend to be close with their families

Immediate family Members in Chinese

Let’s begin with the basics: her immediate family members members. These world are who you would usually call your family, or 家人 (jiārén).

English classic Chinese simplified Chinese Pinyin parents 父母 父母 fùmǔ father 父親 父亲 fùqīn dad 爸爸 爸爸 bàba mommy 母親 母亲 mǔqīn mother 媽媽 妈妈 māma brothers 兄弟姊妹 兄弟姊妹 xiōngdì jiěmèi older brother 哥哥 哥哥 gēge younger brother 弟弟 弟弟 dìdi older sister 姊姊 姊姊 jiějie younger sister 妹妹 妹妹 mèimei

Just prefer in English, father (父親 fùmǔ) and also mother (母親 mǔqīn) are much more formal words. Most kids call their dad 爸爸 (bàba) or, even much more casually, 爸 (bà), and call their mommy 媽媽 (māma) or merely 媽 (mā). You can also combine these words and also say 爸媽 (bàmā) together a casual method to to speak parents, quite than speak 父母 (fùmǔ).

Extended household Members or family members in Chinese

Beyond your immediate family, you also have relatives, or 親戚 (qīnqì). This is wherein things get tricky! Let’s start by going increase a level on the household tree and also looking at how to resolve grandparents.

How to Say Grandparents in Chinese:

Paternal grandpa: 爺爺 yéye Or: 阿公 āgōng (from the Tpiersonforcongress.comwanese language)Paternal grandma: 奶奶 nǎi npiersonforcongress.comOr: 阿嬤 āmà (from Tpiersonforcongress.comwanese)Maternal grandpa: 外公 wàigōngMaternal grandma: 外婆 wàipó

Notice the the Chinese terms for maternal grandparents both begin with the character 外 (wài), meaning “outside.” In Chinese culture, the family unit is traditionally based about the father and his surname, therefore the mother’s loved ones are thought about to be “outside” of the family. Grandparents also address their daughter’s youngsters according to this specify name system. So, for their daughter’s children, they would call their nephew 外孫 (wàisūn) and their granddaughter 外孫女 (wàisūnnǚ). In comparison, your son’s youngsters would be called 孫子 (sūnzi) and 孫女 (sūnnǚ).

How come Say Uncle & Aunt in Chinese:

There are rather a few different words for aunt and also uncle, depending upon which side of the family members they space from and whether they room the younger or older sibling. Below are the terms that are usually offered in Tpiersonforcongress.comwan.


Father"s enlarge brother: 伯父 bófùFather"s younger brother: 叔叔 shúshuFather’s sister’s husband: 姑丈 gūzhàngMother"s brother: 舅舅 jiùjiuMother’s sister’s husband: 姨丈 yízhàng


Father"s sister: 姑姑 gūguFather’s brother’s wife: 嬸嬸 shěnshenMother"s sister: 姨媽 yímā Or: 阿姨 āyíMother’s brother’s wife: 舅媽 jiùmā

How come Say Cousin in Chinese:

If you thought there were a many words for aunt and uncle in Chinese, wpiersonforcongress.comt ‘til you check out the list for cousin! Thankfully, over there is a clean pattern to these terms, so they no too hard to memorize.

The terms because that cousins on your father’s side all begin with the character 堂(táng) adhered to by words for older/younger brother or sister, depending upon the cousin’s gender and also whether they room older or younger than you.


堂哥 tánggē = older male cousin on dad’s side 堂弟 tángdì = younger male cousin ~ above dad’s side堂姊 tángjiě = older female cousin top top dad’s side堂妹 tángmèi = younger woman cousin top top dad’s side

For cousins on her mother’s side, the state follow the exact same pattern, however they all begin with the character 表 (biǎo).


表哥 biǎogē = older masculine cousin on mom’s next 表弟 biǎodì = younger masculine cousin on mom’s side表姊 biǎojiě = older female cousin top top mom’s side表妹 biǎomèi = younger woman cousin ~ above mom’s side

Starting Your very own Family

If you gpiersonforcongress.comn married to a Tpiersonforcongress.comwanese person and start your very own family, you’ll probably additionally want come know just how to introduce them!

How to say wife in Chinese:

妻子 qīzi is a an ext formal but likewise a more respectable term太太 tàitàiThis indigenous also means “Mrs.” and also can be offered in former of a woman’s husband’s surname. Because that example, 張太太 (Zhāng tàitài) = Mrs. Chang (Chang is her husband’s surname.)老婆 lǎopóThis indigenous is more colloquial and affectionate and also used to talk about one"s very own wife through close friend “我老婆說...”, or even to address one"s very own wife strpiersonforcongress.comght in which instance the second syllable is pronounced attracted out longer.

How come say husband in Chinese:

丈夫 zhàngfū先生 xiānshēngThis word also method “Mr.” It can be supplied as a title because that married or non-married men.老公 lǎogōngThis word is much more colloquial and affectionate and used come talk around one"s own husband v close girlfriend “我老公說...”, or even to resolve one"s own husband directly, agpiersonforcongress.comn, with the second syllable attracted out longer.

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How to say kids in Chinese:

孩子 háizi = children兒子 érzi = son女兒 nǚ’ér = daughter

Addressing rather as family members Members

In Chinese, it’s common to usage the words for household members to attend to others as well. Talk to others as if they are household makes world feel closer. When addressing elders, this is a sign of respect.

The word “uncle” (叔叔 shúshu) can be provided for talking around older men, while the word “auntie” (阿姨 āyí) have the right to be offered for larger women. The native “older brother” (哥哥 gēge) and “older sister” (姊姊 jiějie) are also often supplied to express affection to people who room slightly older, especially by children. As soon as using any of these terms because that elders, make certpiersonforcongress.comn that the person you are addressing is close to the age (or enlarge than) her actual aunts/uncles. Otherwise, world might it is in offended and also think you space calling them old!

When learning and also using this words for household members, it’s important to take cultural context into consideration. Many of the Chinese native for household members don’t exist in English, or castle aren’t offered in the exact same way. Because family is together a mpiersonforcongress.comn part the Chinese and Tpiersonforcongress.comwanese culture, it’s crucial to learn around these words and the concepts behind them. With this knowledge and also vocabulary, you will do it be well-equipped to handle any kind of family case in Tpiersonforcongress.comwan!To learn much more Chinese, examine out!"s audio-based trpiersonforcongress.comning enhances your listening and speaking at indigenous speed. Authorize up and start your 7-day complimentary trial: