60+ Perfect Vocabulary For Family In Chinese To Learn Now!

For Chinese people, family is everything. Although many traditional customs have been abandoned by modern Chinese families, the value placed on family life is as high as ever. Therefore, we want to share a vocabulary for family in Chinese with you so that you can apply it in the conversation!

Having a solid nuclear family is highly valued in Chinese culture. Therefore, each member’s responsibilities have always been well-defined within the Chinese family.

Elders are respected in Chinese society because of their knowledge and insight. If a younger person challenges an older person’s opinion, they are seen as disrespectful. Parents or other adults in the household are seen as providers.

They were expected to start a family as soon as possible, marry young, and work hard to support themselves and their family. Children were never allowed to make their own choices; instead, those choices were decided for them.

As you may notice, a high level of closeness between family members in Chinese culture can probably somehow affect each member’s identity. So first, let’s learn the meaning of the Chinese words 家庭 (Jiātíng), which means family or home, and then we’ll go on to the vocabulary related to family members in Chinese.

家庭 (Jiātíng) – Family Or Home

Vocabulary For Family In Chinese

Having a term with two meanings that are somehow connected stands to reason, and it reveals a great deal about traditional Chinese thought and practice. Many people’s personalities and safety nets originate from their families. Confucianism provides a framework for understanding the Chinese family.

According to Confucianism, the family is the fundamental unit of society since it contains all the most solid connections for individuals. And it leads to the common practice of a big family, this means many people living together in the same house.

Three Generation Households

In a typical Chinese house, there is usually living as a big family. So you can expect Chinese family members from grandparents, parents, and children to live under the same roof. The father or grandfather is the head of the household and traditionally has the responsibility of financially caring for his family.

As a result of this role, he will have complete control over the family and the final word in all decisions. However, after their father passed away, the children separated and built their separate households.

Vocabulary For Family In Chinese

Vocabulary For Family In Chinese

Learning some vocabulary for family members in Chinese is best to help you picture the average Chinese family size. By familiarizing yourself with the several terms Chinese people refer to their family members, you may begin to get an image. Alright, so let’s get going!

Chinese WordPinyinEnglish DefinitionPronunciation
外公wàigōngGrandfather (on father’s side)
爷爷yéyeGrandfather (on mother’s side)
奶奶nǎinaiGrandmother (on father’s side)
外婆wàipóGrandmother (on mother’s side)
哥哥gēgeOlder brother
弟弟dìdiYounger brother
姐姐jiějieOlder sister
妹妹mèimeiYounger sister
姑母gūmǔAunt/father’s sister
姨母yímǔAunt/mother’s sister
伯父bófùUncle/father’s older brother
叔父shūfùUncle/father’s younger brother
舅父jiùfùUncle/mother’s brother
堂兄tángxiōngOlder female cousin (on father’s side)
堂弟tángdìYounger female cousin (on father’s side)
堂姐tángjiěOlder female cousin (on mother’s side)
堂妹tángmèiYounger female cousin (on mother’s side)
表兄biǎoxiōngOlder male cousin (on father’s side)
表弟biǎodìYounger male cousin (on father’s side)
表姐biǎojiěOlder male cousin (on mother’s side)
表妹biǎomèiYounger male cousin (on mother’s side)

Vocabulary For An In-Law In Chinese

Traditionally, Chinese wives move into their husband’s homes and become part of their large family, which often includes her in-laws and their husband’s parents. Let’s study up on in-law vocabulary.

Chinese WordPinyinEnglish DefinitionPronunciation
公公gōnggongFather-in-law (of woman)
岳父yuèfùFather-in-law (of man)
婆婆pópoMother-in-law (of woman)
岳母yuèmǔMother-in-law(of man)
姐夫jiěfuOlder sister’s husband/brother-in-law
妹夫mèifuYounger sister’s husband/brother-in-law
嫂子shǎoziOlder brother’s wife/sister-in-law
弟媳dìxíYounger brother’s wife/sister-in-law
伯母bómǔFather’s older brother’s wife/aunt-in-law
婶母shěnmǔFather’s younger brother’s wife/aunt-in-law
舅母jiùmǔMother’s brother’s wife/aunt-in-law
姑父gūfuFather’s sister’s husband/uncle-in-law
姨父yífuMother’s sister’s husband/uncle-in-law
大伯子dàbǎiziHusband’s older brother
小叔子xiǎoshūziHusband’s younger brother
内兄nèixiōngWife’s older brother
内弟nèidìWife’s younger brother
姑子gūziHusband’s sister
姨子yíziWife’s sister

In Summary

After learning the above terminology, you can have the strange impression that Chinese individuals compose Chinese-specific terms for their paternal and maternal lines. Create your own family tree and add words that describe your family members as you go. This will enable you to remember and use Chinese family-related words more quickly and effectively.

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