Chinese Family Tree

Chinese Family tree Tutormandatin 1-on-1 chinese online lessons

Chinese Family tree Tutormandarin 1-on-1 Chinese online lessons

For many Chinese language learners, family titles in Chinese are for sure a pain in the neck. It might rack your brain just trying to say “uncle” or “cousin” right. In Chinese, they give each family member a title. From your mother’s side to your father’s side, to each generation, and gender…etc. For this reason, Chinese family tree is unquestionably difficult. Today, we’ll make a list of most commonly used family titles. Don’t worry, here’s a small tip. (Just save this as a bookmark and pull it out to review right before Chinese new year dinner.)

While learning a language, it’s also important to get to know it’s culture. All in all, Chinese culture is interesting and fascinating in many ways. Check here to see our other posts about understanding China. Don’t forget to sign up and download the app, get your 1-on-1 free trial to learn Chinese online with a professional tutor!

Great Grandparents/ Grandparents

Father’s side –
Great grandfather 曾祖父 zēngzǔfù
Great grandmother 曾祖母 zēngzǔmǔ
Mother’s side –
Great grandfather 曾外祖父 zēn wàigzǔfù
Great grandmother 曾外祖母 zéng wàizǔmǔ

Grandparents

Father’s side –
Grandfather           爷爷 yéye
Grandmother 奶奶 nǎinai
Mother’s side –
Grandfather 外公 wàigōng
Grandmother 外婆 wàipó

Parents

Father 父亲/ 爸爸/ 爹 fùqīn/ bàba/ diē
Mother 母亲/ 妈妈/ 娘 mǔqīn/ māmā/ niang
Father in Law –
Husband’s father 公公 gōnggōng
Wife’s father 岳父 yuèfù
Mother in Law –
Husband’s mother 婆婆 pópo
Wife’s mother 岳母/ 丈母娘 yuèmǔ/ zhàngmǔniáng

Uncle

Father’s elder brother 伯父/ 伯伯 bófù/ bóbo
Father’s younger brother 叔父/ 叔叔 shúfù/ shūshu
Father’s sister’s husband (大/小) 姑丈 (dà/xiǎo) gūzhàng
Mother’s elder brother 大舅舅 dà jiùjiu
Mother’s younger brother 小舅舅 xiǎo jiùjiu
Mother’s sister’s husband       (大/小) 姨丈 (dà/xiǎo) yízhàng

Aunt  

Father’s elder sister 大姑姑/ 姑妈 dà gūgū/ gūmā
Father’s younger sister 小姑姑 xiǎo gūgū
Father’s brother’s wife (大/小) 婶婶 (dà/xiǎo) shěnshen
Mother’s elder sister 大姨妈/大姨母/大阿姨 dà yímā/dà yímǔ/dà āyí
Mother’s younger sister 小姨妈/小姨母/小阿姨 xiǎo yímā/xiǎo yímǔ/xiǎo āyí
Mother’s brother’s wife (大/小) 舅妈 (dà/xiǎo) jiùmā

Husband/ Wife

Husband 老公/ 丈夫/ 先生 lǎogōng/zhàngfū/xiānshēng
Wife 老婆/ 妻子/太太 lǎopó/ qīzi/ tàitài

Siblings

Siblings 兄弟姊妹 xiōngdì zǐmè
Older brother 哥哥/ 大哥/ 老哥 gēgē/ dàgē/ lǎo gē
Younger brother 弟弟/ 小弟/ 老弟 dìdì/ xiǎodì/ lǎodì
Older sister 姊姊/ 大姊/ 老姊 jiě jie/ dà zǐ/ lǎo zǐ
Younger sister 妹妹/ 小妹/ 老妹 mèi mei/ xiǎo mèi/ lǎo mèi
Brother in law 姊夫/ 妹夫 jiě fū/ mèifu
Sister in law 嫂子/ 弟妹 sǎozi/ dìmèi

Cousin         

Father’s side –
Cousin 堂哥/ 堂弟/ 堂姊/ 堂妹 táng gē/ táng dì/ táng zǐ/ táng mèi
Mother’s side –
Cousin 表哥/ 表弟/ 表姊/ 表妹 biǎo gē/ biǎo dì/ biǎo zǐ/ biǎomèi

Nephew/ Niece

Nephew 姪子/外甥 zhí zi/wàishēng
Niece 姪女/外甥女 zhí nǚ/wàishēngnǚ

Son/ Daughter

Son 儿子 érzi
Daughter 女儿 nǚ’ér
Son in law 女婿 nǚxù
Daughter in law 媳妇 xífù

Grandchildren

Grandson 孙子 sūnzi
Granddaughter 孙女 sūnnǚ


As can be seen, Chinese people values a lot in family relationships and roles. Every person in the family has their own title as they’re a part of the family member. Then again, it might be confusing for a non-native Chinese speaker to memorize every title of the Chinese family tree. Just start from the basics, like parents, siblings, and cousins. I’m sure after a few Christmas/ Chinese new year dinner, you’ll stick all those complicated titles in your head!

Check here for our other posts about understanding China. Our last post about What is Leftover women?

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