How to say Family in Chinese 如何用中文称呼家人

2023-12-01 17:47:42



In Chinese, there are various expressions for "family" and "relatives," which can be complicated. However, when it comes to parents and siblings, the Chinese terms are relatively easy to remember. Especially for father, it is "爸爸 (bà ba)" and for mother, it is "妈妈 (mā ma)," which sound similar to their English counterparts.


On the other hand, when it comes to grandparents and relatives, there are completely different names depending on the paternal and maternal sides, and even variations across different regions, which can be confusing.

How to say Family in Chinese?


In Chinese, "family" is referred to as "家人 (jiā rén)" or "家里人 (jiā lǐ rén)." "Relatives" are called "亲属 (qīn shǔ)" or "亲戚 (qīn qi)."


In Chinese, the terms for "father" and "mother" can vary based on the context and level of politeness.


written language

spoken language

Fù qin

Bà ba (Bà)



written language

spoken language

Mǔ qin

Mā ma (Mā)


Express "siblings" in Chinese

Older brother

Gē ge

Older sister

Jiě jie

Younger brother

Dì di

Younger sister

Mèi mei

say "grandfather" and "grandmother" in Chinese


In Chinese, "grandfather" can be translated as 爷爷 (yé ye) and "grandmother" as 奶奶 (nǎi nai).


Calling each other by their full names or nicknames is common within Chinese families.


In Chinese culture, it is common for family members to address each other by their full names or nicknames. Calling someone by their full name is a unique aspect of Chinese culture, especially in cases where couples may have different surnames.


In the Chinese drama series "Ode to Joy" (欢乐颂 Huānlè sòng), which I have been watching, one of the main characters, Qu Xiaoxiao (曲筱绡 Qū xiǎo xiāo), is referred to by her older brother and parents using her full name, while Guan Ju'er (关雎尔 Guān jū ěr) is affectionately called "Guan Guan" by her parents.


Collection of Real Life Uses for "Family" in Chinese


My father is planning to go on a business trip to Japan.
Wǒ bà ba jì huà dào Rì běn chū chāi.


Mom, come and take a look!
Mā kàn yī kàn.


(Holding a conversation with a child) Hey, where did your dad go?
Hái zi, nǐ bà qù nǎ le?


I often go out to eat with my older sister.
Wǒ cháng cháng gēn wǒ jiě jie yī qǐ qù chī fàn.


Brother, don't drink too much alcohol!
Gē, bié hē tài duō de jiǔ a.


How is your grandmother's health lately?
Zuì jìn nǐ zǔ mǔ shēn tǐ hǎo ma?


My granddaughter has big, adorable eyes.
Wǒ sūn nǚ dà dà de yǎn jing, kě ài de bù dé liǎo.