Jump to content
Chinese-forums.com
Learn Chinese in China

victoria63

Family Terms in Mandarin when there are big families

Recommended Posts

victoria63

I have a big family, and I'm wondering 1) how I would call each of my family members, and 2) how my children would call all of their aunts and uncles.

 

  •  I have two cousins who are my dad's sibling's daughter's younger than me, or 堂妹 (Táng Mèi). Would I call them both 堂妹 (Táng Mèi), or is there a way to differentiate?

 

  • I am the oldest of five children, so I have two 妹妹 (Mèimei) and two  弟弟 (Dìdì). The order is: Myself (female), Sister, Brother, Brother, Sister. How would we each call each other? (I would LOVE a long answer explaining from each sibling's perspective.

 

  • Because I have two 妹妹 (Mèimei) and two 弟弟 (Dìdì), my children will have two mother's younger brothers, or 舅舅 (Jiùjiu), and two mother's younger sisters, or 阿姨 (Āyí). How will my children differentiate? (This is the most important question because I plan to raise my children speaking Mandarin.)

 

I will appreciate all explanations, long or short! Thank you so much!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Site Sponsors:
Pleco for iPhone / Android iPhone & Android Chinese dictionary: camera & hand- writing input, flashcards, audio.
Study Chinese in Kunming 1-1 classes, qualified teachers and unique teaching methods in the Spring City.
Learn Chinese Characters Learn 2289 Chinese Characters in 90 Days with a Unique Flash Card System.
Hacking Chinese Tips and strategies for how to learn Chinese more efficiently
Popup Chinese Translator Understand Chinese inside any Windows application, website or PDF.
Chinese Grammar Wiki All Chinese grammar, organised by level, all in one place.

Jim

I think you can go for younger/older 大/小 if your distinguishing between two cousins, or the other thing is numbers plus eldest - 大哥, 二哥 etc. That's ones I've heard used as a non-native so also interested when you get better answers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Dawei3

Both my American-born-Chinese friends and natives of China struggle with this.  Many use a numbering system, i.e., Auntie 1, Auntie 2, Auntie 3, etc.   (I realize you may want something more personal or technically correct.)  

 

Notably, those from 1 child families will rapidly lose this knowledge.  Even my friends with siblings and aunts/uncles often don't know the words.  As an extreme example, a friend from Xian has 14 aunts & uncles.  At family gatherings, she doesn't even know many of the kids.      

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
imron
9 hours ago, victoria63 said:

dad's sibling's daughter's younger than me, or 堂妹 (Táng Mèi).

Technically, it's only your dad's brother's children who are 堂X.  If they are your dad's sister's children they will be 表X.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
imron

You can also use something like this to figure out what you should be calling everyone.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
889

You need to distinguish how you would formally describe them from how you would refer to them in normal conversation. Conversational references probably vary by region, but if you're in Beijing, say, you can hunt down a 北京话词典.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and select your username and password later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Click here to reply. Select text to quote.

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...