Family Tree in Chinese (What to call your relatives)

Chinese family tree

Family Tree in Traditional Chinese

The Chinese family tree is extremely complicated and there’s a unique name for each person depending on exactly where they sit in the family tree. Names depend on the following: maternal or paternal side, B) seniority C) if they are tied through blood or marriage. And within the many, many Chinese dialects, they may even be wildly different from each other! Is your head spinning yet? 😵‍💫

This family tree chart is written in Traditional Chinese. If you call your loved ones something else in Chinese, share it in the comments!
Here’s a quick rundown of what you can call your immediate family members in Chinese:

👵🏼 Grandma (paternal) 奶奶 nǎi nai
👴🏼 Grandpa (paternal) 爺爺 yé ye
👵🏽 Grandma (maternal) 外婆 wài pó
👴🏻 Grandpa (maternal) 外公 wài gōng
🤰🏻 Mom 媽媽 mā ma
🧔🏻‍ Dad 爸爸 bà ba
👩🏻 Older Sister 姐姐 jiě jie
🧑🏻 Older Brother 哥哥 gē ge
👦🏻 Younger Brother 弟弟 dì di
👧🏻 Younger Sister 妹妹 mèi mei

🥰 In my family and also my books, we use 公公 gōng gong and 婆婆 pó po which are commonly more affectionate forms of 外公 wài gōng and 外婆 wài pó!

Immediate family tree


If you look through different sources, Chinese terms for grandparents and great-grandparents can vary widely and depend on the paternal/maternal lineage. In this image, I used the formal terms for great-grandparents since prefixes and dialect terms are numerous when it comes to Chinese elders!

For a few less formal terms, check out this long list:

Paternal Side
👴🏼 Grandpa’s Dad: 太爺 tài yé, 祖公 zǔ gōng
👵🏻 Grandpa’s Mom: 太奶 tài nǎi, 祖嬤 zǔ mā
👴🏼 Grandma’s Dad: 太公 tài gōng, 外太爺 wài tài yé
👵🏻 Grandma’s Mom: 太婆 tài pó, 外太奶 wài tài nǎi

Maternal Side
👴🏻 Grandpa’s Dad: 外太公 wài tài gōng, 阿太爷爷 ā tài yé ye
👵🏼 Grandpa’s Mom: 外太婆 wài tài pó, 阿太奶奶 ā tài nǎi nai
👴🏻 Grandma’s Dad: 外太姥爺 wài tài lǎo ye, 阿太公 ā tài gōng
👵🏼 Grandma’s Mom: 外太姥姥 wài tài lǎo lao, 阿太婆 ā tài pó

And for the extended family of aunts, uncles and cousins, here you go! If there are multiple siblings you might even add a number to the aunt or uncle to indicate their order of birth.

Is your head spinning yet? 😵‍💫 Hope this was helpful for you! Please share it if it was! 
And check out my bilingual children's books for non-native Chinese speakers! 
minalearnschinese Buy The Books Here!

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