Different Ways to Address Mother in Chinese

母亲节(Mǔqīnjié) Mother’s Day is coming soon! Wish all the dear mothers in the world 母亲节快乐(Mǔqīnjié kuàilè) a happy Mother’s Day! Wouldn’t learning to address your mother in Chinese be a sweet gift?

In Chinese, there are many ways to say mother: 妈(mā), 妈妈(māma), 阿妈 (āmā) and 娘亲(niángqīn). The most commonly used addresses are: 母亲(mǔqīn), 妈(mā) and 妈妈(māma).

妈妈 (māma), like most people in the world call their mothers, is the most common way to address mother. When children are young, they’ll call their mother 妈妈(māma), then as adults, it shortens to 妈(mā). It is just like the switch from “mommy” to “mom/mum” in English. Nowadays, many children also call their mother 老妈(lǎomā).

Calling your mother 母亲(mǔqīn) is considered very formal. In literature there is the book《母亲》(Mǔqīn), and in fact, there is a TV series that’s actually named《母亲》(Mǔqīn).

Another way is to call娘(niáng). 娘(niáng) was used in ancient times and is now used in areas with rich culture and tradition, such as northwest China and the Central Plains. In Henan, Hebei and Shandong Province, and especially in some remote districts in the countryside, children will still call their mothers 娘 (niáng).

Which way do you prefer to call your mother in Chinese? Say it aloud to your mother: 我爱你(Wǒ ài nǐ)!

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