Talk:Chinese kinship

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very informative but can someone add pinyin? its only there for the first two. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 2006-08-16 15:02:07

Looks like we are not going to include pronunciation for any of the terms. Way too many regional dialects and variants to cover. Besides, this is not a dictionary. --Kvasir 20:58, 24 March 2007 (UTC)

Some terminologies mixed up Mandarin and Cantonese[edit]

They should be separated.

Paternal and Maternal Incompletion[edit]

The "extended family" section is very incomplete. The grandaunt/granduncle only includes the paternal grandfather's siblings. Surely maternal grandaunts and maternal granduncles gain some recognition! Also, the first cousin, once removed section is either incomplete of lacking details. There is no information on the the nieces or nephews of grandmothers. I would also appreciate it if you distinguished between the great-grandparents. Does paternal great-grandparent mean only father's father's parent or any grandparent of one's father. I would appreciate, in general if this webpage would not only focus on parental relatives but also maternal relatives in terms of when the relation traces through a female relation. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Daniel Hu (talkcontribs) 21:06, 13 March 2007 (UTC).

Maternal grandaunts and maternal granduncles ARE in the table. They are listed together with paternal ones. In the table they are included with "(maternal)" to save space. As you can imagine the table would be twice as long. It makes sense to include them together because there is no significant different in the terminology in Chinese either. You are correct in that the larger extended family section is incomplete such as in the area of second cousins and third cousins. I have already allocated section title for that.
I have just determined how extend this list of relative is going to be. I believe that this article should include all relations listed under the traditions of "five degrees of mourning attire" (五服). Originally I wanted to list all relations under the definition of "nine grades of relations" (九族), but it seems the definition of which nine is debatable and possibly arbitrary. The ones that are currently missing definitely fall within the definition of 五服. In answer to your suggestion. It would be possible to include some common maternal and in-law relations that are not under the definition 五服. --Kvasir 00:00, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

Can I know how do you address the: (1) daughter of paternal grandmother's sister: 表姑 or 表姨? (2) son of paternal grandmother's sister: 表伯/表叔 or 表舅? (3) daughter of paternal grandmother's brother: 表姑 or 表姨? (4) son of paternal grandmother's brother: 表伯/表叔 or 表舅? stargazer 18:12, 3 September 2009 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Stargazebear (talkcontribs)

When to put "外"[edit]

There is some question with the character "外". When involving with extended family members, usually, only the character "外" is added to distinguish between paternal and maternal. However, there is question whether you add "外" when dealing with the mother's side of the family or with any relative that does not share a the same surname as your own. For example: would "paternal great-grandfather" mean either grandfather of one's father (father's side) or just one's father's father's father (common surname)? Does the word "外" work the same way as the word "堂" (which is used ONLY with first cousins of a COMMON SURNAME.

Sorry, is this a question in general or how "外" is defined in the article? If I understand your question correctly: for example, I would refer to my father's maternal grandfather 外曾祖父. Even though he is from the father's side he is still a maternal great-grandfather and theoretically has a different surname. In other words, there is only one paternal great-grandfather, that is, the paternal grandfather of one's father. There are three maternal great-grandfathers. One of which is father's maternal grandfather, the other are mother's paternal and maternal grandfathers. Etymologically 外 means outside of one's own clan; "堂" means within the same clan. --Kvasir 01:02, 16 March 2007 (UTC)

Nature of article[edit]

Sorry, I am getting confused of the nature with the charts in this article. The information displayed in the charts is probably the most detailed information about chinese relationship terms that can be found. It has been stated that this is not a dictionary, therefore, are the charts merely used to show an example of the complexity of Chinese kinship?

Good question. Seeing as there has not been much of Chinese kinship information available in English, I thought it's a good idea to compile a list of relations considered as "close kins" according to Chinese traditions. Through this list one would get the idea of complexity of the system and an indication of the agnatic patrilineal tradition of Chinese culture. As you can see the list is still incomplete and there needs to be a few more paragraphs on topics such as the idea of heir-apparent and polygamy. --Kvasir 03:09, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
I changed the charts into ones that started out hidden. It made the layout somewhat different but I think less overwhelming. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Nicknchops (talkcontribs) 04:41, 6 November 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for doing the collapsable tables. --Kvasir 07:10, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

Good article[edit]

Nicely done. Thanks to everyone who wrote it. Kla'quot 05:28, 5 May 2007 (UTC)

Seconded - I haven't seen anything remotely like this anywhere. Ideally, there'd be a graphic with a bunch of the closest relatives on it, but I haven't seen one anywhere on the net, let alone GFDL licensed. Steewi 04:11, 7 November 2007 (UTC)
Yeah i haven't found any wikipedia photos of a chinese family portrait. But certainly i would like to see some graphic incorporated in the article. --Kvasir 07:04, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

Extedned Family in the future[edit]

Under the culture section near the beginning it says "In Chinese culture where the extended family is still valued, kinship terms are ensured to survive well into current usage." Later on however under the demographics section it is said "With modern Chinese governments advocating for smaller families through family planning campaigns and policy-making, large extended family may be a thing of the past." Where do we see the chinese family going? If a problem at all, it's very small. That or I'm thinking too much

I do see problem with the wording there. The article isn't saying there is a problem with smaller families. It's just saying there are going to be fewer large Chinese families within China. --Kvasir 07:09, 12 November 2007 (UTC)


what is ego? it is used often in this article.

Ego represents the self (i.e. you). You replace ego with the person whose relative you are talking about. It's standard genealogical and anthropological terminology (it comes from Latin ego, which means 'I'). Steewi 04:09, 7 November 2007 (UTC)

missing terms?[edit]

What are the feminine equivalents of 襟兄 and 襟弟? Also, are the defs of those words correct? They say: "husband of wife's sister older/younger than ego". Shouldn't they be "older/younger than wife"? That is, husband of wife's 姊/妹?

Also, is co-wife in there, or did I miss it? What is the relationship between two wives of one man, and what do they call each other? What are the words for senior / junior co-wife, etc. kwami (talk) 21:23, 22 May 2009 (UTC)


I think it would be great to have romanizations of the Chinese characters in the article. —JerryFriedman (Talk) 19:16, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

Yes, no-one's gotten around to it yet. We'd welcome your help. kwami (talk) 20:49, 14 July 2009 (UTC)
I wish I could help. —JerryFriedman (Talk) 16:47, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
I'm not one to advocate to include pinyin in the article since there are many dialectal differences in these terms and it would be pretty narrow to cover just the pinyin pronunciation and thus only terminologies in Mandarin. However, please, simplify the listing if the TS and SC are exactly the same. Pretty pointless to show the chinese terminology twice, don't you think? Just say TS, SC: 爸爸 . Also don't attempt to put pinyin for Cantonese terminology, unless it's also used in Mandarin as well. It's silly otherwise. Exactly the reason I didn't intend to use romanisation in the first place. --Kvasir (talk) 18:24, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
But China does have a standardized language, one shared with Taiwan and Singapore. That's a bit like saying we shouldn't romanize Hindi, Russian, or Thai entries because they have dialectical variation too. Chinese characters are completely inaccessible to most English speakers; even if a larger than average number of readers of this article are familiar with them, I'm sure there are kids doing school reports etc. who would need romanization to do anything intelligible with this article. kwami (talk) 21:40, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
Again, please follow Wikipedia:Manual_of_Style_(Use_of_Chinese_Language). It's not neccessary to quote pinyin on every instant a chinese character appears. This is especially true when there is already a wikified English term. --Kvasir (talk) 22:12, 28 July 2009 (UTC)

Query Regarding 族兄弟姐妹 (Third cousins)[edit]

Firstly, I would like to say what a great article! Very informative, and thank you for writing it.

Under the heading "Third Cousins", 族兄弟姐妹 is defined as "paternal grandson/granddaughter of paternal great-grandfather's brother older/younger than ego". Reading this, I understand it as:

Ego > Father > Father > Father > Brother > Son > Son/Daughter

Is this correct? I mean, if it is third-cousin, should it not then be "paternal Great-grandson/Great-granddaughter of paternal great-grandfather's brother older/younger than ego" (Ego > Father > Father > Father > Brother > Son > Son > Son/Daughter)?

-- (talk) 06:31, 6 October 2010 (UTC)

The first "paternal" has to go. It makes no sense.
You would be correct if 族兄 is the same generation as ego, which he presumably is.
If the description is accurate, then there should be many more words for 3rd cousin in Chinese.
kwami (talk) 08:56, 6 October 2010 (UTC)