Talking about – The Family – in German

Talking about - The Family - in German

Discussing your family or about the family, die Familie (dee fâ-mee-lee-e) is a great way to get to know someone. Some people may even feel prompted to show their photos of family members. However, talking at great length about little Gretchen and Hansi, Jr. is a far less popular pastime in Germany than in America. It just may have to do with the value Germans place on privacy. At any rate, another reason you’re not likely to fall asleep gazing at endless baby pictures is that the birth rate in Germany is very low.

The Family (die Familie) Annotated English-German Glossary

The glossary is structured so you can easily find the German vocabulary you’re looking for. It’s in alphabetical order based on the English words and the German includes the necessary gender options and, quite often, the plural (p) so you can use them in various contexts.

The Complete Guide to Learn German Months, Seasons, Days, and Dates

You’ll also find helpful tips throughout the glossary. These annotations can clue you into special terms and usages for certain German words.

Englisch Deutsch
ancestor – ancestors der Vorfahre/die Vorfahrin – die Vorfahren
aunt – aunts die Tante – die Tanten
baby – babies das Baby – die Babys
blended family (-ies) die Fortsetzungsfamilie (-n)
Blended family: e.g., a continuing family, serial family, a family with children from a previous marriage.
boy – boys der Junge – die Jungen
brother – brothers der Bruder – die Brüder
brother-in-law – brothers-in-law der Schwager – die Schwäger
child – children
We have no children.
We have three children.
das Kind – die Kinder
Wir haben keine Kinder.
Wir haben drei Kinder.
cousin (f.) – cousins die Kusine – die Kusinen
die Base (an old-fashioned term)
cousin (m.) – cousins der Cousin – die Cousins
der Vetter – die Vettern
dad – dads der Vati – die Vatis
daughter – daughters die Tochter – die Töchter
daughter-in-law – daughters-in-law die Schwiegertochter – die Schwiegertöchter
family – families die Familie – die Familien
family tree – family trees der Stammbaum – die Stammbäume
die Stammtafel – die Stammtafeln
die Ahnentafel – die Ahnentafeln
father – fathers der Vater – die Väter
forefather – forefathers der Vorfahre/die Vorfahrin – die Vorfahren
genealogy die Genealogie, die Ahnenforschung
girl – girls das Mädchen – die Mädchen
Mädchen, like all German nouns ending in -chen or -lein, is neuter gender even though it means “girl.” A similar example would das Fräulein for “miss” or an unmarried woman.
grandchild – grandchildren das Enkelkind – die Enkelkinder
granddaughter – granddaughters die Enkelin – die Enkelinnen
die Enkeltochter – die Enkeltöchter
grandfather – grandfathers der Großvater – die Großväter
grandmother – grandmothers die Großmutter – die Großmütter
grandma/granny – grandmas die Oma – die Omas
grandpa/gramps – grandpas der Opa – die Opas
grandparents die Großeltern (Pl.)
grandson – grandsons der Enkel – die Enkel
der Enkelsohn – die Enkelsöhne
greatgrandfather(s) der Urgroßvater (-väter)
great- (prefix) Ur- (as in Urgroßmutter)
half brother – half brothers der Halbbruder – die Halbbrüder
half sister – half sisters die Halbschwester – die Halbschwestern
husband der Mann, Ehemann
die (Ehe)Männer (Pl.)
Marital Status der Familienstand
  bachelor   der Junggeselle
  divorced (adj.)   geschieden
  divorcee   der/die Geschiedene
  married (adj.)   verheiratet
  single, unmarried (adj.)   ledig, unverheiratet
  widowed (adj.)   verwitwet
  widow   die Witwe
  widower   der Witwer
mom – moms die Mutti – die Muttis
mother – mothers die Mutter – die Mütter
nephew – nephews der Neffe – die Neffen
niece – nieces die Nichte – die Nichten
parents die Eltern (Pl.)
partner (m.) – partners der Partner – die Partner
partner (f.) – partners die Partnerin – die Partnerinnen
related verwandt
to be related to someone mit jemandem verwandt sein
the relations, relatives die Verwandtschaft
relative – relatives der/die Verwandte – die Verwandten
  all my/our/the relatives   die ganze Verwandtschaft
  to be one of the family   zur Verwandtschaft gehören
  We’re not related.   Wir sind nicht verwandt.
siblings / brothers & sisters die Geschwister (Pl.)
“Do you have any brothers or sisters? = “Haben Sie Geschwister?
significant other, life partner der Lebensgefährte / die Lebensgefährtin
In addition to Lebensgefährte, another word for “significant other” or “life partner” is Partner (above).
sister – sisters die Schwester – die Schwestern
sister-in-law – sisters-in-law die Schwägerin – die Schwägerinnen
son – sons der Sohn – die Söhne
son-in-law – sons-in-law der Schwiegersohn – die Schwiegersöhne
stepfather – stepfathers der Stiefvater – die Stiefväter
stepdaughter – stepdaughters die Stieftochter – die Stieftöchter
stepmother – stepmothers die Stiefmutter – die Stiefmütter
stepson – stepsons der Stiefsohn – die Stiefsöhne
step- (prefix) Stief- (as in Stiefbruder, etc.)
uncle – uncles der Onkel – die Onkel
wife – wives die Frau, Ehefrau – die (Ehe)Frauen

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