Russian Words: Family Members

Russian Words: Family Members

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Family is very important in Russian culture. Many families are composed of several generations living under one roof, often in compact apartments, and children can continue to live with their parents long into their twenties, thirties, and even forties. As a Russian learner, you'll need to familiarize yourself with the different names used for all members of the group, including in-laws and extended family.

Russian WordTranslationPronunciationExample
мамаmomMAmahМама, я приезжаю завтра - Mom, I'm arriving tomorrow.
папаdadPApahПапа, это мой друг Джон - Dad, this is my friend John.
бабушкаgrandmotherBAbushkaМоей бабушке девяносто лет - My grandmother is 90 years old.
дедушка/дедgrandfatherDYEdushka/DYEDМой дедушка сражался с фашистами - My grandfather fought the Nazis.
тётяauntTYOtyaПозови свою тётю, пожалуйста - Call your aunt, please.
дядяuncleDYAdyaМой дядя - писатель - My uncle is a writer.
сестраsistersysTRAМоя сестра занимается бальными танцами - My sister does ballroom dancing.
братbrotherBRATМой брат играет на кларнете - My brother plays the clarinet.
двоюродная сестраcousin (female)dvaYUradnaya sysTRAМоя двоюродная сестра позвонила в понедельник - My cousin rang on Monday.
двоюродный братcousin (male)dvaYUradny BRATЯ еду в гости к своему двоюродному брату - I am going to visit my cousin.
троюродный брат/троюродная сестраsecond cousin male/second cousin femaletraYUradny BRAT/traYUradnaya sysTRAОни - мои троюродные братья и сестры - These are my second cousins.
тёщаmother-in-law (wife's mother)TYOshaЯ люблю свою тёщу - I love my mother-in-law.
тестьfather-in-law (wife's father)TYEST'У меня хорошие отношения с тестем - I have a good relationship with my father-in-law.
свекровьmother-in-law (husband's mother)svyKROF'Мы едем к свекрови - We are going to visit my mother-in-law.
свёкрfather-in-law (husband's father)SVYOkrМой свёкр любит футбол - My father-in-law loves soccer.
снохаdaughter-in-law (in relation to the mother-in-law)snaHAЯ жду сноху и сына - I'm waiting for my daughter-in-law and my son.
зятьson-in-law (both for mother-in-law and father-in-law)ZYAT'Надо поговорить с зятем - I should/I need to talk to my son-in-law.
невесткаdaughter-in-law (in relation to the father-in-law); sister-in-law (brother's wife)nyVYESTkaМы едем в отпуск с невесткой - We are going on holiday with my/our daughter-in-law/sister-in-law.
золовкаsister-in-law (husband's sister)zaLOVkaУ моей золовки трое детей - My sister-in-law has three children.
деверьbrother-in-law (husband's brother)DYEver'Мой деверь - юрист - My brother-in-law is a lawyer.
свояченицаsister-in-law (wife's sister)svaYAchenitsaМне позвонила свояченица - My sister-in-law called me.
шуринbrother-in-law (wife's brother)SHOOrinУ шурина проблемы на работе - My brother-in-law is having issues at his work.
сватьяmother of daughter-in-law/son-in-lawSVAT'yaЗавтра приезжает сватья - The mother of my daughter-in-law will arrive tomorrow.
сватfather of daughter-in-law/son-in-lawsvatСват любит рыбачить - My daughter-in-law's father loves to go fishing.

sibling-in-law (husband of a woman's sister)

svaYAKЗдравствуй, свояк - Hello, brother. (as in 'you're family')
крёстные/крёстная мать/крёстный отецgodparents/godmother/godfatherKRYOSnye/KRYOSnaya MAT'/KRYOSny aTYETSЭто - мои крёстные - These are my god-parents.
кумовья/кум/кумаgodparents (in relation to all other relatives)KoomaVYA / KOOM / kooMAА что думают кумовья? - And what do the godparents think?
племянницаnieceplyMYAnitsaМоя племянница поступила в университет - My niece has gotten into college.
племянникnephewplyMYAnnikМы едем с племянником в Москву - My nephew and I are going to Moscow together.

How to Say Mom and Dad in Russian

The most common way to address your parents in Russian is to say "мама" and "папа." You can also say "мать" (MAT') - "Mother," and "отец" (aTYEts) - "Father", as well as "мамочка" (MAmachka) - Mommy and "папочка" (PApachka) - "Daddy".

Example: Моя мамочка - самая лучшая.
Pronunciation: maYA MAmachka - SAmaya LOOCHshaya.
Translation: My Mommy is the best.

Example: Я не вижусь с отцом.
Pronunciation: ya ny VYzhus' satTSOM
Translation: I don't see my father.

Diminutives for Family Members

Diminutives are used a lot in Russian, and the names of family members are not an exception. Diminutives are formed by changing the ending of a word.

Example: мама - мамочка - мамуля - мамулечка - мамусик
Pronunciation: MAma - MAmachka - maMOOlya - maMOOlychka - maMOOsik
Translation: Mom - Mommy - diminutives of "Mommy"

Example: тётя - тётушка - тётенька
Pronunciation: TYOtya - TYOtushka - TYOtynka
Translation: Aunt - Aunty - Aunty

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