My 3rd grade son was having trouble memorizing the Chinese titles of his grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins on both sides of the family. Not only did he need to know this for his upcoming test in Chinese school but he tends to switch to English when talking about family because it can be so confusing in Chinese.
There are other Chinese family tree charts out there in various text books but they can get a little complicated. I wanted to create one that is very simple and easy to use for someone who isn’t grown up. After all a 3rd grader doesn’t have nieces, nephews or grandchildren so terms like 侄女 (Zhínǚ), 外甥 (Wàishēng) or 孙女 (Sūnnǚ) might not click for my 8-year-old.
I wish I’d had a simple chart like this back in college when I was trying to learn these terms. It would have been a great first step and would have saved me from being teased by my native speaker friends for always being confused about Chinese family trees. Our family tree guide is organized by generation, as opposed to a traditional family tree with branches. I find it easier to visualize and explain this way. There is certainly more to explore with Chinese family titles but this chart provides everything you need to know for 1st, 2nd and 3rd generations. Feel free to download and share with anyone who might find it useful.