Learn Thai Vocabulary | Family relationships and names

By April 1, 2009Thai culture, Thai Vocabulary

Family Relationships and Names

Thai families are often big and confusing.  The names we use to address each person in the family are based on the father’s side, the mother side and seniority.

Many foreign students at my Thai  Language School find it complicated and hard to understand as the father and mothers side of the family have different names or titles depending on their relationship. The table below will help you to understand the relationships and vocabulary of the Thai family better. Check it out!

Mother Side

Father Side

Mother Maê แม่ Father Porพ่อ
Grandmother Yaai ยาย Grandmother Yaâ ย่า
Grandfather Dtaaตา Grandfather Poò ปู่
Uncle (elder brother of mother) Lungลุง Uncle (elder brother of father) Lung ลุง
Uncle (younger brother of mother) Naáน้า Uncle (young brother of father) Aa อา
Aunt (elder sister of mother) Paâป้า Aunt (elder sister of father) Paâ ป้า
Aunt (younger sister of mother) Naâ น้า Aunt (younger sister of father) Aa อา

Family= krawb-kruaครอบครัว

Daughter Loôk-saăoลูกสาว Son Loôk-chaaiลูกชาย
Elder sister Peê-saăoพี่สาว Elder brother Peê-chaaiพี่ชาย
Younger sister Náwng-saăoน้องสาว Younger brother Náwng-chaai น้องชาย
Siblings / brothers & sisters= peê-náwngพี่น้อง
Cousins = loôk-peê-loôk-náwng ลูกพี่ลูกน้อง
Relatives = yaâdญาติ
Grandchildren = laănหลาน
Niece/ granddaughter Laăn-saăoหลานสาว Nephew/ grandson Laăn-chaai หลานชาย
Mother-in-law (of the bride) Maê-saă-meeแม่สามี Father-in-law (of the bride) Pôr-saă-meeพ่อสามี
Mother-in-law (of the gloom) Maê-yaaiแม่ยาย Father-in-law (of the gloom) Pôr-dtaaพ่อตา
Daughter-in-law Loôk-sà-páiลูกสะใภ้ Son-in-law Look-koĕiลูกเขย
Sister-in-law (older one) Peê-sà-páiพี่สะใภ้ Brother-in-law (older one) Pee-koĕiพี่เขย
Sister-in-law (younger one) Nâwng-sà-pái น้องสะใภ้ Brother-in-law (younger one) Náwng-koĕiน้องเขย
The bride Jâo-saăoเจ้าสาว The groom Jâo-baàoเจ้าบ่าว
Miss Naang-saăoนางสาว Mr. Naai นาย
Mrs. Naang นาง Polite Title for both men and women Khunคุณ

It might look complicated…just take your time! The Thai language is not that difficult. Now you can talk with your Thai friends about their families…..

Hope you enjoyed speaking Thai!!

Kru Mulan
Thai Language Teacher