Family Words in Russian

Posted on January 20th, 2013

Family words in RussianIn today’s vocabulary lesson we will talk about family in Russian. I will share with you quite a few important family words that will help you to talk about your family in Russian. Let’s start.

Family in Russian

Семья [seem’-YA] family
Семейный (adj.)[see-MYEY-niy] family, domestic
Here is an example:
Мы идём на семейный ужин.
We are going to the family dinner.

Родители [ra-DEE-tye-lee] parents
Мать [MAT’] mother
Мама [MA-ma] Mom

These are diminutive forms from the word мама that you might come across very often in Russian:
Мамочка [MA-mach-ka]
Мамуля [ma-MOO-lya]
Мамулечка [ma-MOO-lyech-ka]
Diminutive forms are used in informal Russian with people you know very well, they are just another way to show your affection and care. You can read more about the diminutive forms in Russian in my article Russian Terms of Endearment.

Отец [a-TYETS] father
Папа [PA-pa] Dad, Daddy

These are diminutive forms from noun папа:
Папочка [PA-pach-ka]
Папуля [pa-POO-lya]
Папулечка [pa-POO-leech-ka]

Дочь [DOCH] daughter
Diminutive forms from дочь:
Дочка [DOCH-ka]
Дочурка [da-CHOOR-ka]
Дочурочка [da-CHOO-rach-ka]
Дочуронька [da-CHOO-ran’-ka]

Сын [SIN] son
Diminutive forms from cын:
Сынок [si-NOK]
Cынуля [si-NOO-lya]
Сынулечка [si-NOO-lyech-ka]

Родные братья и сёстры [rad-NI-ye BRAT’-ya ee SYOS-tri] siblings (it sounds easier in English, doesn’t it? He he :)

Брат [BRAT] brother, sibling
Diminutive form: Братик [BRA-teek]

Сестра [sees-TRA] sister, sibling
Diminutive form: Сестричка [syes-TREECH-ka]

Старший [STAR-sheey] older, elder
Младший [MLAD-sheey] younger
Родной (брат) [rad-NOY] blood brother

Here is an example:
– У тебя есть брат или сестра?
– У меня есть старший брат и младшая сестра.

Брат по одному из родителей [BRAT pa ad-na-MOO eez ra-DEE-tye-lyey] half-brother
Сестра по одному из родителей [sees-TRA pa ad-na-MOO eez ra-DEE-tye-lyey] half-sister

Отчим [OT-cheem] step-father
Падчерицa [PAD-chye-ree-tsa] step-daughter
Приемный сын [pree-YOM-niy SIN] step-son
Приёмная [pree-YOM-na-ya DOCH] дочь
Близнецы [bleez-nee-TSI] twins

Близнецы is also the name of the sign of zodiac in Russian, that is translated in English as Gemini. Read more about the astrological signs in Russian – Do Russians Follow the Horoscope?

Брат-близнец [BRAT-bleez-NYETS] twin-brother
Сестра-близнец [sees-TRA bleez-NYETS] twin-sister

Grandparents in Russian

Дедушка и бабушка [DYE-doosh-ka ee BA-boosh-ka] grandparents

Бабушка [BA-boosh-ka] grandmother, grandma
Бабка [BAB-ka] old woman (disparaging tone)
Some parents teach their children to pronounce Бабушка as Баба [BA-ba] because it’s a little easier for little children to pronounce. My Mom taught me to pronounce the full word – бабушка, which when I was 2 sounded more like бабатька [BA-bat’-ka] – this word has no translation :) , but it’s similar to бабочка [BA-bach-ka] which means batterfly

The word Баба can also have several meanings: an old woman, a peasant woman, a vulgar woman. Often it’s used along with the swear words to express your negative feеlings and emotions towards a certain woman. Here is an example:
Ты с ней не спорь. Она такая базарная баба.
Don’t argue with her. She is a boisterous woman.

Дедушка [DYE-doosh-ka] grandfather, grandpa
Дед [DYED] grandfather, and is also translated as an “old man”

Внук [VNOOK] grandchild
Here is an example:
– У вас есть внуки?
– Да, две внучки.

Внучка [VNOOCH-ka] granddaughter
Внук [VNOOK] grandson
Правнук [PRAV-nook] great-grandson
Правнучка [PRAV-nooch-ka] great-grandchild

Aunts, Uncles and Cousins in Russian

Двоюродный брат [dva-YO-rad-niy BRAT] cousin
is also:
Кузен [koo-ZEN] cousin

Двоюродная сестра [dva-YOO-rad-na-ya sees-TRA] cousin
is also:
Кузина [koo-ZEE-na] cousin
Племянница [plee-MYA-nee-tsa] niece
Племянник [plee-MYA-neek] nephew

Тётя [TYO-tya] aunt
Дядя [DYA-dya] uncle

Getting Married in Russian

Моя девушка [ma-YA DYE-voosh-ka] my girlfriend
Мой парень [MOY PA-ryen’] my boyfriend

Помолвка [pa-MOL-fka] engagment
Сделать предложение [SDYE-lat’ preed-la-ZHYE-nee-ye]

Жениться [zhe-NEET’-sya] get married for guys
Выходить замуж [vi-ha-DEET’ ZA-moozh] get married for girls
Свадьба [SVAD’-ba] wedding

Жених [ZHYE-neeh] groom
Невеста [nee-VYES-ta] bride

Муж [MOOZH] husband
Жена [zhee-NA] wife
Ребёнок [ree-BYO-nak] child
Дети [DYE-tee] children
Малыш [ma-LISH] baby
Бывший муж [BIF-shiy] ex-husband
Бывшая жена [BIF-sha-ya] ex-wife

Родители жены/мужа [ra-DEE-tye-lee zhee-NI/MOO-zha] in-laws
Свёкор [SVYOKR] father-in-law to the wife (husband’s father)
Тесть [TYEST’] father-in-law to the husband (wife’s father)

Свекровь [sveek-ROF’] mother-in-law to the wife (husband’s mother)
Тёща [TYO-scha] mother-in-law to the husband (wife’s mother)
Зять [ZYAT’] son-in-law
Невестка [nee-VYEST-ka] daughter-in-law

Russian Proverbs About Family

I also wanted to share with you some of the most popular Russian proverbs about family. These proverbs are pretty old, and some of the words used in the proverbs have a slightly different meaning in modern Russian (for example, “cовет”) or are very rarely used (“кабы”), so I translated them into English for you.

1. В каждой избушке свои погремушки.
Every family has its own set of circumstances.

Погремушкa is literally translated as rattle.
Избушкa [eez-BOOSH-ka] is a diminutive form from изба [eez-BA] peasant’s house

2. Всякая невеста для своего жениха родится.
Every bride is born for her groom.

3. Где любовь да совет, там и горя нет.
There is no grief, where there is love and harmony.
Совет [sa-VYET] in this case it means mutual understanding, harmony

4. Выйти замуж не напасть, кабы замужем не пропасть.
Getting married is not a big deal, it’s important to not be unhappy in marriage.
Напасть [na-PAST’] in this case means problem, misfortune, and the first part of the proverb can be translated as “it’s not a problem to get married”
Пропасть [pra-PAST’] be unhappy
Кабы [KA-bi] in this case can be translated as “главное, чтобы” or “it’s important to”

5. Ищи себе мужа для века и выходи замуж, рассмотрев человека.
Look for a husband for a lifetime and get married only when you know someone very well.
Век [VYEK] lifetime

Back to You

Now it’s your turn to tell me about your family in Russian!


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