Chinese vs English family tree – language reflects culture
Language reflects the underlying culture. In a Western context, the family typically refers to the nuclear family – father, mother, sister, brother. Your father’s brother is your uncle. So is your mother’s brother.
Did you know in the Chinese language there’s a lot more fine-tuning:
Uncle (Father’s older brother)
Father’s older brother
Pinyin: bó fù
Uncle (Father’s younger brother)
Pinyin: shū fù
Uncle (Mother’s brother)
Pinyin: jiù jiu
In Chinese culture, the
“family” goes beyond the nuclear family, and includes members of the extended family, so various terms have been developed to allow a greater appreciation of where everyone fits in.
Check out this youtube clip which demonstrates the Chinese family tree. It’s brilliant!