31 Must-Know Words to Talk About Your Family in Russian
Family is one of the most important things in many of our lives, so it’s only natural that you’ll want to talk about your loved ones from time to time.
And if you’ve decided to study Russian, you might’ve already picked up a few family-related words to lace into conversations. But you might only know the tip of the iceberg!
Learning more Russian family words can infuse your vocabulary with useful vocabulary that you can use in everyday life.
These 31 must-know Russian family words can help you converse about your clan!
- Immediate Family
- Extended Family
- Relatives Through Marriage
- Tips to Master Russian Family Words
- And One More Thing...
Семья – Family
У меня хорошие отношения с моей семьёй. (I have a good relationship with my family.)
Родители – Parents
Мои родители научили меня читать. (My parents taught me to read.)
Мать – Mother
Мать is the most formal word for mother.
Моя мать – врач. (My mother is a doctor.)
Мама – Mom
Most people, regardless of their age, use мама when addressing their mother or speaking informally.
Мама, можно мне конфетку на ужин? (Mom, can I have candy for dinner?)
Мамочка – Mommy
Much like “mommy” in English, мамочка is commonly used when being particularly sweet to one’s mother. This is true for all age groups.
Я люблю тебя, мамочка! (I love you, mommy!)
Отец – Father
Отец is generally used as “father” in a more formal setting.
Мой отец – юрист. (My father is a lawyer.)
Папа – Dad
Children and adults usually use папа when speaking to their father or speaking casually about him.
Папа, а можно мне хомячка? (Dad, can I have a hamster?)
Папочка – Daddy
Папочка is generally used when trying to sound sweet and can be used by any age group.
Пожалуйста, папочка, можно мне немного шоколада? (Please, daddy, can I have some chocolate?)
Дети – Children
Их дети хорошо разбираются в математике. (Their children are good at math.)
Дочь – Daughter
Наша дочь любит музыку. (Our daughter loves music.)
Сын – Son
Наш сын готовит ужин. (Our son cooks dinner.)
Сестра – Sister
Моя сестра помогает убираться. (My sister helps clean.)
Брат – Brother
Мой брат не любит пиццу. (My brother doesn’t like pizza.)
Бабушка – Grandmother
Моя бабушка много ругается. (My grandmother swears a lot.)
Дедушка – Grandfather
Мой дедушка любит рыбачить. (My grandfather likes to fish.)
Внучка – Granddaughter
Она крепко обняла внучку. (She hugged her granddaughter tightly.)
Внук – Grandson
Его внук назван в его честь. (His grandson is named after him.)
Тётя – Aunt
Моя тётя живёт в России. (My aunt lives in Russia.)
Дядя – Uncle
Его дядя выиграл в лотерею. (His uncle won the lottery.)
Племянница – Niece
Моя племянница хочет пойти в сауну. (My niece wants to go to the sauna.)
Племянник – Nephew
Ваш племянник любит балет? (Does your nephew like ballet?)
Двоюродная сестра – Cousin (female)
А где живёт ваша двоюродная сестра? (Where does your cousin live?)
Двоюродный брат – Cousin (male)
Мой двоюродный брат выступает в цирке. (My cousin performs at the circus.)
Relatives Through Marriage
Жена – Wife
А чем занимается Ваша жена? (What does your wife do?)
Муж – Husband
Где Вы познакомились с Вашим мужем? (Where did you meet your husband?)
Золовка , Свояченица , Невестка – Sister-in-law
In Russian, there are several different words for sister-in-law depending on how she is related.
Золовка is the husband’s sister, свояченица is the wife’s sister and невестка is the brother’s wife.
Завтра приезжает моя невестка. (My sister-in-law arrives tomorrow.)
Шурин , Зять , Деверь , Свояк – Brother-in-law
There are several Russian words for brother-in-law as well.
Шурин is the wife’s brother, зять is the sister’s husband, деверь is the husband’s brother and свояк is the wife’s sister’s husband.
Мой шурин работает в городе. (My brother-in-law works in the city.)
Тёща , Свекровь – Mother-in-law
Тёща is the wife’s mother, while свекровь is the husband’s mother.
А Ваша свекровь хорошая? (Is your mother-in-law nice?)
Тесть , Свёкор – Father-in-law
Тесть is the wife’s father, and свёкор is the husband’s father.
Твоему свёкру нравится подарок? (Does your father-in-law like the gift?)
Невестка – Daughter-in-law
Ваша невестка такая умная! (Your daughter-in-law is so smart!)
Зять – Son-in-law
У моего зятя хорошая работа. (My son-in-law has a good job.)
Tips to Master Russian Family Words
Use them with your family.
What better way to practice your family words than interacting with your family? If your family knows a little Russian, that’s great! However, they don’t need to know any Russian for you to practice your new vocabulary with them.
You could just start using the words in Russian as nicknames for your family members! Using them regularly will help reinforce them and soon they’ll feel like second nature.
Practice them in context.
Practicing words in context is one of the best ways to learn (and remember) them. Since family-related words are quite common, you can find them all over authentic Russian content. You can even listen to them in your favorite Russian TV shows and movies.
You can also try a Russian learning program like FluentU. This website- and app-based program takes Russian videos and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.
FluentU takes authentic videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.
Make your own flashcards.
Flashcards can be one of the quickest and easiest ways to learn more vocabulary, and family words are especially easy to learn with flashcards. You can make flashcards online, with a flashcard app or out of index cards!
And perhaps best of all, you can use real pictures of your family so that you see their smiling faces as you learn family-related words. Then you can associate the Russian words more directly with their meanings rather than translating in your head.
AnkiApp is a helpful tool you might use to make family vocabulary flashcards. You can include text, sound and images, making it easier to put together flashcards that meet your needs and preferences. A special algorithm tracks how well you know each flashcard to prioritize words you need to study more.
Quizlet is another convenient option. This website lets users put together flashcard sets with words and pictures. But you don’t have to use your sets just as flashcards. You can also use the material for different activities, including games. Plus, you can access flashcard sets by other users, and there are dozens of options that focus on Russian family vocabulary.
Need another option? Cram also lets users create their own flashcards with text and images. Not only that, but you can also use countless flashcard sets focused on Russian vocabulary that other users have put together.
When it comes to flashcard apps, sharing is definitely caring!
By now, you’re hopefully feeling confident in your ability to address, describe and chat about some of the most influential people in your life.
Family is important all over the world, and the topic of yours is bound to come up in future Russian conversations.
And by drilling these 31 Russian words into your growing vocabulary, talking about your loved ones will become instantly easier!
And One More Thing...
If you love learning Russian and want to immerse yourself with authentic materials from Russia, then I should also tell you more about FluentU.
FluentU naturally and gradually eases you into learning the Russian language and culture. You'll learn real Russian as it's spoken by real Russian people!
FluentU has a very broad range of contemporary videos. Just a quick look will give you an idea of the variety of Russian-language content available on FluentU:
FluentU makes these native Russian videos approachable through interactive transcripts. Tap on any word to look it up instantly.
Access a complete interactive transcript of every video under the Dialogue tab. Easily review words and phrases with audio under Vocab.
All definitions have multiple examples, and they're written for Russian learners like you. Tap to add words you'd like to review to a vocab list.
And FluentU has a learn mode which turns every video into a language learning lesson. You can always swipe left or right to see more examples.
The best part? FluentU keeps track of your vocabulary, and gives you extra practice with difficult words. It'll even remind you when it’s time to review what you’ve learned. You'll have a 100% personalized experience.
Start using the FluentU website on your computer or tablet or, better yet, download the FluentU app from the iTunes or Google Play store. Click here to take advantage of our current sale! (Expires at the end of this month.)