Must-know family members vocabulary in Turkish language

Must-know family members vocabulary in Turkish language

In this post, we’re going to be talking about vocabulary that everyone must know and that is for Family. Our families are a central part of our world and surely are a central part of Turkish culture and society. Whether your family is big or small or you’re trying to impress your in-laws, you must learn the vocabulary for family in Turkish. 

In contrast to English, one of the most noticeable differences in Turkish is that the language uses separate words to refer to relatives on both your mothers’ and fathers’ sides. It is important to not get confused and pay special attention to words like these.  

Essential Vocabulary For Family In Turkish

  • Family: Aile

  • Father: Baba 
  • Mother: Anne

For married couples we use,

  • Wife:  Karı
  • Husband: Koca

In Turkish apart from these words, a gender-neutral word for spouse is also used:

  • Spouse:

If you are talking about your boyfriend or girlfriend you can use the following words:

  • Girlfriend: Kız arkadaş
  • Boyfriend: Erkek arkadaş

Do you want to learn other words related to “Love, dating, and marriage in Turkish”? SEE THIS ARTICLE

When used with the personal suffix -ım the meaning changes into:

  • My spouse: eşim
  • My girlfriend: Kız arkadaşım
  • My boyfriend: Erkek arkadaşım

If you want to address your own or someone else’s child/children you can use these words regardless of gender:

  • Child: çocuk (singular) 
  • Children: çocuklar (plural)

Onun çocukları çok güzel.

Her children are so beautiful.


Onun çocukları kedileri seviyorlar.

Her children like cats.

If you want to specifically talk about your son or daughter you would use:

  • Daughter: Kız
  • Son: Oğul

Oğlum okula gidiyor.

My son goes to school.


Kızım televizyon izliyor.

My daughter watches TV.

In Turkish language there are different words for siblings:

  • Sibling: Kardeş
  • Brother: Erkek kardeş
  • Sister: Kız kardeş

But what does “abla” and “abi” mean in Turkish?

As we mentioned earlier, Turkish language is very specific with words related to family. In Turkish we use different words to talk about older brother and older sister: 

  • Older brother: Abi
  • Older Sister: Abla 

You may hear people use “Abi” and “Abla” in a store to call a total stranger! Don’t be shocked! 

In Turkish language if you want to respect someone most probably older than you, but still asking them for help or guidance or maybe just getting their attention you can use these words.

If you are talking about your younger sister or brother you can simply refer to them as “Kız kardeş” or “Erkek kardeş

Now we know that Turkish uses different words to separate relations on the mother’s side and father’s side. 

Turkish people use different words to separate relations on the mother’s side and father’s side. It’s not like English that you would use “Aunt” for both your mother’s sister and father’s sister. When you are talking about your family you can easily mention who you are exactly talking about which makes Turkish a very cool and detail-oriented language.

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Watch this video to learn how to use “abi” and “abla” in Turkish:

Let’s learn about the words used on the Father’s side:

You call your father’s mother “Babaanne”, and your mother’s mother “Anneanne”.

The only exception here is that you call both your father’s father and mother’s father “Dede” and there is no difference.

  • Grandmother: Babaanne (Father’s mother)
  • Grandfather: Dede (Father’s father) 

In Turkish you call your father’s sister “Hala” and father’s brother “Amca” 

  • Aunt: Hala (Father’s sister)
  • Uncle: Amca (Father’s brother)

Vocabulary used on the mother’s side:

  • Grandmother: Anneanne (mother’s mother)
  • Grandfather: Dede (mother’s father) 

When you are talking about your mother’s side you should use “Teyze” for the mother’s sister and “Dayı” for the mother’s brother.

  • Aunt: Teyze  (mother’s sister)
  • Uncle:  Dayı (mother’s brother)

You can call older people Aunt or uncle out of respect or in order to get closer to them, even if they are total strangers!

family members in Turkish

How to say “Cousin” in Turkish language:

In Turkish, you would use the word “Kuzen”  to call your cousins. “Kuzen” is a gender-neutral word just like the word “Yeğen” meaning niece/nephew.

  • Cousin: Kuzen
  • Niece and Nephew: Yeğen 
  • Grandchild: Torun

To finish this list you also need to know these words if you are getting married to a Turkish man or woman:

  • Mother-in-law: Kayınvalide
  • Father-in-law: Kayınpeder
  • Sister-in-law: Baldız
  • Brother-in-law: Kayınbirader

If you need a place to keep all the vocabulary you learned from “family members in Turkish” blog post, we highly recommend you to check out our vocabulary list sheet. It makes it so much easier to keep the track of what you learned! 

We hope this post gave you a more clear idea of the Turkish vocabulary for family. If you want to learn more about the pronunciation of these words, click the link below.  


must-know familily members vocabulary in Turkish language