What Speakers Of Other Languages Call Their Fathers

Move over, music and math. Dad jokes are definitely the world’s universal language.
June 16, 2019
What Speakers Of Other Languages Call Their Fathers

Whether they’re making groan-inducing, eye-roll-worthy puns, showing off the notorious dad bod they’ve developed from drinking one too many beers or giving you a rundown in how to survive and thrive in this cruel world (hey, changing the oil in your car is no easy feat), the dads in our lives have so many important roles to play. Showing love and respect for one’s father in other languages, and through different types of cultural traditions, is a nearly universal human experience across all corners of the world. It’s no wonder, then, that so many countries set aside special days to celebrate dads in all their fatherly glory. In the United States and in some other countries, Father’s Day falls in June every year, but it also happens in August in places like Brazil and Thailand, with each culture having unique customs and ceremonies. Whenever and wherever it takes place, it’s a way to say thanks to our fathers for their hard work.

But just because we love to honor these goofy parental units doesn’t mean we all call them the same thing. You might know your old man as “dad,” but the nicknames for father figures aren’t the same across the world’s languages. Just like different cultures have a wide spectrum of names for their mothers and even their grandparents, you’ll find a fun and diverse set of pet names for fathers in languages across the planet.

Here’s what you would call your father in other languages around the world.

15 Names For Your Father In Other Languages

Danish — far

Dutch — vader, papa or pappie

Finnish — isä

German — Vati or Papa

Hungarian — apu

Irish — athair or daidí

Italian — papá or babbo

Japanese — otousan or chichi

Maltese — missier

Polish — ojciec or tata

Portuguese — pai or papai

Slovak — otec or otecko

Spanish — padre, papá or papi

Swahili — baba

Xhosa — utata

Venture beyond your fatherland and your mother tongue.
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Author Headshot
David Doochin
David is a content producer for Babbel USA, where he writes for Babbel Magazine and oversees Babbel's presence on Quora. He’s a native of Nashville and graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he studied linguistics and history. Before Babbel he worked at Quizlet and Atlas Obscura. A geek for grammar and an editorial enthusiast, he speaks Spanish (and dabbles in German, Dutch, Afrikaans and Italian). When he’s not curating his Instagram meme collection, you can find him spending too much money on food and exploring new cities around the world.
David is a content producer for Babbel USA, where he writes for Babbel Magazine and oversees Babbel's presence on Quora. He’s a native of Nashville and graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he studied linguistics and history. Before Babbel he worked at Quizlet and Atlas Obscura. A geek for grammar and an editorial enthusiast, he speaks Spanish (and dabbles in German, Dutch, Afrikaans and Italian). When he’s not curating his Instagram meme collection, you can find him spending too much money on food and exploring new cities around the world.

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