How To Talk About Family In Dutch

Gather the whole familie ’round the table.
November 5, 2020
How To Talk About Family In Dutch

Learning the vocabulary for family in Dutch may actually be a bit easier than you think, thanks to the fact that Dutch is part of our family — that is, a member of the West Germanic language family that includes English and German. (English and Dutch are somewhat distant relatives, though, separating around 600 CE.) Though the spelling may look a little bit unusual if you’re just getting started with Dutch, most of these words will sound immediately familiar to you. That’s because they’re cognates, or words that sound or look the same in another language.

Certain things may take some getting used to — for instance, the fact that there’s a masculine and feminine form of “cousin.” Other things will merely be a matter of nailing the correct spelling and pronunciation.

Here’s all the basic vocabulary you’ll need to talk about family in Dutch. To hear how each word is pronounced by a native speaker, just press the play button.

Essential Vocab For Family In Dutch

the family — de familie

the relatives — de familieleden

the extended family — de verre familieleden

the ancestor — de voorvader

the descendant — de nakomeling

the parents — de ouders

the mother — de moeder

the father — de vader

the children — de kinderen

the daughter — de dochter

the son — de zoon

the siblings — de broers en zussen

the brother — de broer

the sister — de zus

the stepchild — het stiefkind

the half-brother — de halfbroer

the foster parents — de pleegouders

the guardian — de voogd

the grandmother — de grootmoeder

the grandfather — de grootvader

the grandson — de kleinzoon

the granddaughter — de kleindochter

the nephew — de neef

the niece — de nicht

the aunt — de tante

the uncle — de oom

the cousin — de neef (masc.) / de nicht (fem.)

the parents-in-law — de schoonouders

the great-grandparents — de overgrootouders

the second cousin — de neef in de tweede graad

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Author Headshot
Steph Koyfman
Steph is a writer, lindy hopper, and astrologer. She’s also a language enthusiast who grew up bilingual and had an early love affair with books. She has mostly proved herself as a New Yorker, and she can introduce herself in Swedish thanks to Babbel. She also speaks Russian and Spanish, but she’s a little rusty on those fronts.
Steph is a writer, lindy hopper, and astrologer. She’s also a language enthusiast who grew up bilingual and had an early love affair with books. She has mostly proved herself as a New Yorker, and she can introduce herself in Swedish thanks to Babbel. She also speaks Russian and Spanish, but she’s a little rusty on those fronts.

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