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3 ways to address your dad in Mandarin

Ever asked yourself why many of us have different ways of addressing our father? Some of us call them “dad”, some “pop”, some call them “Pa”. Even for babies who are learning their first words, some parents choose to teach them “dada”, while some prefer “papa”. Unsurprisingly, there are also many forms of the word in the Chinese language. Since Father’s Day is approaching, LingoAce would like to explore some of these commonly used “father figures” in the Chinese language.

1. “爸” (Bà)

Probably the most commonly used Chinese character used to address our fathers. This character appeared in Chinese history when it was first written in an early version of the Chinese dictionary in the third century. One may attribute this to the English version of “papa”, but the English version is said to originate from the Greek language, not the Chinese. Hence “爸”, a term we all use so much actually dates back hundreds of years! In Singapore, many of us may also call our dads “老爸”, “爸爸” or just simply “爸”.

2. “父” (Fù)

Probably the most commonly used Chinese character used to address our fathers. This character appeared in Chinese history when it was first written in an early version of the Chinese dictionary in the third century. One may attribute this to the English version of “papa”, but the English version is said to originate from the Greek language, not the Chinese. Hence “爸”, a term we all use so much actually dates back hundreds of years! In Singapore, many of us may also call our dads “老爸”, “爸爸” or just simply “爸”.

3. “爹” (Diē)

The last character we are looking at today is “爹”. After gaining more usage after the Yuan dynasty, “爹” became the more commonly used term for father. Although today, it is less common (or maybe not used at all) to use “爹” to address one’s dad. However, we do see this term being used especially in period correct Chinese dramas that most of us like to watch. Maybe it would be fun to just go up to your dad and call him “爹” today.

How do you address your father, have you ever thought about the different ways we can do so? How to do teach your child on how to address their father? We would like to hear from you! Let us know by leaving a comment down below. P.S. we are now holding a special contest for Father’s Day, where you can win exclusive prizes such as an iPad and printer, as well as free lessons with LingoAce. It is extremely easy to participate and is open to all. Find out more and hope to see your entry soon. Till next time!

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At LingoAce, we believe in providing every child a meaningful and memorable experience as they learn because learning Chinese is more than just learning the language. Find out more about how we can be fun and effective in learning the Mandarin Chinese language.

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