German Language Blog

Family matters Posted by on Dec 6, 2010 in Culture, Grammar, Language

Hi everybody. Today I want to show you some words that are about family. For this, just read the following (fictional) text. In the end I got some questions that you can answer through the comment field if you want!

– My name is Jan and my family status is “verheiratet” (married). My Ehefrau (wife) works as a hairstylist in the city of Berlin. We have three Kinder (children). Two Jungen (boys) and one Mädchen (girl). They´re called Fritz, Max and Susi. They´re aged 8, 5 and 3. Fritz is the oldest. His Bruder (brother) Max is the youngest and his Schwester (sister) Susi is in between. They love to play with their Cousinen (cousins) Emil and Charlotte. Their parents are my wife´s sister and her Ehemann (husband) Michael. So to me, Michael is my Schwager (brother-in-law).

My Eltern (parents) live in the south of Germany. So do my Schwiegereltern (parents-in-law). Our Tanten und Onkel (aunts and uncles) are living all over Germany. So we don´t see them very often.

My brother also has some children. One of my Neffen (nephews) is a Patenkind (godchild) to me and I´ll try to be the best Patenonkel (godfather) I can be in case they become Waisen (orphans) which hopefully won´t happen!

So as you can imagine, life is demanding sometimes with such a big family. But my Söhne (sons) and my Tochter (daughter) are developing very well and I wouldn´t miss them anymore! To hear them say Papa (dad) or Mama (mom) is one of the greatest things in life!

Christmas is always a big Familienfest (family celebration) so the whole crowd will be united for some days. –

Questions (to answer in German):

– What is the word for the husband of my wife´s sister?
– What is the word for the children of my brother?
– What are children called, who´s parents already died?
– Could you translate wife and husband?
– My male child is a _______ to me. My female child is a _______ to me.

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About the Author: jan

My name is Jan and I live in the south west of Germany. My profession is being a project manager at a company that creates digital media (first of all internet related things). This is my job since over a decade so I´m quite familiar with the web and its tools. Whereat today almost every school kid does. But that´s one of the main reasons why nowadays there are quasi no more limits in the internet and so it can be used for all imaginable types of things. For example learning languages! And that´s where we are at the moment. I first got in touch with Transparent Language when my family and I used to live in France a couple of years ago. I just had a break from work and by coincidence I produced some cultural videos in French. A few months later the whole blogging thing came up and I was lucky to be a part of it. So now my (second) job is to feed you with information, exercises, vocabulary, grammar and stories about Germany and German language. For being a passionate videographer I´m trying to do this more and more by videos. If you have any wishes or needs of topics that should be treated here, please don´t hesitate to contact me via a comment field. I´m open to your suggestions (as long as they are not too individual) and will try to satisfy your needs.


  1. Rachael:

    I find it a little bit difficult to read the english article(eg my) before the noun (Substantive) in english (eg daughter).

    I would suggest stylistically that the concluding sentence would be better served by saying ” a few days” instead of “some days” which is a typical adverbial statement by german speakers, but is not heard in english.

    Enjoy christmas!