https://www.duolingo.com/Lundgren8

Words for relatives

Swedish learner nunes89 asked for a table with all the relative terms in this discussion.

I made a short list as comment but thought I’d compile a ”släktträd” (family tree) which is available as a .pdf here.

Edit (2016-06-02): The original file has disappeared, so I have replaced it with smaller one, so you might have to zoom a bit.

Blue is male relatives, pink is female relatives and green are gender-neutral. The white ones are don’t have specific words, but are included to complete the tree.

Observe that the words for relatives are very flexible and in a dictionary you’ll also find e.g. ”morfarsfar” (father of your maternal grandfather) and ”sonsonson” (son of your son’s son) etc., but it’s hard to squeeze all the words in.

Most of the words are included in this table I made.

I apologise for the heteronormative gender-stereotypical tree, but it’s just to make it clear and illustrative.

Good luck!

November 26, 2014

82 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/TwoWholeWorms

Can you just keep bunging them on? Eg, morfarsfarsmorsfarsmorsmor, or farmorsfarsfarsmorsmorsfar?

April 27, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/HelenCarlsson

Yes, but separated and only with an s every second time :):
morfars farmors farmors mor and farmors farfars mormors far.

You can listen to "Släkthuset" by Povel Ramel here.

April 27, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/TwoWholeWorms

Ah, cheers. :) Do you know the reason for the separation (considering barnbarnsbarn), or is it just that it's how it's done? :0

April 28, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Hashmush

I guess it's because it makes more sense to say my grandchild's child rather than my child's grandchild. It also moves the point of stress in the word, it's slightly uncomfortable for me to say "barnsbarnbarn".

April 28, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Lundgren8

To add to your comment, usually if you have a compound word with three components (2+1), the -s will be after the first two components: fotboll+s+plan (with an -s-), but folk+tandvård (1+2, without an -s-).

April 28, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/HelenCarlsson

... with the famous exception "Svenska Fotbollförbundet" where you have to really concentrate not to say fotbollsförbundet :).

April 28, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/TwoWholeWorms

I meant more why is it mormors farmors far and not mormorsfarmorsfar, since there's a single word for my grandchild's child (barnbarnsbarn) instead of two (ie, barnbarns barn). :)

April 28, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/HelenCarlsson

It seems to work with a single word also for mormorsmor etc as long as it is a combo of three only :).

April 28, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/MagnusBoiv

"Barnbarns barn" is perfectly correct to say as well.

March 22, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Arnauti

Maybe we should say something about modern-day relatives. If your partner has children from a previous relationship, you can say that these kids are your bonusbarn. There are also words like plastpappa/plastmamma for your parents' new partners. If your parents have split up and now live with new people, the children of these people can be your plastsyskon (plastsyster, plastbror, or with the colloquial forms syrra/brorsa instead, plastsyrra, plastbrorsa), or you can use the forms with bonus- (bonussyskon etc).
The prefix plast of course means plastic and refers to this as a modern phenomenon + that it is not "organic".
The traditional word for this kind of relation is styv- (like the English step-): styvmor, styvfar, styvföräldrar, styvbarn, styvdotter, styvson, styvsyskon, styvsyster, styvbror etc. However, maybe because of all the evil stepmothers in the fairytales, or maybe because there's an implication of permanency in these words that does not suit the situation today, these words aren't very popular any longer. But, some people may feel that plast doesn't sound serious enough, so bonus- is probably the safest bet. (In Sweden, that is, I believe that the combinations with styv- are the preferred ones in Finland.)

December 19, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Sarah-Cheung

I like the idea of adding "bonus" at the beginning of the words! Sounds like gifts or prizes! :D

October 6, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/chiodani

"Buy a barn and get a bonusbarn for free!"

January 20, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Der_Kommisar

but if i consider more confortable to me using the styv-word, can i use it anyways??

April 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Hashmush

People would understand you, but it doesn't sound nice to my ears. As Arnauti said, because of Disney, I think that a styvmor or styvfar is something bad.

I suggest using bonus-, it's easy to understand and has a bit more of a playful feel to it.

April 6, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/TwoWholeWorms

Free kids! Woo! :D

April 27, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/nordicspell

very useful, thanks! maybe sambo and the like would be useful too

November 9, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/HeliasZografo

Can´t find the pdf tree, even the replaced one. i made a comment on that yesterday, but my comment did see the light of existance :/

December 7, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/ewerb

Wow, that's an amazing resource, thank you for doing that.

November 27, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/danielph147

The file is no longer available :(

June 20, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/pastells

Yep, could someone repost it please?

August 1, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/sdgfadsfgew

Link is 404

July 9, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/klinkina

sadly the pdf doesn't work anymore, but thanks for the explanation and the table!

April 16, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Lundgren8

I’ll look into it. Thanks.

April 16, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/HelenCarlsson

Nice work! By the way, these "männing" thing is mostly used in northern Sweden, right? Do you know if it possible to say "tvåmänning" instead of cousin? I never use them myself, so I don't have a clue.

November 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Lundgren8

I think they are just alternative terms, but it seems as if they're mostly used in Northern Sweden according to Wikipedia. They also list "tvåmänning" which is also in SAOB. I've definitely heard/seen tremänning/fyrmänning, probably mostly in writing or from older people. I say "syssling" myself, but many people around me here in southern Sweden and my mother use "nästkusin".

November 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/HelenCarlsson

Interesting! Apparently, "tvåmänning" can also be a plant or a Gotland boat :).

November 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Hashmush

My girlfriend is from a village in Dalarna where they use två-/tre-/...männing.

November 27, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/HelenCarlsson

Hej Carl Philip :)!

November 27, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/TastyTasty

Guys, please, help) In English, for example, we have a word "grandma" for Swedish "mormor" and "farmor". Imagine the situation, when someone asks: "Är det hennes mormor?" In English it would be just: "Is it her grandma?" And the answer would be, e.g., "Yes". But what would it be in Swedish? I hope that I am not mistaken if I think that it's not obligatory to know is this particular Swedish grandma father's mother or mother's mother)) What should I answer if I don't know such details? Or should I say smth like: "Mormor eller farmor"?)

April 18, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Hashmush

It depends on the situation. It's not really as complicated as it sounds. If it's not your "mormor" but instead your "farmor" you simply say that. If you're the person asking the question you simply choose one to ask and expect the other person to tell you if it's the wrong one.

You don't have to make it complicated! Edge cases like yours rarely happen and are easily solved by saying a few extra words.

April 18, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/TastyTasty

Okay, I see, thank you)

April 18, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/mieke34420

What is the word for the wife of my " morbror".

November 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Arnauti

We usually call her moster anyway. Or if we want to be clear, morbrors fru.

November 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Hashmush

Really? I would never ever call her moster, it sounds weird, to me.

November 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Arnauti

For me it depends. If they were already married when I was a kid and she's still around, I tend to speak about her as my moster (though if I speak more about her, I'll probably mention that she's my uncle's wife). But if my uncle gets married later on, she'll only ever be min morbrors fru.

November 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/khler

Don't apologize for "heteronormativity," straight relationships are more common than gay ones so it makes sense that you would use it as an example!

November 10, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/HeliasZografo

Hey, i can´t find the family tree pdf. Its been three years :/ but is there a re-upload somewhere! it would help a lot. tack så mycket!

December 7, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/kirakrakra

This link contains generations from SYSKON to TRASSLING and another from FAR to FRÄNKA

https://sv.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sl%C3%A4kt

December 7, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Dirkrol.

The pdf is not longer there

August 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/TheJiralhanae

Ja! Useful for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday :) Tack så mycket

(I love the fact that great-grandchild is "barnbarnsbarn". Literally child child's child. Wonderfully simplistic.)

November 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/lostdrewid

If they exist in Swedish, could I trouble you to include terms for half-siblings? Would it be halvbror and the like?

December 10, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Lundgren8

Yes, that’s correct. :)

December 10, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/cvictoria42

What do you call uncles and aunts by marriage? For example, your father's brother's wife?

April 4, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Lundgren8

You can also call them farbror/morbror/faster/moster or say ingift before if you want to specify: min ingifta moster e.g.

April 4, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/BryanAJParry

"gammel" or "gammal"?

May 24, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/HelenCarlsson

It is gammelfarmor etc but old = gammal.

May 24, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/BryanAJParry

Cheers. Does "gammel" actually mean something in and of itself, then?

May 24, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/HelenCarlsson

I guess it is just an old form of "gammal". Old is called "gammel" in Danish and in Norwegian.

May 24, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/BryanAJParry

Oh, okay. Interesting to know. Many thanks for that. :-D

May 25, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/ex0mo

And how does gamla fit in? I know this from gamla stan which means old city as far as I know.

November 16, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/kirakrakra

den/ det/ de gamla (adjective) also

gamla to make a difference between some concepts with the same name (quite like in English): gamla stilen vs nya stilen = the Julian calendar vs the Gregorian, Gamla världen - Nya världen = Old World - New World, Gamla testamentet - Nya testamentet = Old Testament - New Testament

November 16, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/diego.jacobo

Tack så mycket! Amazing work!

Quick question: the declensions column... The first term is used for the definitive form (familjen - the family) while the second one is used for indef plural (familjer - families and, if I am not wrong, familjerna - the families).

My question: why do the declensions with "barn are -0 and -en? I thought the definitive singular was -et (barmet - the child) and the plurals barn -children, barnen- the children. Am I wrong? Thank you :)

May 25, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Lundgren8

Well spotted. It’s a mistake, it should say barn, -et -0 just like syskon.

May 26, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/TheBantha

Tack!

August 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/EranWhetst

what about the relatives that are not colored? Are they gender-neutral too?

January 12, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Hashmush

Blue is male relatives, pink is female relatives and green are gender-neutral. The white ones are don’t have specific words, but are included to complete the tree.

January 12, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/shandelion

What is the word for an aunt or uncle by marriage? For instance my Uncle Mike is Morbror Mike, because he is my mother's brother. But what would his wife, my Aunt Mary Beth be called? Is there a word for that?

April 6, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Zmrzlina

You can call her "moster" if you want, or "morbrors fru".

April 6, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/smithmo147

do you ever use tant instead of moster?

May 20, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Lundgren8

No, never.

May 20, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/CallMeFaith

I gave the lingots for "I apologise for the heteronormative gender-stereotypical tree, but it’s just to make it clear and illustrative."

June 26, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/CharAU95

Hi, thanks for this!

Wife is "fru" and husband is "man", right? Is there a gender-neutral term for spouse/partner?

Also, a gender-neutral term for sibling-in-law (svåger/ska)?

February 12, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Lundgren8

Usually the word for spouse is make for a man and maka for a woman. We use the gender-neutral word partner (-n, -0/-s) for partner in general, but I can’t think of a gender-neutral word for spouse. There is also sambo if you live together in a relationship without being married.

I’m afraid we don’t have a neat gender-neutral word like sibling-in-law. One could imagine svärsyskon but it’s not used.

February 12, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/kirakrakra

What about gemål = spouse

March 3, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Lundgren8

Good suggestion!

March 5, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/CharAU95

aahh, tack så mycket!

March 6, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/DionDash

Isn't there a word for a cousin in male or female form?

Dutch does that.

October 16, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/kirakrakra

No, with kusin you have to specify the sex, just as in English

October 16, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/sbstnjvf

Does this family tree exist somehow? The link is dead, unfortunately. :/

August 28, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/JangBoo

This is amazing. Tack så mycket!

May 8, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/nordicspell

tack så mycket! very helpful

November 9, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Stramih

Tack så mycket for this, It is really helpful, and - in some cases, quite logical!

January 6, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/ToriGezellig

Thank you so much for this (and especially for the apology)!

January 8, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/GustavGustaffson

Tack så mycket! There goes a lingot for you.

August 20, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/DanielAndre0

Your PDF is exactly what I needed. I was starting to get confused about the different words for family members, but now it all make sense. Will I be able to memorise it all, this is another kettle of fish. Thanks very much for your effort on this. Tack så mycket!

September 22, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/TiraBr0

Tacks sa myket! (Sorry can't make the little mark over the a in sa.) This is brilliant! so helpful!

September 25, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/mukama_2

awesome! tack så mycket

October 4, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/DBlomgren2

Tack så mycket, Lundgren. Som jag är interessad (oops - intresserad) av släktforskning, det här är jätte useful (användbar). Det saknas bara ett ord för mig: bryllingar (third cousins).

December 6, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Lundgren8

Det finns med. Titta längst till höger i trädet.

December 6, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/DBlomgren2

Ah! Där är det! Tack ska du ha!

December 7, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/sotnosen93

*Då jag är intresserad av släktforskning är det här jätteanvändbart

November 30, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/MohanadMis1

Thank you so much!

May 29, 2018
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