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How do you refer to a specific great-grandparent? Does Chinese language has all 8 relationship titles to refer to one of them?

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What do you refert to by all 8 relationship? – Huang May 16 '12 at 5:10
dusan means whether there's different words for: mother's mother's mother, mother's mother's father, mother's father's mother, etc. in the same way that we distinguish 祖母, 外祖母, etc. – jogloran May 16 '12 at 6:25
up vote 5 down vote accepted

The answer is yes.

曾 is for paternal paternal ancestors, 曾外 for paternal maternal ancestors, 外曾 for maternal paternal ancestors, and 外曾外 for maternal maternal ancestors.

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This is one of the aspects of Chinese that I don't think I'll ever nail down – Michael Robinson May 16 '12 at 8:32
I just wanted to add that the Wikipedia article on Chinese kinship (…) has tables of the various familial relationship terms. – Claw May 16 '12 at 9:56
That wiki-page is really interesting. – BertR May 16 '12 at 10:49
Another fun fact: kinship systems like Chinese in which each relation has a separate name are known as Sudanese, presumably after an archetypal instance. – jogloran May 16 '12 at 12:08

曾祖父, 曾祖母, 外曾祖父, and 外曾祖母 are only used in formal writings.

Paternal great-grandparents are 太爷爷/太奶奶.

(To help you memorize them, 爷爷 and 奶奶 are paternal grandparents.)

Maternal great-grandparents are 太姥爷/太姥姥 in the north and 太公公/太婆婆 in the south.

(姥爷/姥姥 and 公公(外公)/婆婆 (外婆)are maternal grandparents.)

I expect these terms to vary greatly in different regions and families. I was told to somehow call my maternal great-grandmother 太太, which also means "lady."

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