How to Say "Dad" in Chinese

Learn to Write and Pronounce the Chinese Character for "Dad"

Young dad talking joyfully with daughter in a park
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Family relations are important in China, and traditionally, the father is the head of the household. There are many ways of saying "father" or "dad" in Chinese, but the most colloquial way is the focus of this article. 

Chinese Characters

爸爸 ( bàba) means dad, or father, in Chinese. It is an informal term. The character is written the same way in both simplified and traditional Chinese. Sometimes, 爸爸 is colloquially shortened to just 爸.


The pinyin for 爸 is "bà," which means the character is pronounced in the 4th tone. But when saying 爸爸, the second 爸 is unaccented. Thus in terms of tone numbers, 爸爸 can also be written as ba4 ba. 

Other Terms for "Dad"

As mentioned earlier, there are other ways to say "dad" in Chinese depending on a degree of formality and region. Here are a few examples:

父亲 (fùqīn): father, a more formal term

爹 (diē): dad, also informal and a regional term 

Sentence Examples Using Bàba

Wǒ bà shì yīshēng.
我爸是醫生。(traditional Chinese)
我爸是医生。(simplified Chinese)
My dad is a doctor.

Tā shì wǒ bàba.
He is my father.

Regarding this last sentence, note that when you are saying "my father", "my mother" and so on, you normally don't add 的 to indicate familiarity, ie: 他是我的爸爸. It's not technically wrong, but it's also not usually said amongst native speakers.

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Su, Qiu Gui. "How to Say "Dad" in Chinese." ThoughtCo, Aug. 13, 2017, Su, Qiu Gui. (2017, August 13). How to Say "Dad" in Chinese. Retrieved from Su, Qiu Gui. "How to Say "Dad" in Chinese." ThoughtCo. (accessed March 19, 2018).