Chinese character: 母
Chinese character: 親Simplified Chinese: 亲
Chinese character: 節Simplified Chinese: 节
Chinese character: 快
Chinese character: 樂Simplified Chinese: 乐

Simplified

First Published: May 2006
Updated: May 2008 and 2017

 

Happy Mother’s Day is 母親節快樂 (pinyin: mǔ qīn jié kuài lè; pronounced: moo cheeng jee-eh kwhy luh) in Chinese.

 

Mu Qin (pronounced moo cheeng) is a mother.

 

Jie (pronounced jee-eh) is a festival day or holiday.

 

Kuai Le (pronounced kwhy luh) is happiness, joy, pleasure, delight, or rejoicing.

 

So Mother + Day + Happy, pronounced moo cheeng jee-eh kwhy luh is how you say “Happy Mother’s Day” in Mandarin Chinese.

 

Happy Mother’s Day in Chinese

A distinct feature of the mother “mu” character is presence of two dots. They are said to represent two nipples of a breast-feeding mother.

If you look at the ancient Chinese characters you can see a resemblance between the “mother” and the “female” characters. A female character with two dots becomes the mother character. Picture a mother feeding and embracing a baby in her arms. The bottom part of the ancient characters look like legs in a sitting position.

How the mother “mǔ” character has changed over time from its earliest known pictographic form, to the version used today.

 

Reference:

National Palace Museum

 

The National Palace Museum, located in  Taiwan, has a permanent collection of nearly 700,000 pieces of ancient Chinese imperial artifacts and artworks, making it one of the largest of its type in the world.

An ancient character for

“female”:

 

An ancient character for

“mother”:

The modern character for

“female”:

 

The modern character for

“mother”:

Comment from Elizabeth: Thank you for showing “Happy Mother’s Day” in Chinese characters. I will make a card today for my Chinese Granddaughter to sign for her mother (she is only 3, so her writing will be “free style”) She will enjoy giving a special card for her mother. Best wishes, Elizabeth.

 

Q&A: How do you say “Mother”? Billie asked us how to say “Mother.” In our Mother’s Day Greeting, we used the term “Mu Qin,” and Billie was used to the term “Ma” or “Ma Ma.” Actually, they are both right! “Mu Qin” is the formal way of addressing a mother and “Ma” or “Ma Ma” is the informal, or casual form of address. Like the English “Mother” and “Mom.” Good question, Billie!

Download some Chinese phrases audio files for free (3 phrases recorded by 4 so 12 files total)

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