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Phrases and terms- Twins

Hi ChinesePod team, my question is this:

How do you say twins in Chinese? I have boy girl twins. I know in some languages (ie french) they have different words for identical twins, fraternal twins and boy girl twins. Is it like that in Mandarin or is there just one word to learn?

Hi Alanna,

In Chinese, there is one general term for Twins: 双胞胎 [shuāng bāo tāi]. This is the general term for all twins, including identical, fraternal, or boy girl twins. The 双[shuāng] means double.

If you’d like to be more specific, we say 同卵双胞胎 [tóng luǎn shuāng bāo tāi] for identical twins, and 异卵双胞胎 [yì luǎn shuāng bāo tāi] for fraternal twins.

For boy girl twins, it is called 龙凤胎 [lóng fèng tāi], where 龙 [lóng] means dragon representing boys and 凤 [fèng] means phoenix representing girls.

Hope this helps!