I have a question about this word in other languages.

I have three sisters-in-law: my brother's wife, my husband's sister, and my husband's brother's wife.

LIkewise, I have three brothers-in-law: my sister's husband, my husband's brother, and my husband's sister's husband.

One word has to cover all three of those relationships.

I have heard that in other langauges, these are different words. I've even heard, although I don't know that it's true, that in some languages, the name for your husband's brother's wife is different if your husband is younger or older than his brother.

Can you tell me about how these words are the same or different in your language?
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Hi Barb,

Italian has only one feminine word (cognata = sister in law) and only one masculine (cognato = brother in law). They both cover all the relationships you mentioned, so it's pretty much like in English. Emotion: smile

I've got a feeling that it works differently in Finnish (CB, where are you?).
Hi ladies

This definitely isn't my forte! We do have lots of words for relatives but I have to confess I am rather uncertain as to what exactly each word means. So I checked the Finnish Wikipedia and got this information:

käly = wife's or husband's sister; brother's wife or husband's/wife's brother's wife (Holy smoke!)

lanko = wife's or husband's brother; sister's husband or husband's/wife's sister's husband

vävy = daughter's husband

miniä = son's wife

appi = wife's or husband's father

anoppi = wife's or husband's mother

nato = husband's sister

kyty = husband's brother (This is a rare word. I have never heard it!)

serkku = child of father's or mother's sister

There are others but I'm already getting a headache...Emotion: smile

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We have different words for these relatives.
嫂子-elder brother's wife
弟媳-younger brother's wife
姐夫-elder sister's husband
妹夫-younger sister's husband
小姑子-husband's sister
小叔子-husband's brother
小姨子-wife's sister
小舅子-wife's brother
连襟-what a husband's and a wife's parents call the other pair
Wishes EP
Thank you ecopsy.

That's sounds confusing, but I'm sure if you grow up with it, it's not.

It's interesing that the husband uses a different word to refer to a wife's brother than the wife uses to refer to her husband's brother.

It's also interesting that your husband's brother (or sister) is the same word, whether he (or she) is older or younger than your husband, your own brother's wife is a different word, depending on whether he is older or younger.

I think if I ever had to learn this, I might wish that both I and my husband were only children!
Grammar GeekI think if I ever had to learn this, I might wish that both I and my husband were only children!
And do you think that's the only thing you would wish for if you were to learn Chinese? LOL, think of reading, writing, and remembering all those characters, and then you'll wish for something different. Emotion: stick out tongue
Anyway, as Tanit said, we use the same word in Italian (cognato / cognata), as far as I know.
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in turkish,
my brother's wife=Yenge
my husband's sister=Görümce
my husband's brother's wife=elti

my sister's husband=enişte
In Spanish it's same as in Italian: Cuñado/cuñada Emotion: smile
Thank you, everyone, for your answers.

I find elements like this in language interesting.
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