In the U.S., Mother’s Day is celebrated on May 10 this year. That gives us a good excuse to look at how to say the word “mother” in different languages around the world — and the fascinating reason that so many of these words are similar.

According to the website Live Science, babies show increased brain activity when they hear words with repeating syllables — like “mama.”

Researchers have also found that babies start vocalizing with vowel sounds and then start trying out consonants. “Mmm” is one of the easiest consonant sounds for babies to make, even when nursing.

How to Say Mama in 25 Different Languages

No matter what name they answer to, we wish all moms a very happy Mother’s Day!

1. Mandarin Chinese: Mãma
2. English: Mother (and lots of variations: Mom, Mama, Mommy, Mummy)
3. Hindustani: Māṃ
4. Spanish: Madre or mamá
5. Arabic: Māma
6. Malay: Ibu
7. Russian: мама
8. Bengali: Mā
9. Portuguese: Mãe
10. French: Mère
11. Japanese: Okaasan, okaachan (a dimunuitive like “mummy”), haha
12. Punjabi: Māṁ
13. German: Mutter
14. Javanese: Ibu
15. Swedish: Mor
16. Telugu: Talli
17. Vietnamese: Mẹ
18. Korean: Eomeoni
19. Marathi: Ā’ī
20. Tamil: Am’mā
21. Turkish: Anne
22. Italian: Madre
23. Hausa: Uwa
24. Czech: Matka
25. Swahili: Mama

Practicing words like “mama” can be a great way to start working on learning a language from your own home. Need to know how to say even more in any of these languages? Contact us at or (800) 401-3159.

If you want to do the same thing for dad on Father’s Day, check out TruFluency’s blog about How to Say Father in Different Languages!