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How polite is your language?

 Language Learning Forum : Cultural Experiences in Foreign Languages Post Reply
51 messages over 7 pages: 1 2 35 6 7  Next >>
Dagane
Triglot
Senior Member
SpainRegistered users can see my Skype Name
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259 posts - 324 votes 
Speaks: Spanish*, EnglishB2, Galician
Studies: German
Studies: Czech

 
 Message 25 of 51
28 August 2012 at 6:37pm | IP Logged 
I have changed the forms of "vos" and "usted" in my previous message. I promise I had a flash telling me that was wrong when I went to bed!! But waking up and turning the computer on again didn't worth :). By the way, Tractor, you have explained it fine.

I also thought about other 'vos' usage and I remembered that it's used sometimes in other situations, but all of them are extremely formal and ancient. One example is "vuestra merced" (relatively spreaded). In an ancient but not necessary too 'high' situation, also "vuestra hermosura" (formerly "vuestra beldad"), "vuestra presencia", "vuestro interés", and so on and on.

In conclusion, it's a form confined mainly to the ancient literature and to some dialogues in modern films and books which narrates ancient histories and fantasy stories.
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tarvos
Super Polyglot
Winner TAC 2012
Senior Member
China
likeapolyglot.wordpr
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5310 posts - 9399 votes 
Speaks: Dutch*, English, Swedish, French, Russian, German, Italian, Norwegian, Mandarin, Romanian, Afrikaans
Studies: Greek, Modern Hebrew, Spanish, Portuguese, Czech, Korean, Esperanto, Finnish

 
 Message 26 of 51
28 August 2012 at 7:40pm | IP Logged 
numerodix wrote:
I'm not a big fan of politeness. I think a lot of the time it's about
showing respect
that you don't actually feel.

It weirds me out sometimes when people call me meneer.


I agree, and I get called this all the time.
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fabriciocarraro
Hexaglot
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Brazil
russoparabrasileirosRegistered users can see my Skype Name
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Speaks: Portuguese*, EnglishB2, Italian, Spanish, Russian, French
Studies: Dutch, German, Japanese

 
 Message 27 of 51
28 August 2012 at 9:56pm | IP Logged 
Probably this is a cultural thing, since we Brazilians tend to be friendly to everyone from the start and address everyone with "você" (except for the elderly), but I feel reaaaaally uncomfortable using the the Russian polite form "вы" to address my in-laws.
My wife says it's right to do so, but still, it's like a red alert goes off in my brain shouting "O-V-E-R-L-Y P-O-L-I-T-E".

I'll probably get used to it, but I think it's really funny that I have this "internal" reaction.

EDIT: Just out of curiosity, we usually address people with "você", but if you go to a bank or a restaurant, the attendant/waiter will most likely address you with "o senhor" or "a senhora", which is the same we use with elders. That might be risky though, because it implies you're calling the person "old". =P

Edited by fabriciocarraro on 28 August 2012 at 10:04pm

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FELlX
Diglot
Groupie
France
Joined 4504 days ago

94 posts - 149 votes 
Speaks: French*, English

 
 Message 28 of 51
28 August 2012 at 10:16pm | IP Logged 
Ogrim wrote:
French: The “vous” is still very much the norm in France, and you would never address a stranger (e.g. a shop attendant or a waiter) with “tu”. However, I do feel that there is a slight tendency for younger people to switch to “tu” more rapidly than what was maybe the norm some years ago. My approach is that I address everyone with “vous” and only switch to “tu” if they invite me to do so.

One thing that would be interesting to develop is how "tu"/"vous" (and other equivalents in other languages) is used on the Internet.

Generally in forums, and in most communities, the familiar form is the norm. Therefore it is more and more frequent to meet people (on the Internet, then possibly IRL) without ever using the formal pronoun to talk to them. Is it also the same in other languages?
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fabriciocarraro
Hexaglot
Winner TAC 2012
Senior Member
Brazil
russoparabrasileirosRegistered users can see my Skype Name
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989 posts - 1454 votes 
Speaks: Portuguese*, EnglishB2, Italian, Spanish, Russian, French
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 Message 29 of 51
28 August 2012 at 10:22pm | IP Logged 
FELlX wrote:

Generally in forums, and in most communities, the familiar form is the norm. Therefore it is more and more frequent to meet people (on the Internet, then possibly IRL) without ever using the formal pronoun to talk to them. Is it also the same in other languages?


Yes, I've never used the formal approach on the internet, even when e-mailing my former and current bosses.
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Josquin
Heptaglot
Senior Member
Germany
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 Message 30 of 51
29 August 2012 at 12:06am | IP Logged 
FELlX wrote:
Generally in forums, and in most communities, the familiar form is the norm. Therefore it is more and more frequent to meet people (on the Internet, then possibly IRL) without ever using the formal pronoun to talk to them. Is it also the same in other languages?

It depends. On HTLAL and other forums, I would always use "du", but on some more official pages like newspapers (FAZ, Süddeutsche) or Amazon.de, people tend to use "Sie".
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Марк
Senior Member
Russian Federation
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 Message 31 of 51
29 August 2012 at 11:12am | IP Logged 
On the Lingvoforum, where I’m banned now, they call everyone «вы», until a person asks to
be called «ты».
But on other forums it is not the case.
4 persons have voted this message useful



vonPeterhof
Tetraglot
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Russian FederationRegistered users can see my Skype Name
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Speaks: Russian*, EnglishC2, Japanese, German
Studies: Kazakh, Korean, Norwegian, Turkish

 
 Message 32 of 51
29 August 2012 at 11:17am | IP Logged 
Josquin wrote:
FELlX wrote:
Generally in forums, and in most communities, the familiar form is the norm. Therefore it is more and more frequent to meet people (on the Internet, then possibly IRL) without ever using the formal pronoun to talk to them. Is it also the same in other languages?

It depends. On HTLAL and other forums, I would always use "du", but on some more official pages like newspapers (FAZ, Süddeutsche) or Amazon.de, people tend to use "Sie".
This seems to be the case on Russian sites as well. Perhaps I'm a little old-fashioned, but I would go a little further in using Вы/Sie. I don't recall ever posting anything in Russian on this forum, but if I did I would prefer to use the polite form, because I view my participation in this community as a "scholarly pursuit", and also because many of the regulars here seem to be older than me. Even on forums dedicated to my more trivial hobbies I hesitate to use the familiar form unless I know for a fact that the person I'm addressing isn't much older than me and/or is okay with it.

As for Japanese language websites, I just adjust my politeness level to how the other people on the thread are writing, since in places like YouTube comment threads the politeness levels can vary depending on the kind of video that is being discussed. Now that I look at my last post on the Japanese thread (let's see if I can make this link correctly - here), I'm not sure if I wrote it in a consistent style. Most of it is in 丁寧語 (polite language), the quote of my "thoughts" is in plain language (I meant to make it sound somewhat silly and cartoonish and it wasn't really addressing the audience, so that was intentional), while the last phrase, the Japanese translation of "The rest is history", ends in である, a form that is formal, but not polite. The latter style is more common in newspapers and encyclopedias - "serious" writings that aren't addressed to anyone in particular. I assumed that 残りは歴史である was a stock phrase, like its English equivalent, but now I'm wondering if I should have used であります to keep the style consistent.


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