Spoken languages [split from pro-life...]

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Re: Spoken languages [split from pro-life...]

#41  Postby Scot Dutchy » Apr 03, 2012 9:37 am

My machine is default Dutch. In Word I use UK English and Standard Dutch.
I hate seeing the 'z' instead of 's' and dropping the 'u'.

What also annoys me in American English is using a noun as a verb. "I will pencil it". I hate it!

My keyboard is Dutch which allows you to make combination letters easily. Such as á é ü è etc.
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Re: Spoken languages [split from pro-life...]

#42  Postby Regina » Apr 03, 2012 9:39 am

Aggie wrote:
Is formal written German more stilted than the more informal version? I would think it would only apply to the spoken form?

It's first of all how you address people.
Strangers and normally "authority figures" are addressed with "Sie/Ihnen" instead of "Du/Dir".
So you greet a friend: Wie geht es Dir?, or in all likelihood just: Wie geht's?
whereas with a stranger it's: Wie geht es Ihnen?
It's the equivalent of How are you? as opposed to How are you, Mr Jones?
Of course, young people will greet each other informally, unless they are in a formal context. So a bank clerk in his twenties will greet a customer of the same age formally, but should they meet at a disco, they'd be informal. :grin:
Last edited by Regina on Apr 03, 2012 9:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Spoken languages [split from pro-life...]

#43  Postby Scot Dutchy » Apr 03, 2012 9:49 am

Regina wrote:
Aggie wrote:
Is formal written German more stilted than the more informal version? I would think it would only apply to the spoken form?

It's first of all how you address people.
Strangers and normally "authority figures" are addressed with "Sie/Ihnen" instead of "Du/Dir".
So you greet a friend: Wie geht es Dir?, or in all likelihood just: Wie geht's?
whereas with a stranger it's: Wie geht es Ihnen?
It's the equivalent of How are you? as opposed to How are you, Mr Jones?
Of course, young people will greet each other informally, unless they are in a formal context. So a bank clerk in his twenties will greet a customer if the same age formally, but should they meet at a disco, they'd be informal. :grin:


The same in Dutch. We have the formal 'u' and the informal 'je'.
Ther formality in normal working situations is rapidly becoming informal at all levels. Even in letters from businesses. The more modern ICT ones are very informal (somes a bit too).

How is it with your spelling changes Regina?
They have been tinkering here as well especilly when it comes to plurals. In compound words the 'n' has reappeared (kattenbak instead of kattebak) and the 'k' has been changed back to 'c' in foreign words (cadeau instead of kado).
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Re: Spoken languages [split from pro-life...]

#44  Postby Regina » Apr 03, 2012 9:54 am

Don't get me started on the spelling reform. It's beyond me. Maybe it has to do with the fact that I use written English far more frequently than written German.
See also here:

Ihttp://www.rationalskepticism.org/deut ... l#p1266679
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Re: Spoken languages [split from pro-life...]

#45  Postby Scot Dutchy » Apr 03, 2012 9:57 am

Regina wrote:Don't get me started on the spelling reform. It's beyond me. Maybe it has to do with the fact that I use written English far more frequently than written German.
See also here:

http://www.rationalskepticism.org/deutsch/ich-spreche-ein-wenig-deutsch-t29944-40.html#p1266679


I thought you would say that :lol:
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Re: Spoken languages [split from pro-life...]

#46  Postby Agrippina » Apr 03, 2012 2:18 pm

Afrikaans also uses "u" and "jy" as formal and informal.

:lol: In English we just say "hey you!" Or in Zulu, "wena!" (weh-nah)
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Re: Spoken languages [split from pro-life...]

#47  Postby Regina » Apr 03, 2012 2:31 pm

I hate it when English speakers in a formal context (eg business) behave as if we were sandbox buddies.
As in: Hello, Regina and then end their missive with: Regards, Jill.
It forces me to do the same, and I dislike forced familiarity.
So, that needed to be said. :smoke:
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Re: Spoken languages [split from pro-life...]

#48  Postby JoeB » Apr 03, 2012 2:42 pm

Regina wrote:I hate it when English speakers in a formal context (eg business) behave as if we were sandbox buddies.
As in: Hello, Regina and then end their missive with: Regards, Jill.
It forces me to do the same, and I dislike forced familiarity.
So, that needed to be said. :smoke:

Funny, over here (Netherlands) it seems to be that forced formality is seen as unpleasant. :P
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Re: Spoken languages [split from pro-life...]

#49  Postby Agrippina » Apr 03, 2012 2:51 pm

We're very much into informality here. Mrs is your mother. Everyone calls me by my name. I don't care, as long as they don't just not name me. That's worse.
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Re: Spoken languages [split from pro-life...]

#50  Postby Regina » Apr 03, 2012 5:59 pm

JoeB wrote:
Regina wrote:I hate it when English speakers in a formal context (eg business) behave as if we were sandbox buddies.
As in: Hello, Regina and then end their missive with: Regards, Jill.
It forces me to do the same, and I dislike forced familiarity.
So, that needed to be said. :smoke:

Funny, over here (Netherlands) it seems to be that forced formality is seen as unpleasant. :P


Ah, so it's less unpleasant when your boss kicks you out?
Funny, I'm in the Netherlands quite often, and strangers address me formally. :dunno:
I prefer to keep certain people at arm's length. Not everybody is my best buddy, for goodness' sake.

The worst are the Ikea hillbillies, though. They address their customers with "Du". That's simply not the done thing here, and it's sounds like an embarrassingly weird form of sucking up to customers. Hey, buddy, come and buy our super-duper mattress and hip Billy bookshelf. :roll: Preferably with a stupid "Swedish" accent.
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Re: Spoken languages [split from pro-life...]

#51  Postby Scot Dutchy » Apr 03, 2012 6:04 pm

Regina wrote:
JoeB wrote:
Regina wrote:I hate it when English speakers in a formal context (eg business) behave as if we were sandbox buddies.
As in: Hello, Regina and then end their missive with: Regards, Jill.
It forces me to do the same, and I dislike forced familiarity.
So, that needed to be said. :smoke:

Funny, over here (Netherlands) it seems to be that forced formality is seen as unpleasant. :P


Ah, so it's less unpleasant when your boss kicks you out?
Funny, I'm in the Netherlands quite often, and strangers address me formally. :dunno:
I prefer to keep certain people at arm's length. Not everybody is my best buddy, for goodness' sake.

The worst are the Ikea hillbillies, though. They address their customers with "Du". That's simply not the done thing here, and it's sounds like an embarrassingly weird form of sucking up to customers. Hey, buddy, come and buy our super-duper mattress and hip Billy bookshelf. :roll: Preferably with a stupid "Swedish" accent.


Well if you have a permenent contract the chances he can kick you out is very small.
To strangers Dutch a very formal but at work very informal. Even the CEO i would call by his first name.
Never see sales people at Ikea. It is more self service. Mind you I have not been for years.
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Re: Spoken languages [split from pro-life...]

#52  Postby Regina » Apr 03, 2012 6:15 pm

Oh, I meant Ikea ads.
As for work-life: I try to reduce contact with my bosses (I have arrived at no. 4 at the moment) to the absolute minimum. Not because they are nasty characters (they weren't) but because not drawing attention to myself works best for me. I realize, though, that this is not possible in many jobs.
Of course, I'm not formal with the vast majority of my colleagues.
Btw, interestingly, in some respects Germans are less formal than Americans. The Sir/Madam form of address does not exist.
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Re: Spoken languages [split from pro-life...]

#53  Postby Scot Dutchy » Apr 04, 2012 9:14 am

I once succonded to a Belgium office in Antwerp. Now that was formal!
All men were addressed to with mister (meneer) ... and all women misses ... (mevrouw).
Every morning when you came in everyone shook hands. Wierd.
Lunch was two hours and we all went to the same restaurant. It was expected.
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Re: Spoken languages [split from pro-life...]

#54  Postby Agrippina » Apr 04, 2012 12:12 pm

Scot Dutchy wrote:I once succonded to a Belgium office in Antwerp. Now that was formal!
All men were addressed to with mister (meneer) ... and all women misses ... (mevrouw).
Every morning when you came in everyone shook hands. Wierd.
Lunch was two hours and we all went to the same restaurant. It was expected.


That's so funny.

I used to work on the executive floor of a large insurance broker company, all the men used to call themselves "mister" so funny, so I used to tell them it was "mrs" on the phone. Idiots. I hate being called "mrs" I have a name and I'm happy for anyone to use it.
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Re: Spoken languages [split from pro-life...]

#55  Postby Regina » Apr 04, 2012 12:14 pm

Agrippina wrote:
Scot Dutchy wrote:I once succonded to a Belgium office in Antwerp. Now that was formal!
All men were addressed to with mister (meneer) ... and all women misses ... (mevrouw).
Every morning when you came in everyone shook hands. Wierd.
Lunch was two hours and we all went to the same restaurant. It was expected.


That's so funny.

I used to work on the executive floor of a large insurance broker company, all the men used to call themselves "mister" so funny, so I used to tell them it was "mrs" on the phone. Idiots. I hate being called "mrs" I have a name and I'm happy for anyone to use it.

:scratch: I'm not quite getting this: you weren't called Mrs Smith ( for example) ?
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Re: Spoken languages [split from pro-life...]

#56  Postby Scot Dutchy » Apr 04, 2012 12:15 pm

Agrippina wrote:
Scot Dutchy wrote:I once succonded to a Belgium office in Antwerp. Now that was formal!
All men were addressed to with mister (meneer) ... and all women misses ... (mevrouw).
Every morning when you came in everyone shook hands. Wierd.
Lunch was two hours and we all went to the same restaurant. It was expected.


That's so funny.

I used to work on the executive floor of a large insurance broker company, all the men used to call themselves "mister" so funny, so I used to tell them it was "mrs" on the phone. Idiots. I hate being called "mrs" I have a name and I'm happy for anyone to use it.


Yes it is funny but Belgium is a very formal country. In Brussel it is an art form.
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Re: Spoken languages [split from pro-life...]

#57  Postby don't get me started » Apr 05, 2012 5:42 am

Don't get me started on formality in Japan. It is like a completely separate language. Not only is there a completely different vocabulary, but the degree of indirectness renders the speaker's intent opaque, to say the least.
I was at a bank and needed to change my account to a different branch. Rather than let me just go to that bank, they led me into a small booth which had a Skype-like connection to the other branch and a scanner.
The woman at the other end appeared and we began the transaction, in Japanese:

Me: I can speak Japanese, but please don't use KEIGO (polite language ) because I can't understand it well.
Staff: I understand.
Me: So, I need to transfer my account to your branch.
Staff: I see. Honorable and respected customer, might I be so bold as to request you to, at the current time, to position the completed transferregistrationauthorisationapplication document in such a way as to enable the contents to be registered in our electronic data transmission service, thus permitting me to proceed with your requested procedure.
Me: Eh?
Staff: (Repeat above request verbatim)
Me: (Guessing) Er...put the document on the scanner?
Staff: Honorable and respected customer, if you would be so kind as to be in compliance... that would be...hmmm...
Me: Like this?
Staff: Honorable and respected customer, I am happy to inform you that I am now fully able to proceed.

And so on for the next 35 minutes.
it is especially difficult in service situations, where the staff have been drilled to be word perfect and not deviate from the script. And the problem is compounded by 'Gaijin Panic' effect, where they get nervous and speak even faster and women speak in en even higher squeaky voice.
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Re: Spoken languages [split from pro-life...]

#58  Postby Agrippina » Apr 05, 2012 7:21 am

O-M-G I would definitely hide inside the house in that society.
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Re: Spoken languages [split from pro-life...]

#59  Postby Scot Dutchy » Apr 05, 2012 12:31 pm

@don't get me started

It sounds like fun. It would be great to upset these people and watch them thrash around trying remain cool and composed.
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Re: Spoken languages [split from pro-life...]

#60  Postby Horwood Beer-Master » Apr 12, 2012 8:32 pm

Agrippina wrote:...On the dialect thing. It's definitely only a spoken issue...

"Only"? Surely the spoken form of a language is fairly damned important - certainly to those speaking it at any rate. :ask:
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