Peter , If I could use my hand clapping smiley I would but :-) that's the best I can do. Losing, Moi? Debating here is like playing noughts & crosses with a computer. A draw is a good result!! Sleep well. How's your new mate??
Vic, more drivel mate !! give up while you're losing...
just accept the french are different, don't try to analyse them, end of !
as a matter of interest the belgians seem to utilise 'tu' to almost everyone they meet something I find rather erhh...weird ......
Thanks folks for an entertaining afternoon. It's been enlightening (I think).I've just come back from playing Boules with the predominately ancient locals & have had various explanations of V & T. Nobody seemed to agree with the others. Some things are clear now however namely, we have some knowledgeable linguists in our midst & Andrew "now the Germans are far weirder than the French...!" has admitted that the French are weird :-) (have a go at him if you will Peter:-) ) I will keep bumbling along in my weird style & V & T or T & V as I see fit. Nobody has died from it or apparently been offended by it thus far so It can't be that serious! I'm going to sleep off my post boules vin rouge now. As if my brain wasn't hurting enough before Doh!! :-)
much more crude i'm afraid - imagine you are an uncuth merchant navy seaman, like wot I was !
it means gritty & determined - the first & second words are Common & Dog so for example I would say Mo Farah has so much CDF etc etc
Can Do Factor?
English uses VOUS to everyone! Otherwise we'd still be saying 'thou' for the 2nd person plural. Personal pronouns vary hugely between languages - eg Spanish has a plural for TU that isn't Vous as well as a vous (vosotros rather than usted), Greek and Arabic have a dual pronoun & verb form, Persian doesn't distinguish between he & she... There are all sorts of codes which mark social relationships & V&T is just one of them. The vast majority of languages maintain that sort of distinction. Tu doesn't show lack of respect unless you use it to the wrong person (mens rea rearing its ugly head) - it demonstrates affection and a (possibly close) personal relationship.
Yes it would be so much easier if it weren't there, but it is and it's cultural, inbuilt/instilled on growing up. Why do kids call teachers Miss or Sir in the UK - that's ridiculous when you think about it...! English has to be one of the most difficult European languages to learn, it's so full of contradictions. Italian has the same tu -v- vous but they use the third person singular for the polite form, meaning that there are three ways of saying "you", there are 8 ways of saying "the". I could go on... but won't!
Already said why tu is needed - but wanted to add - I just can't ever imagine tutoyer my kids, my mates close family where I use tu. It'd also be so bizarre if my parents-in-law used vous when talking to me...! :-D
Tracy and Vic, it comes from within. As I've already said, I vouvoie my MIL and faire la bise - that's just how it is, the bise is because we're close family but the vous is, well, that's just the way it is. To make it even worse, I tutoie one of my MIL's brothers...!
Vic, you need tu for mates, family (other than where you need to mark the traditional generation/family status). In my old cycling club I would tutoie people I hardly knew because of the situation - all members of the same club where it's understood that tu is used between members despite age, social standing etc. in fact it's used to level all members etc.
The French aren't weird, there are just things that take sooo long to understand! ;-) I used to have a German girlfriend - now the Germans are far weirder than the French...! and if that doesn't get people replying, nothing will (go on Brian, Véro et al...!) everyone is very prim and preoper then off we go the the local sauna/spa and everyone is stark b0llock nacked - no choice, you're not allowed to wear anything - great day out with you're girlfriend's family - fortunately her Mum was quite tasty...!
Tracey, I get the stand up to show respect, but only that bit. I find politeness is normally learnt You either got it or you ain't!
"However, what I still find amazing is you 'bise' but you still use 'vous' that is when I throw my hands in the air. and give up. I think you must need to be French to really get It" Now you are getting my drift about the French being weird. (don't start again Peter:-) )
Just another thought :- If Vous shows respect, why do the French need Tu ???
I just went to the school reunion and my daughters teacher actually explained that in CM1 (age 9/10yrs) the children are expected to leave behind their baby years and address all teachers as 'vous'. They also have to stand up every time a teacher or adult enters the classroom, quite old fashioned but I think it shows respect. As the kids enter their teens it keeps them on the straight and narrow as politeness is simply a natural instinct.
After 20 or so years here I simply address all adults as 'vous' unless invited to do otherwise. I would be highly offended (and surprised) by people I don't know using 'tu', it's just not done.
However, what I still find amazing is you 'bise' but you still use 'vous' that is when I throw my hands in the air. and give up. I think you must need to be French to really get it.
Thanks for trying to explain Veronique & Andrew. Unfortunately your replies have raised more questions than they have answered to this old engineer.
When did this vouvoiement & tutoiement (hereafter called V & T as I can't be arsed to keep typing it) start, was it always so & has it been hard wired into French peoples brains since birth? Why do people feel the need to be continually told they are respected? Seems like a lack of self esteem to me. I don't feel any less of a person if I'm not told every few minutes that I'm respected, I assume that I am unless told otherwise & judge people by their actions not by the position they hold or how many V's they receive in a day.(do you have a score card by the way;-) ) V & T, to me, is totally unnecessary in this day & age & seems to cause more problems than it seeks to address.
English is the air traffic control language word wide & you don't hear of air traffic controllers pi**ing up pilots backs in order to assure them they are respected. It is a given, no V there. The world functions perfectly well without it.
I have spoken to many of our younger friends here who are unanimous in thinking V & T is an anachronism best consigned to the annals of time.
I could go on but would say that in my opinion if more people concentrated on gaining respect rather than demanding it the world would be a better place.
There you go, no offense meant to our French friends. Just this old English farts view on living in this bizarre but somehow compelling place. Lets be having you Francophiles :-)
no offence taken, Vic ;-)
Véro - exactly, my parents in law me tutoient but we (les gendres) use vous - as you say it's respect. As for in the shop, I'm refering to the zonards beurs who call me "chef" and use tu - par contre, je les vouvoie quand je leur réponds ! I've taught in schools where all the teachers se tutoie and others where several prefer to stick to vous to keep some distance and I could go on forever but haven't got the time!
Bon dimanche à tous ;-)
Vic, just read your first answer - It's something you feel deep down, it's disrespect/over familiarity when somebody who doesn't know you uses tu - it grates and narks me, as it does any French person ;-)
It would be OK for a vvvvv old person who knows Andrew a bit to tutoie him - affectionate & acknowledging age gap, not a lack of respect; but Andrew wouldn't tutoie him back (respect) unless asked to. And might well not be asked to (respect!!)
It's not at all OK to tutoie a person in a shop unless they are a good friend you know outside the professional relationship because it shows too much familiarity and lack of mutual respect. I have only ever been tutoyée once as an adult by a shop assistant (who was old enough to know better) & it narked me to the point where I can remember it about 8 years later!!
It would be like going to see a specialist Dr & being called by your first name while you call the Dr "Dr Smith" (An obstetrician did this to me in GB & luckily he had a name badge & I first-named him right back, he hated it...)
A safe rule of thumb is tutoie everyone who looks adult-ish. Some of my colleagues tutoie their pupils from Collège upwards, I don't because it would feel like vouvoie-ing my own children - my pupils wouldn't dream of tutoiement in school even though some of them are friends of my children's, known to me for years, who come to my house & obviously tutoie me there.
If in doubt say vous! (Though people in the same job eg teachers often tutoie straight away because we are comrades ;-) )
Andrew. I've just re-read my post & it sounds awfully condescending. It wasn't meant to be, sorry! I am genuinely interested.
no 'spat' at all with Vic - just good old banter, long may it continue !
a good forums should inform, debate & educate etc and SFN seems to fulfill all the criteria - why should we all have to agree with each other ? that would be mega-boring...
here's an old merchant navy acronym for you Celeste "CDF" - in the old days my dad would have called it 'gumption' , any ideas ?
Thanks for that Andrew, I think!!
"takes years to get it right" I won't bother then as I don't think I'll live that long. It's gratifying to hear that your students didn't get it either. Genuine question. What makes you, an English man, get narked by presumably French customers tutoiement? You are serving them with fags, they are buying. Sounds simple to me but there is obviously some deep rooted thing involved here which I don't have a snowball in hell's chance of understanding.
"I could go on all morning expalining but I aint got hte time," Maybe another time then but I fear I would have to be seriously pi**ed to even begin to understand it (or for that matter, want to):-)
j'espère que tu passes une bonne journée
takes years to get it right, I get narked when certain customers me tutoient, it used to take me ages to explain to students and they never really got it either, in the end it's some thing gutteral and when the wrong one's used it's like nails being scrapped down a blackboard...!
I still vouvoie my parents-in-law even though they're closer to me than my own parents, respective brothers and sisters in law do too. I could go on all morning expalining but I aint got hte time, must get off to work ;-)
vouvoiement & tutoiement. Now there's another kettle of fish! What the hell is that all about. OK,I know you super star linguists will want to tell me all about it & the circumstances in which I should use it but I simply find it confusing & unnecessary. The other day some old bird who knew our house centuries ago invited herself in to see how we had refurbished the place & gave me a right royal rollicking when I addressed her using "Tu"!