Give examples of words that English is missing

Sander   Mon Aug 22, 2005 10:31 am GMT
I 've send it. ;)
Candy   Mon Aug 22, 2005 10:35 am GMT
Got it, you Scandinavian news anchor, you!!
Sander   Mon Aug 22, 2005 10:40 am GMT
Warned you ... ;)
Sander   Mon Aug 22, 2005 10:42 am GMT
Just a question...

When I said 'warned YOU' what do you read for 'YOU' ?
(I know English doesn't make a difference so I'll take German as an example)

Do you read 'du' or 'Sie' ?

(or in Dutch , Jij/Je or U)
Candy   Mon Aug 22, 2005 10:46 am GMT
As we've been corresponding for a little while, and we're both young (presumably!!) I'd take it as 'Du'.
Sander   Mon Aug 22, 2005 10:47 am GMT
Do you think of this in English as well?!
Candy   Mon Aug 22, 2005 10:51 am GMT
Uhm no, not really. But kind of...
Difficult question....! ;)
Vera   Tue Aug 23, 2005 12:53 pm GMT
Yessss, Candy, it's one of the questions I often brood about: how do native English-speakers apprehend that famous English "you"? The question is not idle at all: it is very important for movie or book dialog translation: when is it time to swich to du, ty, toi etc. etc. It often comes that the moment seems to be chosen very awkwardly (my phrase 'seems' to be 'overworded', sorry, don't have a better version off hand).
Travis   Wed Aug 24, 2005 12:00 am GMT
One way to put it would be to base it on how one would enunciate and intonate "you"; in situations where one could pronounce it as [j@], and or palatalize a preceding consonant (and possibly remove the [j] in question), it should be treated as informal, whereas if it is used in such a fashion as that it is always a clear unreduced [ju] without any palatalization and or loss of [j], then it should be treated as formal or at least semiformal.
Uriel   Wed Aug 24, 2005 3:39 am GMT
I never make a distinction between a formal "you" or an informal "you" in thought. To me, "you" is a neutral term.
Viceline   Wed Aug 24, 2005 4:00 am GMT
I guess YOU is just like VOCÊ in Brazilian Portuguese. It can be both formal and informal. There is regional informal-pronoun TU[=thee] in some parts of Brazil but it is dying out...And there is a more formal expression O SENHOR [meaning Lord] but it does sound a bit dated...


''what did you say'' would be?

o que você falou? [neutral, both formal and informal]
o que o senhor falou? [formal, slighly dated]
o que tu falou? [local slang in some parts of Brazil, informal]

in Brazilian Portuguese
Uriel   Wed Aug 24, 2005 4:06 am GMT
I guess because the distinction doesn't exist in English, it doesn't even occur to me to consider the idea. But when I speak Spanish, I usually use the usted form, because anyone I'm inflicting my bad Spanish on is definitely a stranger, probably a client, and either way I want to be as polite as possible.
Vera   Wed Aug 24, 2005 11:34 am GMT
Thanks everybody, but formal/informal difference is not quite the same as vous/toi (Sie/du etc.) difference. The former is closer to polite/impolite/familiar address, while the latter implies the level of intimacy or kinship or friendship etc. But it seems to me now native speakers don't pay much attention to these nuances, being accustomed to manage without other forms. Am I right?

Meanwhile, in other languages switching from plural to singular form (or back) is often very special (thrilling) moment of conversation or correspondence.
Analice   Wed Aug 24, 2005 12:25 pm GMT
You in Spanish

well, Usted is formal in European Spanish and in Mexican Spanish, but it can be informal in Colombian and Chilean Spanish. it's plural Ustedes is informal in New World Spanish and Andaluzia but formal in Central and Northern Spain. Tu is informal in Spain and Mexico, but formal/arcaic in Argentina...Vos is arcaic in Spain and Cuba, but informal in Central America (excluding Mexico) and South America (excluding Peru and Equador) where is arcaic.
Uriel   Wed Aug 24, 2005 8:18 pm GMT
I'm usually only dealing with Mexicans.