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SY 23rd June 2003 09:09 PM

Language/culture question/survey
In one sense, this is a moot question since diyAudio is principally an English-language site. But we do occasionally break into another language or three...

My question regards the touchy subject of etiquette in forms of address. We all tend to first-name one another, without regard to differences in age or experience. But how are address forms in other languages handled?

If I were addressing someone in German on this forum, would it be too cold to use "Sie" or too forward to use "du"? Or the same question in French- there's maybe two answers from Canadians (who seem to call everyone "tu") and French (who are sometimes hesitant to even call their spouses anything but "vous"). Should all Spanish phrases be "usted" or is that too formal? How do people feel about forms like this in an informal, hobby, first-names, among-peers forum?

Damn, English is easy. You never worry about stuff like this. or about noun gender and adjective inflection. Just all the goofy spellings.

Veuillez reponder.;)

raindog 23rd June 2003 10:53 PM

good point:nod: after all my english is far from perfect but everybody seems to understand me(i hope) :)

pinkmouse 23rd June 2003 11:11 PM

Not so much to do with different languages, but definitely a different culture....

Has anyone else noticed the lack of punctuation, spelling and grammar in the Video forum? I suspect these are mostly our younger members, but the way they write is almost like they come from a different planet;)

SY 23rd June 2003 11:28 PM

well if ur a kid u always rite like ur text messaging and never use upper case or punctuation really u shudnt even be able to spell punctuation

at least thats the fashion around here i dont know about england

pinkmouse 23rd June 2003 11:36 PM


Originally posted by SY
well if ur a kid u always rite like ur text messaging and never use upper case or punctuation really u shudnt even be able to spell punctuation
:D Although I thought most phones had predictive spelling these days?

Quote: least thats the fashion around here i dont know about england
Yup, same here, and looking at the nationalities represented in Video, it seems to be the same all over the world!

It does make it difficult to understand their posts though, I find I sometimes have to read them through several times to get the meaning therein.

SY 23rd June 2003 11:50 PM

It's a sign of the Cranky Old Fart that I've become that I just won't even bother reading this kind of stuff. It's one thing if a guy from (say) Croatia fractures English while trying to express himself; I have sympathy and not a little admiration. The only word of Croation I know is.... well, I don't know ANY words in Croatian.

But when a kid from Birmingham or Los Angeles writes like that, he's showing symptoms of sloppy thought and careless communication, not to mention a selfish disregard for the problems others may have understanding him/her.

dhaen 24th June 2003 07:42 AM

I blame the phone companys..
Predictive spelling? The first thing many users do (me included) is to switch it off. It's an absolute nuisance if you have anything but the most limited vocabulary. Furthermore, the message maximum length means that abreviations are a must.

fdegrove 5th July 2003 11:11 PM


Basically what you do is you adapt the politest form to address anyone remotely European until they invite you kindly to resort to the use of the less formal forms.

Nobody will ever show disrespect for adhering to this basic rules of polite conduct, be that in a business relation or merely socially.

Most non English speaking people will already think highly of you for making an effort to speak/write in their native tongue, if you can do it in a polite, formal way, you can hardly go wrong.

To them it can make or break a business silly as it may seem to you, it's true IME.

Small detail: the verb is repondre, hence one should say in its most formal form in French:

Messieurs, dames,
Veuillez avoir la gentillesse de repondre a ma requete.
(Blablabli, blablabla...I know.)

Only trying to help,;)

SY 5th July 2003 11:23 PM

In face to face social situations, or in business, I've always done it that way. I wondered about the difference on 'Net boards, since if we had just met at a cafe, I'd probably be calling you "Monsieur deGrove." Bitte Herr deGrove, haben Sie die Gute mich antworten. (mich zu antworten?)

fdegrove 5th July 2003 11:46 PM



mich zu antworten?)
Correct, please be so kind as 'to" answer me.

Netiquette is quite different in that both parties communicate anonymously.

Not really my cup of tea, I always like to have personal contact in which case I keep it as polite as possible at least from within the context of that exchange.

Now, if you correspond over the net with business associates, the same rules of conduct would apply as they do for written correspondence, which seems perfectly logical to my mind.

Here, on the forum, we pretty much call each other by the name we're known to one another: I'd call you SY ( even when I know your full name) , people call me Frank or fdegrove because I expressly made it known to the forum that I don't mind being called by my first name and so on.
Makes sense to me.

Now, if we'd met in person and we'd called eachother by our first name for whatever reason and afterwards we'd communicate on a netboard in public again I would still stick with to old etiquette and address you just like any other member would out of respect for your privacy and expect you to do the same.

I haven't subscribed to any frenchspeaking/germanspeaking fora as yet but I can well imagine they all use the du, tu form same as we do in Belgium or Holland in fact I never came across anything different from what is around except that here we try to be polite and helpful...not always the case elsewhere as you may well be aware of.
It's all pretty much anonymous to most participants anyway...

I'm not sure if that has answered it for you but be my guest,;)

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