Separate names with a comma.
Discussion in 'Germany' started by boddhitree, Jun 10, 2020.
Is that word popularly used in Southern Germany?
Sorry, I'm not fluent in Bavarian .
I was just having a bit of fun with you here since "y'all" is term used in the Southern US.
Yeah, I know .
Actually, there is a specific word for 2nd person plural in German: ihr in the subject case & ihnen in the object case. English had a word but it died in the 14th to 16th century: ye. In modern English, unfortunately you serves as both singular & plural for the 2nd person; thus, many dialects have felt the need to re-invent a word to overcome this confusion. Youz guys, you uns, yous, y’all and many more are examples.
English lesson over.
The fun bit for me has always been that German actually has two different versions of a plural "you" (y'all). Ihr is the informal version, while Sie is for a formal audience. Both are "you" and plural, just depends on your relationship to the audience. These both decline into different cases (accusative, dative, genitive) in different ways: Ihr-euch-euch-euer and Sie-Sie-Ihnen-Ihrer.
So lots of opportunities to get it wrong: I once presented a paper to an audience of German Professors, and without realizing it, I kept using ihr... they were not amused. Luckily, I always have the "stupid American" get-out-of-jail-free card. Oddly enough, it still sometimes works.
I think this was more about the specific colloquialism than the grammatically correct German declination...
Of course the correct form of "you all" is "ihr alle", but colloquially speaking, you could use something like "Leute" (people) for "y'all". If you wanna be even more colloquial, you could also use "Leutz" instead.
Y'all coming? - Leutz, kommt ihr?
A more exact translation would be: "Kommt ihr alle?", but there would be nothing colloquial about that.
First of all, I have to admit to making a mistake in my above explanation of German.
This is correct. I for some reason never learned the formal version of ihr, which I today learned was Sie, which coincedentally is also the word in German for They-formal.
The main question is... when to use the formal or informal versions. Now you could be in a company like where my wife works, where they've worked with each other in German for 15 years and use only Sie and Herr/Frau [Last name] when speaking to each other in German but using each other's first names when discoursing in English, which they do often considering their Business Manager is from England and speaks no German.
So, to make everything clearer than mud, I thought this gif was apropos:
Or for the geekier-inclination:
Or if you know the person for awhile, you could always just ask, “Dürfen wir duzen?”
My general rule of thumb was always to regard all people my age and younger with “Du,” and anybody notably older or in a position of authority or service over me with “Sie.” There was once a time I was doing some research at an archive belonging to the Austrian Socialists and I accidentally used “Du” with one of the employees - luckily I corrected myself, and “du” is more acceptable to people on the political left. Now, had I said that around the conservatives, I would’ve been in trouble!
I love these charts!
But 15 years in this country working in numerous different environments, and I have never figured it out. If I am younger, but in a more senior position? If I am older, but lesser in "stature"? Who offers the informal? Is it an insult to offer? Is it rude if I don't offer?
I'm an academic, so there is also that added "ego" aspect with other German academics. If you don't give them "respect" with the formal, they get quite huffy. And offering the informal in the wrong situation sends the wrong message too. It is all a bit too much sometimes...
And how do Germans keep track of all of this? My (German) wife says she just "knows". I actually have a .txt document with names and whether I am on a formal/informal basis. Drives me insane...
One thing for sure, it’s a god-send when someone says, “Duzen wir!” (Let’s speak casually).
That is one of my favorite German phrases! Takes away sooooooooo much pressure.
And I thought that y'all was complicated.
In my own experience, if you are talking to an adult you do not personally, simply use Sie. Once you get to know the person better, switch to Du. If you are unsure about the latter, just wail till the person in question starts Duzing you.
“Du” and “Sie” are a bit hard to explain to anyone not speaking German too fluently and I am in this boat too.
The good thing is I totally understand when “Du” should be used and when it shouldn’t. Your direct boss, manager, the banker, the mayor of your town should definitely be referred as Sie, whereas your longtime freund could be referred as Du.
Same for the French language with “Tu” and “Vous”.
Shlafen Sie gut, alle.
I’m with you.
I think y’all Germans are way too strict and complicated.
I like your beer though.
Side note on Du and Sie ... it's almost ALWAYS the older person who is allowed to suggest that you change from "Sie" to "Du". Also, be aware that a relationship becomes much more intimate when using "Du", people talk then about different, personal subjects vs being on the level of "Sie".