服务员

hx1997

Senior Member
汉语普通话 Chinese - Mandarin
[Moderator's Note: Split from this thread]
I don't think calling people by their job, e.g. 服务员, always makes one sound impolite or anything. It's just a matter of personal/regional preference. For example, in some parts of 南方, calling a bus driver 司机 is not considered a problem. However, in parts of 北方, such direct form of address is taken to be offensive. You are supposed to call the driver 师傅 instead. Does that mean 北方人 are generally more polite than 南方人?

In English, teachers don't usually get called with any special honorary title (I'm talking about "Mr. Thompson", not "Sir/Madam"), but in Chinese they are often addressed with the title 老师. Does that make English-speaking people less polite than Chinese-speaking people?

That said, there are certain jobs that most of us agree should not be used to call people by, because they are generally low-ranking jobs. So my point is, "when in Rome, do as the Romans do".
 
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  • albert_laosong

    Senior Member
    Mandarin
    I don't think calling people by their job, e.g. 服务员, always makes one sound impolite or anything. It's just a matter of personal/regional preference. For example, in some parts of 南方, calling a bus driver 司机 is not considered a problem. However, in parts of 北方, such direct address is taken to be offensive. You are supposed to call the driver 师傅 instead. Does that mean 北方人 are generally more polite than 南方人?
    Right on, I always use 师傅 in the north, but I heard them using 司机 a lot in both cantonese (pronounced seigei) and mandarin while I worked in Guang Dong:).

    As for 服务员, in the beginning (30 years ago) we (西安人)called waiters or waitresses 服务员, but later people probably found it a little weird to call them that, so it was changed to 小姐 (I forgot what to call waiters at that time:)) which was then thought to be a very polite word to address the young waitresses, and it was used for quite some time, I myself continued to use it until one day a friend of mine told me to stop using it because 小姐, I was told, was becoming the reserved term for sex workers. That was already 20 years ago, I still remember that scene, I felt quite embarassed then:)
    And I still remember the comedy show on TV I saw at that time, a waitress was called 小姐 by a customer who tried to be polite, the waitress got angry and said, 你叫谁小姐呢?你媳妇儿才是小姐,你全家都是小姐。

    So we went back to calling them 服务员, because we don't have many terms that can be used for them in the north, not like in Guang Dong they have quite a few good terms to use, like 美女,靓妹,小妹,帅哥 etc.
    服务员 is now used very commonly here in the north, and only occasionally I heard people using 美女 too like they do in Guang Dong.
     

    SuperXW

    Senior Member
    “服务员”的问题就写在它字面上:首先它是做“服务”的,然后它还只是个“员”,所以越来越多人觉得难听。
    对于职业和称谓的观感是随着社会变化的。50年前中国“工人”职业是很光荣的一件事,我父母小时的理想都是"当工人",谁要是感觉得他low,那在政治上是要被判为大逆不道的。现在觉得low,因为现在工人确实属于底层。
     
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    retrogradedwithwind

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    各地方言习惯不一样啊。有些词汇在一些地方十分罕见或者听起来不礼貌,但在另一些地方却是日常用语,每天都在说。比如北京人爱说“劳驾”。“服务员”也是北方非常常见的称呼。记得某篇文章里还写道,某地路上见面互相问候时说“用膳了吗?”

    有些东西实在没必要吵啊。语言习惯不一样罢了。
     

    SuperXW

    Senior Member
    我觉得这个确实涉及到意识形态。中国自古强调“人在社会(特别是家庭、国家)中的职能”,看重人对集体的作用,所以以身份称呼非常普遍。即使建国后直至文革破四旧,搞“无产阶级专政”,也只是把之前的身份地位颠覆了,但反而更加极端地强调各种title与人的关联性,你是“劳动人民”你光荣,你是“地主资本家”你就反革命。现代西方强调人的个体性,人人独立自主,工作可换地位可变,一个人就是“他自己”,所以更多以姓名相称,不认识的就“先生/女士”。
     
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    albert_laosong

    Senior Member
    Mandarin
    我觉得这个确实涉及到意识形态。中国自古强调“人在社会(特别是家庭、国家)中的职能”,看重人对集体的作用,所以以身份称呼非常普遍。即使建国后直至文革破四旧,搞“无产阶级专政”,也只是把之前的身份地位颠覆了,但反而更加极端地强调各种title与人的关联性,你是“劳动人民”你光荣,你是“地主资本家”你就反革命。现代西方强调人的个体性,人人独立自主,工作可换地位可变,一个人就是“他自己”,所以更多以姓名相称,不认识的就“先生/女士”。
    所以中国人相互之间的称呼也是一个挺微妙的事儿,不同的地方都不太一样,刚毕业在一个国营工厂,我们都习惯用“师”这个词儿,就是用陕西话说“王师”,“刘师”,但陕西话中的师不是念shi,而是si(轻声),即便科长之类中层也都用师,只有对厂长之类,采用“总”这个称呼。

    而在政府机关,估计就常用“张科”,“王局”,“刘处”之类的称呼。在南方民营企业里面,对技术人员一律称“工”,其他人员就很难找到一个合适称呼,往往就直接叫名字了,两个字的名字更好办,三个字的名词有时候直呼全称(南方人更多会直呼全称,北方人很少会这样),有时候就只说名,以示亲切。所以这种时候就觉得其实英文名更方便,我在公司一直用albert这个英文名,不管谁都可以这样叫我,除非是级别比较低的员工会称呼我职位。
    “服务员”的问题就写在它字面上:首先它是做“服务”的,然后它还只是个“员”,所以越来越多人觉得难听。
    对于职业和称谓的观感是随着社会变化的。50年前中国“工人”职业是很光荣的一件事,我父母小时的理想都是"当工人",谁要是感觉得他low,那在政治上是要被判为大逆不道的。现在觉得low,因为现在工人确实属于底层。
    所以现在一律叫员工,管理和员工。
    各地方言习惯不一样啊。有些词汇在一些地方十分罕见或者听起来不礼貌,但在另一些地方却是日常用语,每天都在说。比如北京人爱说“劳驾”。“服务员”也是北方非常常见的称呼。记得某篇文章里还写道,某地路上见面互相问候时说“用膳了吗?”

    有些东西实在没必要吵啊。语言习惯不一样罢了。
    没错,你一说就想起来北京人是爱说“劳驾”,虽然和北京人接触不多。陕西人出去逛,用陕西话叫“浪”,听起来很风骚一个词儿:):
    -你去阿达咧?
    -浪去咧。
     
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