Addressing close friends

< Previous | Next >

RoseD

New Member
US - English
I'm a writer, and my current work in progress is set in Poland, circa WWII. I have a question about how a young person would address an adult who is a very close friend of the family.

I know adults would usually be addressed with the respectful forms of Pan or Pani, followed by first or last name. How might this change if the adult is a close friend? Is there a form of address that could distinguish him/her from the way other casual friends or acquaintances are addressed?

Thanks in advance, and I look forward to your answers!
 
  • kaczucha

    Member
    Poland Polish
    Hi,
    As I know there are no specific forms. 'Pan/Pani' is always ok. OR /it depends on the fact what the relations are / some 'close' people like when you call them by their first name. BE CAREFUL to use their first name only if you are not sure they like it. If your beloved auntie is possibly your manager - do not call her by her first name at the others.
    Sorry for my mistakes - feel free to correct my English.
     

    Karla_S

    Member
    US
    Polish, US-English
    Hello,
    I think that since your book is set during the time of WWII, you should be careful with young people calling adults (no matter how close) by their first names.

    Rather, they would be addressed in the third person - for example, if you want a young woman to ask her uncle "did you hear what happened," she would most likely say "Czy wuj/wujek/stryjek słyszał co się stało?" (Literally, "Did uncle hear what happened?")

    I'm looking forward to other ideas, but if you are writing about the 1930s and 1940s, this would most likely be the way young people would address those who are older.
     

    kaczucha

    Member
    Poland Polish
    Karla is absolutely right.
    During WWII it even could be 'Pani Matko, czy możecie mi powiedzieć?', 'Wuju, czy moglibyście mi powiedzieć? Wujno/ Wujko/ Józefowo, czy możecie / moglibyście mi powiedzieć?
    It WAS COMMON /no longer/ to talk to adults using plural verbs. Sometimes women were called not by their own names ,but by the female forms for their husband's names. 'Wujna/Wujka' = uncle's wife 'Józefowa' = Józef's wife , The verbs were the 2nd person plural form /present - możecie, future in the past - moglibyście/
    Czy możecie/Czy moglibyście mi powiedzieć? = Can you/Could you tell me?

    P.S. Pozdrowienia dla Karli - może jeszcze kiedyś tu na forum coś komuś poradzimy
     

    Thomas1

    Senior Member
    polszczyzna warszawska
    I am wondering whether a close friend of a family would employ terms restricted to be used rather only among family members... addressing a man as panie ojcu looks quite strange to me I must admit.

    It is also important to know what social level the people, who RoseD is talking about, come from since I should expect that different terms would be used by labourers, educated people, etc.


    Tom

    PS: welcome to the forums. :)

    EDIT: I have just noticed you are asking about the way a youngster would address a close friend of a family. The factors I mentioned are also important in this case. I am adding some more: the age of the friend and the person who addresses him her, sex of the friend.
     

    artamedan

    Member
    Spanish/Castellano
    First of all, if you are a writer, you should express yourself correctly. I think you mean : how should a young one ADDRESS HIMSELF TO an adult who ......

    Well, as it is written above already, in that time, in the forties, a young and also an adult person would speak to that close friend of the family in the 3rd person. In case of asking to do something an infinitive would be used with a word "proszę" before.
    Other case are the parents - even today in the country some chidren would address themselves to their father or mother per "wy", that means "Tato/Mamo + 2nd person plural". In the forties this could be also "Ojcze/Matko...."
    As far as a title or a name of a close friend is concerned, many combinations are possible. In some situations, a more affectionate word would be added before a title or a name, like : "kochany/a, drogi/a" .
     

    kaczucha

    Member
    Poland Polish
    Hi Thomas,
    You seem to me to be younger than I . Your comments are ok.,but I have never heard 'Panie Ojcu' - I even think it is impossibble - Voccativus /Wołacz/ for 'ojciec' should be 'Ojcze!' but I also haven't heard 'Panie Ojcze'. When I was a child on holidays at my Grandma I used to hear /in that village/ that younger people or any out of the family people addressed the adults even without telling their names, but using the plural 3rd person verb : 'Mogą?', 'Zrobią?','Powiedzą?' But the most frquent forms for women derrivated from their husband's names /Voccativus/:'Michałowo!','Władkowo!','Kacprowo!'...etc.
    thank you for welcoming :)
     

    Thomas1

    Senior Member
    polszczyzna warszawska
    Hi Thomas,
    You seem to me to be younger than I . Your comments are ok.,but I have never heard 'Panie Ojcu' - I even think it is impossibble - Voccativus /Wołacz/ for 'ojciec' should be 'Ojcze!' but I also haven't heard 'Panie Ojcze'. When I was a child on holidays at my Grandma I used to hear /in that village/ that younger people or any out of the family people addressed the adults even without telling their names, but using the plural 3rd person verb : 'Mogą?', 'Zrobią?','Powiedzą?' But the most frquent forms for women derrivated from their husband's names /Voccativus/:'Michałowo!','Władkowo!','Kacprowo!'...etc.
    thank you for welcoming :)
    Hi Kaczucha, :)

    Well, this what I was trying to say, and I inferred from the previous posts that it would also be possible. Pani Matko doesn't jar so much as that form, though. Anyway, I think you have brought up another element that is also important--where the action is set since whether it is a countryside, or a town may well influence the parlance used by people.

    Third person plural was used by my great-grand mother some 80 years ago, her daughter told me this was not the case when she addressed her parents, though.


    First of all, if you are a writer, you should express yourself correctly. I think you mean : how should a young one ADDRESS HIMSELF TO an adult who ......
    [...]
    That's a rater daring comment to a native speaker, but no skin off my nose. ;)

    Tom
     

    slavian1

    Member
    Poland, Polish
    I didn't live in the 20's nor 30's so I cannot be sure how people adressed each other. According to the literature and the movies which action was settled in this period of time, children used to call close friends of their family 'wujciu' (unc) or 'ciociu, cioteczko' (aunty) connected with 3-rd person verbs (singular or plural).
     

    RoseD

    New Member
    US - English
    Thanks for all the helpful replies, and my apologies for not getting back to this thread before now. I appreciate all the perspectives on this question, even though I don't have time to answer everything.

    I am wondering whether a close friend of a family would employ terms restricted to be used rather only among family members... addressing a man as panie ojcu looks quite strange to me I must admit.

    It is also important to know what social level the people, who RoseD is talking about, come from since I should expect that different terms would be used by labourers, educated people, etc.

    ....EDIT: I have just noticed you are asking about the way a youngster would address a close friend of a family. The factors I mentioned are also important in this case. I am adding some more: the age of the friend and the person who addresses him her, sex of the friend.
    Thanks for the welcome, Tom! :) The people in question are from a fairly small town, well-educated, but not well off (though it would be helpful to know the differences one would find in a village, between less educated friends in the same position.) The young person is a teenaged girl, and the close friends are adults, a married couple her family is close to.

    First of all, if you are a writer, you should express yourself correctly. I think you mean : how should a young one ADDRESS HIMSELF TO an adult who ......
    There is nothing wrong grammatically with either my usage or yours, as far as I am aware. But thanks for pointing it out, just in case.


    Part of my puzzle is figuring out how to transfer these forms of address to an English-language novel. The young girl can refer to this couple in Polish third person in conversation, but when they are mentioned in the narrative, would it make sense to simply write their names? If so, would that be first and last names, or just last name?

    Thanks again for all your kind help! I really appreciate it.
     

    Thomas1

    Senior Member
    polszczyzna warszawska
    Since it they are fairly close friends I would incline to use Slavian1's suggestions, wujciu/cioteczko. At least I have the same associations as he does with the forms of address used at that time. Another option could be Pan/Pani (sometimes plus a forename).

    Tom
     

    Dobz

    New Member
    Canada: Polish, French, English
    Well hello,
    I might have not understood what was meant in regards to using "wujciu/cioteczko" in reference to close adult friends but I only heard that used when these older people were close friends of the parents who by extension of friendship, are sort of considered like family to the child whom they've seen grow up as or almost as if relatives would. Its a very specific situation.

    If the girl is narrating, I would still express it in third person. Otherwise, it really depends of the setting....

    As for this, by Artamedan:
    "First of all, if you are a writer, you should express yourself correctly. I think you mean : how should a young one ADDRESS HIMSELF TO an adult who ......"

    The English word is fairly extent and there are different ways of using the language depending on context and situation, especially in literary expression!
    I recommend not to assume that there is one correct way of expressing ideas, as far as I know, that's how languages die.

    cheers to all
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top