Tutoyer

When i studied Spanish in high school sixty years ago, we learned the second person familiar conjugations (tutear) but were given no practice in actually using them.  It was always, “¿Quantos años tiene Usted?”  And then fifty years ago when i studied French in college, we studied the familiar forms (tutoyer), but again did not use them in dialogues.  Oh no, it was  “Après vous, mon cher Alphonse.”  And immediately after that when i was in the Army in Germany trying to learn German i had become so neurotic that i was afraid to duzen (say “du” to) anyone for fear of getting the circumstances wrong and offending them, so i ended up saying “Sie” to everyone, even when totally inappropriate, as in “Es war gut für Sie?”

But finally, finally, when i started ruining my German by studying Dutch, i pulled it together and started using the familiar (jijen en jouen) from the start, which makes Dutch the only language in which i am familiar.  Of course i have to admit that being in my seventies and white haired, i can get away with saying “je” to just about anybody except the royal family….well, and God, since the Dutch, unlike the pushy Germans and English, would never never never consider themselves on a familiar pronoun basis with God.

Now i’m studying Spanish again, and this time, it’s “tu” to all my classmates.  So soon there’ll be two languages in which i’m familiar.

No language-appropriate pic today, so i’ll mention that there are some fabulous doorway treatments on Market Street.  Here’s a favorite:

Market Street door treatment

 

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