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Re: terms of address

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  • starscrossing
    Thank you very much for the advice. I appreciate it greatly. This is one of those details that I find very important but very confusing because of the way
    Message 1 of 9 , Aug 2, 2003
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      Thank you very much for the advice. I appreciate it greatly. This is
      one of those details that I find very important but very confusing
      because of the way locative bynames work out in the society. On top
      of that, we're all supposed to be nobility in the first place, which
      makes it even more confusing, especially when you take into account
      the way the Society hands out titles and such compared to real life.
      Teaching aspects aside, there's definantly a game to the Society and
      one of the charm of going to events is seeing people in persona.

      Which brings us to:

      > What's wrong with "Lady Anne"? <G>

      Oh, the list I could make about what's wrong with Lady Anne! (just
      kidding) ;) To answer the question you were really asking (though in
      jest)

      I suppose there's nothing "wrong" with "Lady Anne," if that's how a
      person cares to play. For myself, it's an affectation for the purpose
      of persona. For me, it's not an "SCA" thing so much as it's an acting
      thing. (hey, if Will Smith can play James West, I can certainly be a
      Japanese woman. :grins: the wig is in the mail - or something like
      that.) It seems to me the minimum effort beyond reasonable attempt at
      period clothing. The fifteen yards or so of kumehimo that I need to
      make to make the one Courtier's belt I saw on the Japanese Costume
      Archive is beyond "minimum effort," but that's another story.

      Let me take it from another tack. How many times have you heard a
      native Spanish speaker call someone "Señor" or "Señora" instead of
      Mister or Ma'am, or a native French speaker refer to someone as
      Monsieur or Madame? Or even, for that matter, Herr and Frau from a
      native German speaker?

      I keep remembering a story I heard years and years ago from an
      aquaintance of the family, Nariko Hess. She told about how her family
      kept trying to suppress giggles as she introduced her husband to be
      to them as Hesso-san, which as she explained, is basically Mr.
      Bellybutton in Japanese. Why didn't she introduce him as "Mr. Hess"
      when everyone in her family speaks English, instead of softening his
      name and giving him a Japanese honorific? I'm not sure, but my first
      thought would be because Japanese is her native language and that's
      just how you do things in Japanese.

      It just seems more natural to me that a Japanese person would
      transfer their titles to the European people, just like Spanish
      speakers use their native titles, etc. There are people who know the
      difference around, so I'd like it to be as right as possible given
      the limitations of the languages involved and the SCA itself.

      Thank you again.

      Sabelina
    • Ii Saburou
      ... Walnut Grove-dono or Anne-hime would probably be the most appropriate. See http://www.sengokudaimyo.com/Miscellany/Miscellany.html and look at Modes of
      Message 2 of 9 , Aug 2, 2003
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        On Sat, 2 Aug 2003, starscrossing wrote:

        > Walnut Grove-dono
        > Walnut Grove-sama
        > Anne-Sama or Anne-dono

        Walnut Grove-dono or Anne-hime would probably be the most appropriate.

        See http://www.sengokudaimyo.com/Miscellany/Miscellany.html and look at
        'Modes of Address'.

        > Also, assuming that high mucky-mucky brass hat of indistinct sort
        > walks in the door (as has been want to happen in the kitchen, my
        > usual place of service) and I know not this most excellent
        > individual, save as Naninani-no-kami, what is the safest form of
        > address (as in a My Lord/My Lady equivalant)?

        Family Name + dono

        -Ii
      • Ii Saburou
        Okay, listen to Hiraizumi-dono. He knows much more than I. -Ii
        Message 3 of 9 , Aug 2, 2003
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          Okay, listen to Hiraizumi-dono. He knows much more than I.

          -Ii

          On Sat, 2 Aug 2003, Anthony J. Bryant wrote:

          > starscrossing wrote:
          >
          > >
          > > To use my dear friend (and mundanely a distant cousine of mine) known
          > > in the society as Lady Anne of Walnut Grove, should she be:
          > >
          > > Walnut Grove-dono
          > > Walnut Grove-sama
          > > Anne-Sama or Anne-dono
          > >
          >
          > You couldn't call her "Walnut Grove" anything. She's not the daimyo of Walnut Grove. She's only *from* there. By
          > default, you'd have to call her "Anne-sama" or "Anne-dono."
          >
          > >
          > > My gut instinct is Anne-sama may not be the most appropriate by the
          > > standards of the Japanese, but it fits both my relationship to Lady
          > > Anne and the situations I am most likely to address her (informal
          > > situations, as opposed to formal courtly ones).
          > >
          >
          > What's wrong with "Lady Anne"? <G>
          >
          > >
          > > Also, assuming that high mucky-mucky brass hat of indistinct sort
          > > walks in the door (as has been want to happen in the kitchen, my
          > > usual place of service) and I know not this most excellent
          > > individual, save as Naninani-no-kami, what is the safest form of
          > > address (as in a My Lord/My Lady equivalant)?
          >
          > When in doubt, if he's a prince or a king or the local baron, "Ue-sama" is safe.
          >
          > If you're not armigerous, you could call anyone in a brass hat "Danna-sama" (which is the closest thing to a generic
          > "sir" the Japanese got).
          >
          > Effingham
          >
          >
          >
          > UNSUBSCRIBE: E-mail sca-jml-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
          >
          > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
          >
          >
        • autumnriver
          ... known ... *blinks* Hey! Another Iowegian! From Deodar, no less! Hi, Sabelina! *waves* I remember you came up here for archery practice once. Good to
          Message 4 of 9 , Aug 2, 2003
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            --- In sca-jml@yahoogroups.com, "starscrossing" <starscrossing@y...>
            wrote:
            > To use my dear friend (and mundanely a distant cousine of mine)
            known
            > in the society as Lady Anne of Walnut Grove, should she be:

            *blinks* Hey! Another Iowegian! From Deodar, no less!

            Hi, Sabelina! *waves* I remember you came up here for archery
            practice once. Good to see you.

            Here's to more Japanese culture in Calontir! *cheers*

            --Tace of Foxele (Souma Tae)
            Riverwatch, Calontir
          • Anthony J. Bryant
            ... LOL! ... On TV and in movies, all the time. It s how directors/actors remind the audience that the speakers are foreign. But in point of fact, in real
            Message 5 of 9 , Aug 2, 2003
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              starscrossing wrote:

              >
              > Which brings us to:
              >
              > > What's wrong with "Lady Anne"? <G>
              >
              > Oh, the list I could make about what's wrong with Lady Anne! (just
              > kidding) ;) To answer the question you were really asking (though in
              > jest)
              >

              LOL!

              >
              > I suppose there's nothing "wrong" with "Lady Anne," if that's how a
              > person cares to play. For myself, it's an affectation for the purpose
              > of persona. For me, it's not an "SCA" thing so much as it's an acting
              > thing. (hey, if Will Smith can play James West, I can certainly be a
              > Japanese woman. :grins: the wig is in the mail - or something like
              > that.) It seems to me the minimum effort beyond reasonable attempt at
              > period clothing. The fifteen yards or so of kumehimo that I need to
              > make to make the one Courtier's belt I saw on the Japanese Costume
              > Archive is beyond "minimum effort," but that's another story.
              >
              > Let me take it from another tack. How many times have you heard a
              > native Spanish speaker call someone "Seor" or "Seora" instead of
              > Mister or Ma'am, or a native French speaker refer to someone as
              > Monsieur or Madame? Or even, for that matter, Herr and Frau from a
              > native German speaker?
              >

              On TV and in movies, all the time. It's how directors/actors "remind" the audience that the speakers are foreign. But
              in point of fact, in real life, I have never personally encountered it. One of the first things people in
              conversation classes learn is how to speak to (and address) people in the target language. I would never call a
              Japanese guy "Mr. Takahashi." I would call him "Takahashi-san." By the reasoning above, I must be Japanese. <G>

              If I'm speaking to a Frenchman or a German *in their language* I would definitely use language-appropriate address
              terms. I would not say "Miss Shultz, wo bist der WC?" nor would I say "Mister LaFleur, je n'aime pas des escargots."
              Likewise, if I'm addressing them in *English*, I would either use the English language address for consistency, or as
              a sign of politeness *their own*.

              Either way, the typical form of address seems to be -- to me, any way -- geared toward the language of the target
              being addressed, not the language of the speaker.

              >
              > I keep remembering a story I heard years and years ago from an
              > aquaintance of the family, Nariko Hess. She told about how her family
              > kept trying to suppress giggles as she introduced her husband to be
              > to them as Hesso-san, which as she explained, is basically Mr.
              > Bellybutton in Japanese. Why didn't she introduce him as "Mr. Hess"
              > when everyone in her family speaks English, instead of softening his
              > name and giving him a Japanese honorific? I'm not sure, but my first
              > thought would be because Japanese is her native language and that's
              > just how you do things in Japanese.
              >

              There's no honorific there (unless you mean "san"). Japanese is an "open syllable" language and doesn't have terminal
              consonants (except for "n", which is arguably a mutation of "mu" with a loss of strength of the vowel). A native
              Japanese can't *say* "Hess" without lots of practice. It becomes "Hessu" (U being the standard weak vowel) and still
              sounds a lot like "hesso".

              The addition of "-san" has nothing to do with the sound or the effect. "Mr. Hessu/o" sounds just as silly to a
              Japanese as "Hesso/u-san."


              Effingham
            • starscrossing
              Baron Effingham, Thank you again for your observations and input. You ve raised several questions for me and certainly given me quite a bit of food for
              Message 6 of 9 , Aug 2, 2003
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                Baron Effingham,

                Thank you again for your observations and input. You've raised
                several questions for me and certainly given me quite a bit of food
                for thought. :) I appreciate that greatly.

                --- In sca-jml@yahoogroups.com, "Anthony J. Bryant" <ajbryant@i...> >
                On TV and in movies, all the time. It's how directors/actors "remind"
                the audience that the speakers are foreign. But
                > in point of fact, in real life, I have never personally encountered
                it. One of the first things people in
                > conversation classes learn is how to speak to (and address) people
                in the target language.

                I have encountered it in real life. My family is fortunate enough,
                despite our wretched location, to have both friends and family who
                come from other cultures and other countries. It took me a good
                number of years to realize that not everyone in Iowa has New York
                Jewish friends to teach them Yiddish, or Great Grandfathers who spoke
                German, or ASL speaking cousins, or Swedish cousins who still come to
                visit from the Old Country, or Mexican or Korean Aunts, or Italian
                friends, or French friends, or even Mexican friends. I thought I was
                normal, and found out I was really very unusual and lucky. I've found
                out since that Iowa, apparently, is the center of the loaf of Wonder
                Bread - all white and about the same texture.

                Although the most common way to learn another language these days is
                in a formal language class, not everyone learns another language in a
                formal language class. Some just learn from other native speakers. I
                doubt there were many formal language classes in period. From what
                I've seen of the linguistic teaching materials from the Victorian
                Era, conversational language as we understand it today wasn't exactly
                the method taught then, or even earlier. For example, I learned most
                of my Spanish from my Tia, and while I learned family forms of
                address early on, I didn't learn Señior/Señiora/Señiorita until much
                later. (an oversight on my Tia's part, I think. She never expected me
                to use Spanish other than with her.)

                I've got two deaf cousins, and while I can hold up my end of most
                conversations with them, I'd end up finger spelling "Mister"
                or "Miss" because those aren't signs I've ever had to use with them.
                Signs in sign language are the foreign words, finger spelling is like
                using English to get your point across.

                Is your suggestion that the movie convention of inserting foreign
                words and titles into conversation has no basis in real life, or that
                it could be seen as demeaning to the cultural group being portrayed?
                Or am I misenterpreting the intent of the statement and is there no
                suggestion at all, just a statement that you've never personally seen
                the phenomenon? All three are worthwhile things to explore in the
                persuit of accuracy and persona.

                If it's not common, then we likely shouldn't do it based on a desire
                for accuracy.

                If it's demeaning, then we absolutely shouldn't do it out of respect
                for the culture.

                If it is common, but you, as a PhD and with letters in a foreign
                history, haven't seen it, then it may be because it's simply
                something not seen in academia, but more common to the less educated
                classes. If so, then it's still likely not appropriate for most
                Society persona, most portray the nobility that the SCA charter
                assumes us all to be, but it may be appropriate to less educated or
                lower class persona.

                Any of those, then, still leave questions on how to portray persona
                in a way that consistantly reminds other people that any of us
                (French, German, Norman, Japanese or Tuchuk [though I wonder about
                them. often. ;)]) are actually people from a culture very different
                than the one common to the modern world, particularly the Modern USA.
                For me, it's about the history, but the element of the SCA that's
                attractive to me is getting inside the head of that historic person
                and examining both the modern and the historic world from that
                person's mindset.

                There are huge differences between the Modern USA and the Historic
                World, let alone the Historic Japanese World. That's obvious just
                reading the archives: As I understand it, Ronin and Ninja are both
                pretty much "bad things" in the eyes of the Japanese, but they
                contain elements that appeal to our culture, the same culture that
                created and now idealizes the rugged individualism of the Old West.
                (Why do I think there's a paper in there somewhere?) Learning about
                those differences is one of the most interesting things we do, IMHO.

                > There's no honorific there (unless you mean "san"). Japanese is
                an "open syllable" language and doesn't have terminal
                > consonants (except for "n", which is arguably a mutation of "mu"
                with a loss of strength of the vowel). A native
                > Japanese can't *say* "Hess" without lots of practice. It
                becomes "Hessu" (U being the standard weak vowel) and still
                > sounds a lot like "hesso".
                >
                > The addition of "-san" has nothing to do with the sound or the
                effect. "Mr. Hessu/o" sounds just as silly to a
                > Japanese as "Hesso/u-san."

                I understand the linguistics involved, to a degree. It's similar to
                the reason that many native Spanish speakers place an "e" sound at
                the beginning of English words that begin with "S": in Espania, "s"
                is never a beginning letter. If it's at the beginning of a word, it's
                prefaced with an "e" sound - thus my Aunt's brother calling me
                Esabrina instead of Sabrina. I also understand "san" or "sama" to be
                the equivalant of the honorifics Mister or Miss/Mistress/Ms. which is
                inaccurate, to be sure, but as close as we've got in English to what
                I understand as the intent - polite forms of address. For example,
                members of my family down south call me Miss Sabrina. Same idea, as I
                understand it.

                The example, however, was sited more as a case of fitting the
                European name to the language at hand, as opposed to adapting the
                form of address to the name in question. We do the same thing all the
                time. As an English speaking person when I introduce my French
                aquaintance Mark Boucher in English, I introduce him as Mr. Boucher.
                If I introduced him in (gawd-awful) French, I'd call him Monsieur
                Boucher. If it were a language I were less familiar with the forms of
                address, for example. . . I can't remember a thing of the Russian I
                took, so if I were forced to function in (worse than my French)
                Russian, I'd probably say he was called Mr. Boucher or Monsieur
                Boucher (and then quickly beg off onto Spanish or English for the
                rest of the conversation.)

                It does beg the question, however, what makes a persona? Is it just
                the clothes and the attitude? If so, then what purpose do pages and
                pages of information about what kinds of titles to use in other
                languages (not just Japanese, mind you, but the French, Spanish,
                Russian and German pages, too) serve?

                If persona is attitude and clothes and if we're all speaking English,
                why should we call anyone by any title other than ones found in
                English? Is it to help others see the individual in persona? Does it
                serve any purpose at all? If not, then I'd be the first to happilly
                say let's just use English titles since we're speaking English and
                emphasize culture in the way we act.

                It would make it very simple for everyone involved.

                If my most indulgent and excellent source of information is Baron
                Effingham in his English persona he'd be Baron Hiraizumi (assuming I
                picked the right name) when wearing his Japanese garb and using his
                Japanese persona. All kings would be His/Her Majesty or King Thus-and-
                so and dukes would be His Grace or Duke Thus-and-so, etc, no matter
                what his or her nationality. And Lady Anne would be Lady Anne and the
                whole question would be moot - though the translations would still be
                interesting just to help point out the stratification of Japanese
                society, or the similarities between German and French nobility.

                That would seem to be the Most Logical Thing, since very few of are
                going to actually be speaking Japanese at events anyway, though I
                still like the idea of calling Lady Anne Anne-sama or Anne-dono. It
                appeals to me in a very non-period Anime sort of way. :insert wicked
                evil grin: There's something to be said for that, too.

                Sabelina
              • Solveig
                Noble Cousins! Greetings from Solveig! I am forgetting the provenance of Walnut Grove. Walnut grove could possibly be a rather nice toponymic family name. --
                Message 7 of 9 , Aug 2, 2003
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                  Noble Cousins!

                  Greetings from Solveig! I am forgetting the provenance of Walnut Grove.
                  Walnut grove could possibly be a rather nice toponymic family name.
                  --

                  Your Humble Servant
                  Solveig Throndardottir
                  Amateur Scholar

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