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Re: terms of address

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  • 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 1 of 9 , Aug 2, 2003
      --- 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 2 of 9 , Aug 2, 2003
        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 3 of 9 , Aug 2, 2003
          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 4 of 9 , Aug 2, 2003
            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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