1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Russian
  4. >
  5. "Мальчик, где твой старший бр…

"Мальчик, где твой старший брат?"

Translation:Boy, where is your older brother?

November 23, 2015



At least in the U.S., we wouldn't call a child "boy." "Little boy" would be okay if you're showing concern. If the child were black, he might (justifiably) take offense at being called "boy."


Yes, the same with "girl," Russians call waitresses or helpers in the store "девушка" all the time and it sounds very rude to me. It used to be ok to call someone "Lady" but I think that is kind of bad now too (American).


I'd just like to note that they are not called "девушка" because they work in the customer service. The helper in a store can call me "девушка" too, and that would be fine.

The actual reason is that Russian lacks proper forms of address. There were the words "сударь" and "сударыня" previously, but they were replaced with "товарищ" during the Soviet times. Then "товарищ" became mostly obsolete as well, but "сударь/сударыня" were too long out of use by that point unfortunately, so one can't use them without sounding weird.


Not relevant anywhere except the US.


Yes, in the US, addressing someone as "boy" or "girl" can be extremely offensive in some contexts, and I'd avoid it. This would be especially bad if you were addressing an adult person of color. But even with a child, I'd be more inclined to use "young man" or "young woman" as a form of address than little boy/little girl.


Really young children would be called "little boy/girl", somewhat older boys and girls "kid". Anyone older, it gets complicated.


Someone's been playing too much God of War.



I think in English I would say "Hey kid, ..." or just "Hi,..." "Boy,..." sounds abrupt to my ear.


I think that "Boy, where is your older brother?" is a bit unnatural... I would rather say: "Hey boy, where is your older brother?". What do you think? :)


A respectful way to do this in English is to say "Young man, where is your older brother."


Depends on the desired tone. Omitting the 'hey' instantly creates a slightly ruder implication. As if an adult was talking to a younger individual whom he didn't think was worth much anything. "Hey boy" can then be anything from very pleasant to very angry. But this is a very detailed difference, as neither is really incorrect or weird.


I agree that "boy, where is your older brother" is not natural. I would probably just say hey, where is your older brother? Or "excuse me, where is your older brother" I would first make sure I have their attention, so that they know I am speaking to them. If I were trying to get their attention quickly, I would probably say "hey" loudly, I don't think I would ever address a child using "boy" or "girl".

*I also just want to say the tone of your voice obviously can affect your intent, like if you were just curious, or angry.


For a lot of people, "hey" is an impolite word. We learned at our father's knee that "hay is for horses."


I personally would never use the word boy. For me, "Excuse me + statement" is fine.


This seems like something reserved for fathers addressing their sons (or boys they view as sons) about something they did wrong.


In the US is way more common to say Kid...


Didn't expect Kratos to be in Duolingo


yes it is unatrarul


"He is watching you."


That's Большой Брат!


Are большой and старший interchangeable in this situation?


No, In Russian "большой" is not used in place of "older".


"Child where is your older brother?" is wrong?


inhales BOI...


I agree, you need a modifier such as little if you address someone as Boy or Girl, for that matter.


"Разве я сторож моему брату?"


старший ends with a ий which is masculine, but I thought it was possessive because it is "your bother". Why is it not spelled старшый ?


Absolutely, Young man, where is your older brother? Respectful. I answered, young boy, just because I figured Duo wanted Boy and Boy alone is disrespectful and as pointed out, a slur. You might say, Little man or Little boy. Boy alone is ONLY disrespectful. Tarzan called his Son, BOY to show he was primitive with crude language skills!


Tarzan named his Son, BOY. #1 By name. #2 Young Man. #3 Son. #4 Little Man. #5 Young Boy. Leave Boy, to Tarzan!

Learn Russian in just 5 minutes a day. For free.