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 working in the customer service. The helper in the store can call me "девушка", and that would be fine.
The actual reason is, that Russian lacks proper forms of adress. 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.
В советские времена в подобных случаях тоже говорили "девушка" или "молодой человек" ("юноша" прозвучало бы немного оскорбительно). Обращение "товарищ" использовалось на официальных мероприятиях или близко к значению "друг" в обычных ситуациях между людьми.
One day, I'll probably know enough Russian to read this, but then maybe not. So I don't bother. For the most part, long comments in Russian don't help beginners learn anything. I don't understand why people post them here.
" In Soviet times, in such cases, they also said "girl" or "young man" (the "young man" would sound a little offensive). The appeal "comrade" was used at official events or close to the meaning of "friend" in ordinary situations between people."
--Google Translate, boi!
"In Soviet times...also said "girl" ..."person"...something something...."official"....and "friend". -sincerely, a fellow beginner who could not make sense of it either.
Really young children would be called "little boy/girl", somewhat older boys and girls "kid". Anyone older, it gets complicated.
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.
I think in English I would say "Hey kid, ..." or just "Hi,..." "Boy,..." sounds abrupt to my ear.
What's the problem to write kid instead of boy? If anyone knows if there is a different word for kid reply me please.
I think "kid" is not standard English, and it is not equivalent to "boy" because it is not gender-specific. A different word for "kid" is "child."