I would posit that mommy and daddy are not necessarily the closest English translation. While in Spanish the more intimate terms are appropriate in the context of a language lesson, that's not what one would see in English. Mommy and daddy are terms used primarily by small children in the US, or at least used by close family members among each other exclusively in the recesses of the home. My adult daughter still calls me Mommy, but only on the phone or when speaking to me directly at home. She doesn't refer to me as Mommy when speaking to anyone else or when we are in public. One must keep context in mind, not just literal translations.
To make things even more complicated, I live in a predominantly Mexican/American area and families call their baby boys "papa" and their baby girls "mama" as well. It's kind of a backward affectionate diminutive. Even at a restaurant where an anglo waitress might call me "Hon" or "Darlin", the Latina will sometimes call me "Mama"--if she's older than I am. :0)
I agree. I am an adult and I call my mother Mommy (most often Ma) sometimes when speaking directly to her or when talking to my sister. It's kind of funny how it just flows out when I speak to my sister but it would never cross my mind to say to anyone else. I would never say Mommy when speaking to friends, acquaintances or other family. (she is my Mom or Mother).
I think Mama and Papa since spoken in public and used with non immediate close family members translates best to Mom and Dad. Madre and Padre translates to Mother and Father, very formal.
As an aside I do agree with the poster that the use of Daddy by adults spoken to the general public is a southern thing (mostly S.C.) not found in much use in other parts of the U.S. outside of small children or intimate conversations with ones father.
No, that's not quite right. It is not common to use “madre" and “padre" when directly addressing their parents. I wouldn't say 'no one' is correct, especially when not addressing them.
'Mommy' and 'daddy' are diminutive forms of 'mom' and 'dad'. 'Mamá' and 'papa' are more like 'mom' and 'dad'. And always use accents properly. Otherwise, 'mama' is a slang verb and your dad is a potato!
Also, speaking to the South Carolina use of 'Daddy' by adults (in public, or even at home in front of non-kin) I'm not sure if you're aware of this...
People who are not from the South not only won't do that, but they view that incredibly negatively. It isn't seen as affectionate; it is just thought of as “backwards".
I'm not making a judgement here, I just want it to be clear for people who are learning English. Adults openly referring to their parents as 'mommy' or 'daddy' is something that is mostly unique to some people in the South.
I've never heard wrinkly or oldster in American English. You hear "old fogey" or "old guy" or "old man", although only the last one means "father" directly. The others are "derogatory" terms for senior citizens.
As far as Spanish goes, I'm sure there are equivalents. Anyone know?
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"Para" is used here to indicate a recipient. According to http://www.studyspanish.com/lessons/porpara.htm (bookmark I find very useful) "por" could be used as well, but it would change the meaning of the sentence.
"It is quite important to learn to use these two prepositions correctly, because if you inadvertently substitute one for the other, you might end up saying something altogether different from what you had intended. Study the two examples:
Juan compró el regalo para María. Juan bought the gift for Maria. (he bought it to give to her)
Juan compró el regalo por María. Juan bought the gift for Maria. (he bought it because she could not)".
I can only speak for the UK, but I can't rembember ever hearing a native english speaker saying either Mama or Papa. In the UK it'd be be Mum, Mummy, or Mom, Dad or Daddy (may Pop, at a stretch, though that would probably be ironic usage to pretend to sound American.) Some parts of northern England and Wales they might say Mam. ("where's our mam?" "Down 't chippie"). I think in Ireland (Northern and Republic) they use "mammy" a fair bit... (based on snippets of conversation I've had with Irish in-laws). USA is an entirely different kettle of fish, and I have no idea if they use mama or papa there. I seem to remember Elvis had a song called "that's alright Mama"... Maybe a US native could let us know?
My dad is Papa (though my mom was never Mama), and I'm a native US English speaker. But I did learn around the time I was 7 or 8 to say "my dad" and "my mom" around other people, to avoid unnecessary attention.
Otherwise, ThanKwee's reply sounds accurate/typical. Little kids go through mama to mommy to mom, and sometimes papa to daddy to dad.
This gets to be really complicated as there are many uses for por and para, but "Mi mamá cocina para mi papá" means my mom cooks for my dad, saying that what she's cooking is FOR my dad (with the intention of him eating it).
"Mi mamá cocina por mi papá" would mean "my mother cooks for my dad" (because he's really busy right now and couldn't cook that particular meal or something). Another example would be, "compré un regalo para mi amiga," which means "I bought a gift for my friend [so I could give it to her]" while "compré un regalo por mi amiga," means I bought the gift instead of her, in her place (because she wasn't able to by it herself for some reason and she's probably planning on giving that gift to someone else).
Por and para are also used for a lot of other stuff. Here's a good link on when to use one or the other: http://www.studyspanish.com/lessons/porpara.htm