How German children refer to their parents
Do they use du or Sie?
They use du if they address one of their parents, mostly.
It goes like this:
• with close friends
• children until around the end of puberty and the beginning of adolescency
• all family members
• good acquaintances
• teenagers amongst each other
• God, but with a capital D, so 'Du' and not 'du'
• in all other situations, regardless of age, job, and social class. All with capital start letter.
• In Hamburg, there also is another Sie-variant: they use the forename and the Sie-form.
• People with a title (e.g. Prof., Teacher, Sir, etc.) always are addressed with their respective Example: ''Guten Morgen, Herr Doktor (Meyer)'', and ''Auf Wiedersehen, Frau Professor''.
• Women play a larger role: in a hall for example, one would not say ''Liebe Studenten'', but ''Liebe Studentinnen und Studenten'', or shortened to ''Liebe StudentInnen'' (no typing mistake).
• If you address someone with his or her job, then you use the form ''Herr'' or ''Frau'', e.g. : ''Guten Morgen, Herr Schaffner''.
• In formal contacts, Germans often will use ''Sie'' for a very long time.
You also use TU in Spanish/Italian when speaking with God. and VÓS in Portuguese..
when vós is used in Portuguese? are you referring to Brazilian Portuguese? I've never heard someone saying vós.. I'm just trying to know if there's someone who does that, when and how this useless pronoun of this enchanted language is used.
It's used in European Portuguese mainly, but used to be common in Brazil too before European portuguese and Brazilian Portuguese started diverging too much. There are many prayers that used vós/vosso/vossa even though they refer to one entity
Du is the singular form of the informal pronoun "you" in English, which is great if you want to talk to one parent directly. To refer to both parents, one would use the word "ihr" as it is informal and plural.
"ihr" is the nominative of 2nd person plural which is the informal "you". Example: "Ihr seid meine besten Freunde". It's only capitalized at the beginning of a sentence.
It also is one declension of the 3rd person plural which doubles as the formal "you". It's always capitalized. Example: "Entschuldigen Sie, ist das Ihr Buch?".
Sie is used when talking to someone you don't know, who is older than you, and/or you're trying to show your respect for them. This of it like this, would you call your dad Sir or your mum Madam? Same with using Sie to talk to your parents.
These answers are all correct. I use du when speaking with my family members, because they are familiar to me. Sie is for people you would speak formally to.
I had a conversation with a German friend about this. Mutti and Vati are like mommy and daddy. After a certain age it sounds really immature to use those words. One would use Mutter and Vater instead, but often, they don't use anything. They avoid constructions that would require naming their parents this way. There is no real equivalent to Mom and Dad. My friend hadn't noticed this but agreed when I asked about it.
I've also seen Germans avoid constructions that require Sie or du. It gets one past the awkward period when you're not quite sure which you should use, where one sounds too formal and the other too familiar (like with your boyfriend's parents). So rather than asking "did you like this book" you'd ask "is this book good".
Using Sie can be a way to create distance; like if you're really pissed at someone you might spit out with frustration "Was moechten Sie denn machen?" rather than simply inquiring "was willst du machen?" This is why Sie can get awkward when you're getting closer to someone. But as a foreign speaker people will understand you don't know the subtleties of it, and appreciate that you're trying to be polite by using Sie. So I'm not trying to cause stress, I'm just pointing out something you'll see in movies and such.
That might be regional, but I call my parents "Mama" and "Papa" even though I've been grown up for a long time now and most persons of all ages I know do the same.
I would never address them with "Mutter" and "Vater". That's what my parents called their in-laws (while their own parents were Mama and Papa) but nowadays you address your in-laws by their first name.
Good to know. In the US, my Dad addressed and my husband addresses in-laws as Mom & Dad. Some folks do first names; my husband actually did for a while. It was either when we got married or when my dad invited hubby to call him dad that he switched (I forget exactly when).