https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DanFarber1

Question about "The Traitor" story

Hi.

In that story they say Euch and Ihr, rather than dir, du, Sie.. Why is that?

Thank you

July 19, 2019

16 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MarkusRF

I don‘t know the story but it‘s an old form of formal addressing. It‘s mostly used if you want something to sound medieval.

July 19, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DanFarber1

Thank you!

July 20, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Robert-Alexan

The only modern use of these super polite personal pronouns is Ihre/Eure Majestät, Ihre/Eure Exzellenz etc. I'm not even sure how these pronouns are (or were) used correctly but if you were working at a Royal Court, for the Swiss Guard, for a bishop, or an embassy you would use these pronouns maybe quite regular.

July 20, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/David904136

There are still Germans who work for nobility. Some friends of mine work in the wine industry and business cards often bear coats of arms. While royal titles are out-of-bounds, there are still Prinzen and Fursten und Grafen in good measure.

July 20, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Robert-Alexan

Don't forget the partly German speaking Belgium and Luxembourg and the German speaking Liechtenstein, which all have royal/ducal families who certainly converse in German at times.

Fun story. Visited a museum in castle near my hometown. The ancestors of the family which still lives their once reigned a small duchy in Germany. Heard the employees of that museum talking about a damaged roof and that they needed to inform the boss about this issue. Among themselves, they said something along the lines Wir müssen Seine Durchlaucht informieren. And I was amused, cause I thought they used Durchlaucht in order to mock the ducal heritage. I was absolutely sure that the owner of the castle would be addressed as Herr Xy. Now, enter the "Duke" [or "Prince" (?)] (who – let's be clear here – ain't a Duke or Prince anymore cause the German nobility and all noble titles have been abolished in 1918). He was just a regular friendly grey-haired older man. And these guys really addressed him as Seine Durchlaucht. For real. My reaction was mix of astonishment, bewilderment, amazement, shock, disapproval and disgust.

July 21, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/David904136

Durchlaucht and Hoheit are forms of address still in use for those who work for Hochadel. They aren't kidding!

There are mediatised nobles all over Franken. No Herzöge or higher, but Graffen and Fürsten in abundance. There's a little stretch of road near where my friends live that has a Graf and two Fürsten within 10 Klicks! My friend's husband works for one of the Fürst's son. The old guy has retired from the business and spends his time making anti-LGBTQ remarks in the media. He's probably still angry about the Church ending the patronage system.

They have no legal standing, but they are allowed to incorporate their title into their surname. There are limits, no Könige or Großherzöge, but Herzog, Prinz and Furst are allowed.

July 21, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Robert-Alexan

They have no legal standing, but they are allowed to incorporate their title into their surname. There are limits, no Könige or Großherzöge, but Herzog, Prinz and Furst are allowed.

  1. it's not a title.
  2. Noble titles were abolished. That doesn't mean that it's unlawful to call any person in whatever way one wishes. (which helps to mollify the next two points I will make)
  3. When these former noble families had to choose a "regular, civil" surname after 1918, many families incorporated their lost title to the surname. That means e.g. that – like in every other family – all family members bear the same surname Prinz von Bayern (or so – deviations for female members are suitable), despite the fact that not everyone would be a Prince if the old laws still existed. The normal way of addressing someone would be Herr Prinz von Bayern (or so). However many are addressed (or even worse: introduce themselves) in a (often anachronistic) old-style. Like: Prinz Luitpold von Bayern (wrong: Prinz cannot be used as a a title) or just von Bayern (cannot leave out random elements of your surname) or Prinz Stephan (cannot use Prinz and just the first name as if it still was a title). [just random examples – don't know if these guys exist). Sometimes this is done because their surnames are too lengthy, too often it's a political statement.
  4. From a republican and democratic view it's hard to swallow that some people still address these people with a title or special courtesy pronouns. Even worse if the ex-noblemen demand or encourage this behavior.
July 22, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/David904136

As MarkusRF says, it's an old-fashioned form of formal address. The German translation of the Hobbit that I read used it extensively.

"Okay", on the other hand, does not seem old-fashioned, does it?

July 20, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hoges.110

I did the Traitor Stories last night! That was the daughter from hell, nicht wahr? When the ihr and the euch were being used, I think the King was using the plural. He was talking to both the daughter and the cook at the same time. "You (both) have betrayed me," kind of thing.

July 21, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/David904136

Entschuldigung, aber Liesel war die Schwester, nicht die Tochter, des Königs.

Manchmal ist Euch benutzt im Gespräch mit nur dem König, z.b.
„Jemand hat gerade versucht, Euch zu töten, Bruder“, sagt Liesel.

I do dislike disagreements with such kind people as yourself and I also am paranoid about writing German as I'm sloppy; I usually get a tactless German put-down and I wind up deleting my posts. :( I'm hoping you'll be kinder and no one else will notice. :)

If you've a mind to, see if you can find a copy of "Der Kleine Hobbit". It's much more fun than the original English. I'd gladly loan you mine, but, well, you know. . . Half-way around the world. :)

July 21, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hoges.110

Uh..oh... I usually end up listening to the stories several times. Last night was obviously the first for 'The Traitor!' As for books, I am reading 'Die Fünf Freunde' at the moment. Totally riveting! By the way, please feel free to correct me at any time! I really welcome it. Tschüss my noble friend...❛¿❛

July 22, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/David904136

They normally are, but they are also the "royal we" as it were.

You'll notice the king addresses his wife and sister with "Ihr" but the cook with "Sie". It's well done until Liesl blurts out "Okay", wrecking the whole mood - am I the worst pedant in the whole world? No, I'm sure I'm not.

Tolkien is not everyone's thing, but the German translation of the Hobbit is really charming. The translation of the Lord of the Rings was, well, not charming. Nothing wrong with it, just didn't have the same feeling.

That's a series isn't it? Which one are you reading?

July 22, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hoges.110

I am reading 'geraten in Schwierigkeiten.' I have read so many, I finally realized they are all nearly exactly the same! But the books are mainly just the children's very 'dialecty' dialogue. You don't really learn proper German from them. Sorry, but I am definitely not into hobbits. Tried to read 'dumbed-down concise version for students' - and didn't understand a thing! I have the book and CD of 'Der Sandman.' Just discovered this during clean out. Will give that a go. Tschüss!

July 22, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/David904136

I suppose it might be a bit difficult to order things from eBay or Amazon out there in the Pacific. Then again, surely there are Australian companies that serve Samoa, or should I go have a look at a map?

Enjoy your Freunde and the Sandman!

July 22, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hoges.110

I get them online, sent to marine researchers who travel back and forth and then wait impatiently! (can take 2 months). ❛¿❛

July 22, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/David904136

Well, I think I understand your devotion to duoLingo better. I suppose one can frolic among the palm fronds only so long.

July 22, 2019
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