Actually "you" or "ye" are the formal ones:
"..., thou was later used to express intimacy, familiarity or even disrespect, while another pronoun, you, the oblique/objective form of ye, was used for formal circumstances" "The fact that early English translations of the Bible used the familiar form of the second person in no way indicates "disrespect" and is not surprising. The familiar form is used when speaking to God, ..."
According to Oxford Dictionaries (http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/us/definition/american_english/thou), thee, thou, thine, etc. are all 2nd person singular. It didn't say anything about formal or informal. So... back to Esperanto... Was "ci" patterned after an informal usage as in Spanish, or a singular/plural distinction as in King James English?
@Tracy906994: According to my Webster's Third New International Dictionary and to a site about Shakespeare, we are both right on the "thou" vs "you" argument. And about the second part of your comment, Esperanto does not distinguish between singular and plural in either 2nd person pronoun unless you add a few extra words. It comes from a major characteristic in Indo-European languages in Europe derived from and influenced by Latin, which later evolved to convey differences in class and power in the Middle Ages apparently because of a plural's power to denote royalty and nobility (think the royal "we"), leading to informal and formal qualities of the two versions of the 2nd person pronoun, which is Esperanto took after with "ci" and "vi".
@Tracy906994: You are welcome. As a final note, I forget if this was in one of my links, but I remembered reading how it's ironic that nowadays "you" is for normal everyday interactions whereas "thou" is viewed as archaic, fancy, and maybe even posh, which completely switches around how "thou" was for informal use and "you" for formal use.
@Tracy906994: Google's origin feature says "thou" is from "thu" and "you" is from "eow" and "ge" in Old English, but in Middle English, "thou" was the informal variant and "you" was the formal variant of referring to a person that you are directly speaking to (i.e. second-person point of view). "Ye" was the plural variant of "thou", and "you" has always been both singular and plural. The difference between "thou" and "you" is comparable to Spanish's "tú" and "usted".
MailmaSpy, thank you for the links. I found the Shakespearewords one especially fascinating with all the examples. I don't recall any of that when I studied Brit. Lit. in highschool. But any way you look at it, something is lost in our modern usage of "you." Thanks again for the clarification on the subject.
Anyone else hear that dancas as if it was dansas? I don't hear any sts sound there. Just s.
As with many old folks, my high frequency hearing is gone. It plummets between 6 an 7 kHz. I also have tinnitus. Plus there's an audiobook of Gulliver's Travels wafting in from the other room, and the neighbors are doing the laundry, so I don't know if the t is not pronounced, or lost in recording, transmission and playback, or my hearing, or just too new at Esperanto.
I have difficulty at times distinguishing between the speaker's consonants. Since I am fairly early in this process, clarity is "tre grava" and even without tinnitus, loud neighbors, etc., I have trouble understanding the speaker in those "type what you hear" questions, especially the pronouns.
Actually, like spanish, it's the high tone at the end of the sentence what gives the "question" form. English just switch words (you are are you) or uses auxiliary verbs as do (Esperanto uses cxu as well but this is not the case).
So, again like Spanish, this could be either a question or an answer. For example (In esperanto/english/spanish so can spot the similarities):
As an answer
- Mi ne sxatas kiam vi dancas kune (I don't like when you dance together / No me gusta cuando bailan juntos)
As a question
Kiam vi dancas kune? (When do you dance together? / Cuándo bailan juntos?)
Morgaux (Tomorrow / Mañana)
Disclaimer: I am not an Esperanto expert, I just tried to follow logic here, so correct me if I'm wrong.
The answer would very likely be "every week-end", "in our weekly course", "at the end of the event", "after the next couple in the competition", "in the summer show"…
Noticed the English sentence is in the present simple (and Esperanto does not make a difference with present continuous)?