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Don & Doña

 
 
Pitter
 
Reply Sat 14 Jan, 2006 08:46 pm
Well I'm trying to sort it out. There seem to be three facets to it. Class: I am a patron so I would never address a mayordomo though older than myself as Don. Age: A person older than yourself is Don or Doña but not if it's a she and she's a waitress, cleaning lady etc. In that case she's "Niña". Confianza: You are friends with people more or less your contemporaries, no Don or Doña used in addressing them nor with members of your family. Señor is used as a letterhead but almost never in verbal communication. This is according to Colombian usage
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 1,885 • Replies: 11
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jespah
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Jan, 2006 09:36 am
So if we were introduced (assuming not by first names only, and that we are the same class), you would be -

Don Smith or Señor Smith, depending on our relative ages?

And I would be Doña Jones or Señora Jones?
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Pitter
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Jan, 2006 12:33 pm
No I take it back. Señor, Señora etc. are used in introductions where last names are used. Don and Doña are only used with first names.
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jespah
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Jan, 2006 03:32 pm
So you would be Don Steve (sounds odd to these American ears) and I'd be Doña Betty*. Smile

* Not our real names. At least, I don't think you're named Steve. Smile
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Francis
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Jan, 2006 03:51 pm
Pitter is right.

You could say Don Manuel and Doña Isabel...

But Señor and Señora Philbis Laughing
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jespah
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Jan, 2006 03:53 pm
Gracias, Don Francis.
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Francis
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Jan, 2006 04:00 pm
De nada, Doña Jespah.
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Pitter
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Jan, 2006 05:36 pm
Now there ya go. Asi es...
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jespah
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Jan, 2006 06:05 pm
Recuerdo un poco de Español. Un poquito!
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fbaezer
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Jan, 2006 01:19 pm
Colombians are famous for being so formal!
This sound like 1940's Mexico (or the odd-sounding and wildly popular in South America 1970's TV show "El Chavo").

Here, if you call "niña" to any cleaning woman who's not at least 30 years younger than you, she takes it as an insult.

Don is used for respect, so it must be given back (and it's used very seldom). Señor(a) is used way more often.
The only person I call Doña is my mother-in-law; thus, she gives me the Don (but she sometimes forgets Smile ). We both use the formal "usted", not the informal "tú", even when we joke.
Last year I had some builders remodelling my house. They called me "Don F."; in return, I gave the "Don J," to their head (the father, they were a family) and "maestro" to the others.
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Pitter
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Jan, 2006 02:05 pm
I have noted here that "tu" seems to be used only amongst the educated class. The rest of the world uses "usted" for everybody except small children and then only sometimes.
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fbaezer
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Jan, 2006 09:25 pm
Pitter wrote:
I have noted here that "tu" seems to be used only amongst the educated class. The rest of the world uses "usted" for everybody except small children and then only sometimes.


That's a typical Colombian trait.

Here it's strictly a confidence thing. If confidence has been built, then you use the "tú"; with a waiter, a passerby, a bank teller you don't know by first name, you use "usted".

Lately the use of "tú" is getting to be way too common.
A similar thing happened in Argentina during the Dictatorship: now everyone uses "vos".
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