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Thread: Use of вы in 19th century

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    Use of вы in 19th century

    Reading "Crime and Punishment" and noticed Raskolnikov addresses his sister with вы, even mentally:
    Дунечка, милая, ведь я знаю вас! Ведь вам уже дватцатый год был тогда, как последний-то раз мы виделись: характер-то ваш я уже понял.
    I remember VM saying something about addressing your parents with вы. Does the same thing go for siblings? The weird thing is that he's on a ты basis with Razumikhin.

    Besides this, I noticed they use прощай a lot(even when they intend to see each other again). The letter from Raskolnikov's mother makes an interesting distinction:

    Прощай, или, лучше, до свидания!

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    Завсегдатай kalinka_vinnie's Avatar
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    Aha! So now you too are reading crime and punishment! Couldn't resist it, eh? You must be barking mad. Welcome to the club!
    Hei, rett norsken min og du er død.
    I am a notourriouse misspeller. Be easy on me.
    Пожалуйста! Исправляйте мои глупые ошибки (но оставьте умные)!
    Yo hablo español mejor que tú.
    Trusnse kal'rt eturule sikay!!! ))

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    Yeah, I finished reading 12 Chairs a while ago and I needed something good and Russian to read. Read it in English a couple years ago, decided to experience it in the original this time

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    Завсегдатай kalinka_vinnie's Avatar
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    Try reading "Собачье сердце" by Bulgakov, it is an excellent book, almost finished it. Much easier than Dostoevsky
    Hei, rett norsken min og du er død.
    I am a notourriouse misspeller. Be easy on me.
    Пожалуйста! Исправляйте мои глупые ошибки (но оставьте умные)!
    Yo hablo español mejor que tú.
    Trusnse kal'rt eturule sikay!!! ))

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    No, I decided to read Crime and Punishment, and I'm sticking to it. Besides, I am not finding Dostoyevsky that difficult. And I don't have that book you mentioned anyway(and I don't like reading e-books of great length, unless they're about programming). "Master and Margarita" is on the shelf though, to be read after C&P

    Edit: Just looked on Lib.Ru for Собачье сердце and found that it's actually fairly short. I'll probably read it soon

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    So nobody can tell me any interestnig tidbits about forms of address in the 19th century? Even our resident philologist?

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    Great books!

    Then of course, you have to get to PB and walk the walks so to speak...
    Листьев не обожгло, Веток не обломало
    День промыт как стекло, только этого мало

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    I'm going to read "Doctor Zhivago" in Russian after that. Then I'll have to go to Russia and walk the several hundred mile walks...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pravit
    So nobody can tell me any interestnig tidbits about forms of address in the 19th century? Even our resident philologist?
    I can tell you a little bit about my experience in the 20th (about 1975)century:
    I tried to learn Russian in a (West-) German school. There was a married couple from the Soviet Union as teachers delegated to Germany for a few months. We where surprised to hear that they adressed each other with вы and asked our techaer why she talked to her husband as if it were a stranger. She obviousely felt quite embarrased about this question and then admitted that she and here husband used ты in private but that they both thought it more appropriate to use вы in public.

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    Hmm. But in the quote I have there, Raskolnikov is talking to himself. How could he possibly use вы to refer to his sister if he's just talking to himself?

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    Старший оракул
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pravit
    Hmm. But in the quote I have there, Raskolnikov is talking to himself. How could he possibly use вы to refer to his sister if he's just talking to himself?
    May be that's because he didn't see her often, he lived in a big city, away from his family, so she was a kind of stranger to him and he felt it.

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    That's kind of interesting how a person can go from ты to вы. I haven't reached the part where he actually talks to her, so I have yet to see if he really says вы to her.

    What's with all the прощай-ing?

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    It
    blame Canada

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    I read it, it is very good!
    Hei, rett norsken min og du er død.
    I am a notourriouse misspeller. Be easy on me.
    Пожалуйста! Исправляйте мои глупые ошибки (но оставьте умные)!
    Yo hablo español mejor que tú.
    Trusnse kal'rt eturule sikay!!! ))

  15. #15
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    They are all very good!
    Листьев не обожгло, Веток не обломало
    День промыт как стекло, только этого мало

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    Завсегдатай chaika's Avatar
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    on the usage of ты/вы:

    ... For instance, northern Russians are reputed to be somewhat more reserved in using [ты] than are southern Russians. In the nineteenth century it was common for all the peasants of one village to use ты with one another. Indeed, according to an authority the use of вы to refer to just one person was a borrowing from the French (tu/vous), unknown in Russia until about 1700.
    From a great book, I recommend without reservation:
    The Russian's World; Life and Language, by Genevra Gerhart. Paperback. She has since come out with a second, more thorough and more expensive one, The Russian Context. If you want to know what "everybody knows," this is the one for you.

    Check her website.

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    The Russian's World; Life and Language
    I remember that book! It was pretty good, indeed.

    I still find it kind of weird he would use вы with his sister.

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    Завсегдатай kalinka_vinnie's Avatar
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    Actually, Pravit, I tried to find your passage with the вы in it, but couldn't find it. I did however find this sentence in the beginning of chapter IV, right after he reads the letter of his mother:

    "Нет, Дунечка, всё живу и знаю, о чем ты со мной много-то говорить собираешься; знаю и то, о чем ты всю ночь продумала..."

    So he uses both forms. Maybe Dostoevsky wants to show with this that he is somewhat loony? Or maybe Raskolnikov is being ironic, using the formal form to make it sound more official...

    Can you tell me where you found the sentence? Mine was on page 46, maybe we have the same book?
    Hei, rett norsken min og du er død.
    I am a notourriouse misspeller. Be easy on me.
    Пожалуйста! Исправляйте мои глупые ошибки (но оставьте умные)!
    Yo hablo español mejor que tú.
    Trusnse kal'rt eturule sikay!!! ))

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    Maybe we do have the same book, I found the one you're referring to on page 46. The one I'm talking about is on page 49.


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