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Thread: Use of господин?

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    Tom
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    Use of господин?

    My second question about the Pimsleur course...

    Around lesson 20 of Russian I, it introduces господин as a form of formal address. I understand this word fell out of favor during the Soviet period, but at least one of my books says it is coming back into general usage.

    So how commonly is it used now? Is it only used for addressing foreigners who don't have a patronimic?

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    The way it was explained to me by my Russian friend, (I asked her if I should address my other Russian Friend's father as "господин Максимов" the first time I met him), she said that no, I shouldn't. If I ever met Putin, however, that I should address him as so.
    -Fantom
    "Alright, brain, I don't like you and you don't like me, so let's just figure this out and I'll get back to killing you with beer."

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    JB
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    The only place I ever hear it is on the train when people get on and announce what they will be selling in the aisles. Such as; "Ladies and Gentlemen! I have these wonderful tool sets......"
    Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore.

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    "Господин" is a VERY formal form of address these days. It was kind of formal (although in a dufferent way) and restricted in use even before 1917.

    Back then, if you were writing an official letter say, to head of a government, you didn't say "Господин Иванов." You would start your letter by saying "Милостивый государь Иван Иванович" or even "Ваше Превосходительство, милостивый государь Иван Иванович" (Depending on this person's rank). A lecturer giving a public lecture would also address his audience as "Милостивые государи и государыни" (not "Дамы и господа").

    These days, "Господин" is used more widely in business correspondance, but hardly as a "live" (oral) form of address. I mean, when you are actualy talking to a person, and it is not a terribly official situation, you say "Иван Иванович" or just "Иван". These days, people very often use just first name and say "вы", e.g. "Иван, не могли бы вы помочь мне?"

    However, you as a foreigner can safely say "Господин Иванов". Every Russian knows from movies that foreigners call everyone "Господин", "мистер" or "синьор", so it won't surprise anyone... (Power of cliches )

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    hilarious use

    Quote Originally Posted by fantom605
    The way it was explained to me by my Russian friend, (I asked her if I should address my other Russian Friend's father as "господин Максимов" the first time I met him), she said that no, I shouldn't. If I ever met Putin, however, that I should address him as so.
    -Fantom
    the most hilarios use of this word was in a notice on the wall of an apartmment block which read, "Господа! Не ссыте в подъездах"

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    Re: Use of господин?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom
    So how commonly is it used now? Is it only used for addressing foreigners who don't have a patronimic?
    I can't force myself to call anybody "господин". I understand, it's official now, but I still think it sounds like a mockery.
    Find your inner Bart!

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    "Damn it, don't call me 'господин', I work for a living!"
    -Fantom

    (That's what Sergeants say in the military if you call them "Sir")
    "Alright, brain, I don't like you and you don't like me, so let's just figure this out and I'll get back to killing you with beer."

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    Quote Originally Posted by fantom605
    "Damn it, don't call me 'господин', I work for a living!"
    -Fantom

    (That's what Sergeants say in the military if you call them "Sir")
    True story. Once I called a saleswoman "барышня" - "young lady" - and she was very offended. She told me: "Я вам не барышня, я вам - товарищ продавец!" (I'm not a young lady, I am a "comrad salesperson")
    Find your inner Bart!

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    Re: Use of господин?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gerty
    Quote Originally Posted by Tom
    So how commonly is it used now? Is it only used for addressing foreigners who don't have a patronimic?
    I can't force myself to call anybody "господин". I understand, it's official now, but I still think it sounds like a mockery.
    Я использовал это слово еще в далеких 1996-97-х годах. Но там как раз таки шли официальные переговоры, и довольно быстро я привык переводить это слово имено так. А в остальном господин translations.nm.ru описал все очень правильно.
    DO NOT READ MY SIGNATURE!

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