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[DE] Sie oder du?

lutz.meier says:

In den Translation Guidelines steht folgendes:

"1. Tone
Remember The Milk in English is written in a friendly, casual style[...]"

Daher ist es doch eventuell wesentlich angebrachter immer das Du zu verwenden, oder? Irgendwie finde ich, dass das Sie sehr fehlplatziert wirkt!

Posted at 12:59am on June 8, 2006

lutz.meier says:

English summary:

In German you have two forms of adressing people: Either you say "Sie" (formal) or you say "du" (more informal, this is how you are speaking to friends). Until now the formal "Sie" is used in all translations. I am just wondering if the friendly "du" wouldn't be better...

Posted 8 years ago

emily (Remember The Milk) says:

Lutz, I don't know German so I can't comment on which one would be better, but I did some quick research on which word other web applications are using -- Gmail seems to use "Sie". We'll leave this up to the German speakers to decide. I guess it's tricky because it's difficult to know whether people consider Remember The Milk to be their friend :)

Posted 8 years ago

lutz says:

I think this is just a decission if you want to appear "young and lively" (du) oder more "serious and respectable" (Sie). So its more a question of marketing or corporate identity than of finding the correct translation...

BTW: The translations of "Manage tasks quickly and easily" and "Get reminded, anywhere." are in the informal form (to be formal you have to write the "Sie" in every sentence you adress the person you speak to)! At least we should use the same form every time. In my new translations today I used the formal forms (Sie), because most of the translations are done this way.

Posted 8 years ago

lutz says:

I've found two english sites addressing this topic:

http://german.about.com/library/weekly/aa020998.htm
http://drupal.org/node/11276

But this is a very difficult topic and hard to explain to a non German speaker. I am a German and speak German every day scince nearly 24 years, but even I got only a 90% score in quiz on the first site! In the answer key (http://german.about.com/library/bldusieQZ1K.htm) they are saying you should use "Sie" when "talking to a colleague at work". In my experience at least to colleages of the same team or department you can say "du" (depending on the company). Also to salesmen in shops you might say "du" if they are at the same age. But this is more tipical typical for the "young generation". When (let me say) 40+ years old persons are talking you will hear the "du" not so often.

I would say it's a question how deep you want to feel "in touch" with your users or (as many open source translations do) you could ask the user how he want to be addressed...

Posted 8 years ago

emily (Remember The Milk) says:

Hmm, I guess as "Sie" has been used throughout the translation, we could continue using that for consistency -- and then we can look at the possibility of allowing the user to choose how they wish to be addressed, as that's a very cool idea.

Posted 8 years ago

lutz says:

OK! I've already started to look trough all phrases and make them formal if it has to be... (Sorry, but my English didn't get better with the the beer I've drunk tonight) ;-)

Posted 8 years ago

emily (Remember The Milk) says:

Cool, thanks for your help!

Posted 8 years ago

zweilicht says:

... this is a topic for more languages than german I think ;-)

... as I will use RTM in german I would prefer the informal "du" ...

... an option to change to "Sie" would be cool ...

... in my opinion, even the most formal acting persons like a personal agenda that talks to them with a "du" ;-)

Posted 8 years ago

lutz says:

Another reason why the informal way of addressing the user could be better is because in most cases it is shorter and uses fewer words...

Posted 8 years ago

klaus.wiesmueller says:

Lutz, you're absolutely right! The formal version with "Sie" often requires more complex phrases whereas the informal "du" allows for very direct and short ways of addressing the users. So, especially for a website, i would definitely recommend to use "du". But giving the user the opportunity to decide sounds REALLY charming... it's just much more work! ;-)

Posted 8 years ago

thierry says:

It certainly depends on the language.
Du in German is very informal, while its equivalents in Spanish or Dutch could be used without restriction.

Also, I noticed some inconsistency in the French: the site uses "vous", but the welcome message uses "tu", and this sounded really inappropriate (in French, using "tu" for a web site clearly conveys the message "this is a site for teens like yourself" or "you are part of a tight community" (alumni, religious group).

Posted 7 years ago

emily (Remember The Milk) says:

thierry, if you have some spare time, we would really appreciate it if you could help us with correcting inconsistencies that you notice -- you can send these to us at [old address removed] or correct them through the online translation system. Thanks!

Posted 7 years ago

thierry says:

I've started, but after hitting "submit" the menu is displayed again without the correction being taken into account (nor appearing in the list of my submitted translations, which remains at 0: is it a bug, or should I assume that they are only visible after your validation?

Or maybe again a problem with the firewall, as everything occurs in https:, but hitting submit calls an http: page, and I'm back again in the insecure protocol afterwards?

Posted 7 years ago

emily (Remember The Milk) says:

We manually approve corrections -- I've approved all of yours now :)

Once corrections are approved, they appear on the site the next time we update (usually the next day).

Posted 7 years ago

thierry says:

Ok, I'll continue with a few more, before leaving for one week holiday!

Posted 7 years ago

emily (Remember The Milk) says:

Great, thank you! Enjoy your holiday :)

Posted 7 years ago

thierry says:

Quite a few corrections added before leaving - but I don't see them online?

Posted 7 years ago

emily (Remember The Milk) says:

thierry, sorry for the delay -- all corrections should be online now. Thanks for your help!

Posted 7 years ago

thierry says:

Great!
Why not include the FAQ in the translation system now?

Posted 7 years ago

This topic has now been closed automatically due to a lack of responses in the past 90 days.