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Thread: tú versus usted 2

 
  1. #1
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    Default tú versus usted 2

    Sorry.

    Tú versus usted in Spain, in a communication from management to employees. The employees are being directed to a training course, and informed about completion dates. The translation to spanish uses the tú form throughout. For example, "Es necesario que sigas...", and "Obtendrás má s información...". Is this correct usage in Spain? Seems a bit informal to me, but perhaps more customary in Spain?

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    tu= informal - frienship, affection, close relationship, familiarity
    usted= formal - respect, distant relationship, age difference

    In your case, I would use "usted".


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    Thanks for the response! I am aware of the distinction between tú and usted. I tend to agree with you, but this document was translated by somebody in Spain, so I thought that perhaps the general usage there might allow for tú usage in this case. So tú form in this case is wrong?

    Thanks.

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    If the person who translated it didn't use "usted" maybe he/she was told that the intention of the communication was making a certain situation a little more comfortable for the employees or simply emphasizing the familiarity or close bond between the boss and the employees. In this case, I guess the usage of "tu" would be correct.



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    Senior Member Hebe's Avatar
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    I am not from Spain but I have to say that in a communication from a manager to employees, I find it strange the usage of "tu". If it is addressed to various employees it should say "Uds". Otherwise, I could only picture a manager using "tu" in a personal and an informal communication to a single employee for internal purposes only.


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    totally agree with Hebe.

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    Senior Member Julio Jaubert's Avatar
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    I agree with Hebe. To use "tú" with employees (specially if they use "usted" to talk with the manager, teacher, etc.) could be understood as a way to show superiority.

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    Thanks all, for the responses - very helpful! Julio, are you saying that rather than emphasizes a close bond between employees and managers, the use of tú in this type of communication might instead be perceived as a way of showing superiority over employees. Do you think the communication written in this form would be received in a positive or negative way by employees?

    Thanks.

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    A manager should never use "Tú" to refer to an employee unless "it is an informal, personal conversation". The other way around is the same, an employee should always use Ud. while addressing the manager.
    I believe it is a sign of disrespect to use "Tú" in such type of communication and if it is addressed to more than one person, it is out of the question, "Uds" all the time.
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    Senior Member Julio Jaubert's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amelkin
    Thanks all, for the responses - very helpful! Julio, are you saying that rather than emphasizes a close bond between employees and managers, the use of tú in this type of communication might instead be perceived as a way of showing superiority over employees. Do you think the communication written in this form would be received in a positive or negative way by employees?

    Thanks.
    Hello amelkin!

    In Mexico, if you use "tú" with employees and they use "usted" with you, it's a way to establish a hierarchy. If a manager accepts the informal speech from employees, it could be understood as an excesive confidence. A manager must use the formal way in general and he/she could use the informal way in certain cases and with certain persons, but it's a matter of experience in manage people.

    In a manual or a course, it's preferable to use the formal way, may be the trainer like to use "tú", but it's better to start in a neutral-formal way of communication.

    As SandraT says, for a group, there isn't any problem as you can use "ustedes".

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