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Syntax, The English language, and other grammatical stuff

Car Fax

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I guess it's always easier, if you learn a language as a kid. But that sure are a lot of different variations. Are there any rules on how to determine who is a formal/informal high or low conversation partner? Or is it flexible, depending on how nice you want to be?

Formal/informal is situational, but high or low is quite strict. It's determined by age and social status. I guess that's a kind of remnant of hierarchical society.

A notable difference than other languages that have honorific forms is, for example in France or Turkey you probably can use intimate speech when talking with your grandpa, teacher, professor, as long as you're close enough to them. (Though I know next to nothing about those languages) It's also possible in Japan. In Japanese anime/drama some students use friendly speech to their teacher, or sometimes a student uses honorific speech against their same grade friends if they are not so close friends.

In Korea these things are not likely to happen. And this difference is problematic when you translate Japanese stuff to Korean... some people, when they see a student speaking very intimately to their teacher, think "what a rude kid!"

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