2009年12月29日 星期二

虛情假意、尊卑不分

猜猜栗子妹想說誰?是英語。何以栗會這樣說?不就是因為一篇文章。


《經濟學人》09年聖誕特輯中,有一篇題為「Hi there」的文章,談及科技、全球化與女權主義,令世界變得虛情假意、尊卑不分起來。英語貴為全球化語言,自然脫不了罪。


文章指出,英語在稱謂方面,比其他語言的選擇少,這令一切文書,都變得「平易近人」起來──誰叫這種語言有理無理,一句「親愛的」(Dear) 便能蒙混過關?


不過,能晉身全球化語言,代表大部分人都認同這種粗疏 (世界講平等嘛!) 可是,如此「一視同仁」,對於喜歡講親疏有別的物種,不免有點麻煩。試想想,在日常工作間,無論阿貓阿狗,均以名字相稱,英語中還餘下甚麼字,用來表示親密?!


對於最後一點,栗子妹極之認同。現今工作間多用電郵溝通,栗子妹收到上司的電郵,一般用 Hello/Hi 加名字起首,回答的時候,栗用 Dear 加名字便成 (算是禮貌了!)。可是有一位阿姐,她寫給栗的電郵全是 Dear xx,這令栗十分為難──該如何向她表達敬意呢?難道用 Dearest 乎?!


說到底,還是未洋化以前的中文好。


11 則留言:

  1. I think even in English, there are some differences. In the US, it is common to use Hi to address anyone. I guess there isn't the concept of (above or below). You can write Hi Mr. President. (The Mr. is for the office of the presidency) To me, Dear is for personal correspondence someone that is dear to you. I do see business email from HK that people always write Dear xxx, I just take it as British English. There are always culture differences that can't be easily translate and be understood by people of different culture.  Look at Chinese, how can you explain every bit of the culture to a foreigner? Many of them are not even fully understood by today Chinese. We just kind a know what it is and therefore impassible for us to explain to other.
    [版主回覆12/30/2009 08:17:00]堅: 我倒是沒想過 dear 是英式英語呢
    於我而言, 寫英文電郵真是苦差. 跟外國朋友談還好, 公司裡的, 全是上級, 都不知該如何表達自己的敬意才好 (阿姐嘛, 一定跟你講尊卑的 )
    文化解釋從來是一門高深莫測的學問, 輪不到我說話的. 我這篇純粹是想抱怨  (不過經濟學人那篇文看起來還蠻過癮的 )

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  2. In the US, Dear is hardly used.  You talk to the CEO, the same way to talk to the janitor. HK is kind of a strange place. It is a hybrid land mixed with Chinese and British history and culture. I guess it has to come up with its own form of communication. 

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  3. I disagree with 堅 that Dear xxx is hardly used in the US.  It is the standard opening line in ALL official business correspondence (yes, all, bar none). In my 36 years in the US, I'd never seen a single business letter by a reputable organization that did not start out with Dear xxx.  However, I do agree that in email, Dear would be considered overly formal, even bordering on the unfriendly. 
     
    On the contrary, when writing to a personal friend who's truly dear to the writer, one almost never uses Dear.
     
    Stay away from Dearest.  That's not what it appears to mean either. It is seldom appropriate and may convey an incorrect message. 
     
    [版主回覆01/09/2010 16:06:00]You know what, Teacher. I got an email from a writer complaining that I use 'Dear Ms x' to address her. She said it's too formal. However, I hardly know her and I feel so odd addressing her using her name.

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  4. 我可能一直用錯了, 無論寫給上司、同事或朋友, 一律用dear......
    [版主回覆01/09/2010 16:11:00]芝: 朋友可能不用 dear 的。據我所知,現在連名字也可省掉,只用英文名第一個字母稱呼便可。

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  5. 可能阿姐只是慣了用 dear 開頭, 並沒有想過 "尊稱" 的問題吧 ~~
    我個人覺得, 用電郵寫信, 是一種方便但又不正式的方法. 直接用名字開頭, 或用 hi / hello 導首, 不加 dear, 也沒問題. 如果真要表示敬意, 用正規的信件更為妥當 ~~
    [版主回覆01/09/2010 16:08:00]暖暖:我其實不想跟客戶那麼親近呢,但現在公司都只用電郵,沒人寫信了

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  6. I'm completely with Teacher here. When I was in US the emails which I send to my bosses always begin with "Hi Dr xxx," and I never got into trouble...
    [版主回覆01/09/2010 16:10:00]In this case, I must say I'm extremely Chinese, Raymond. I always think of 尊卑 and 親疏 in the office.

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  7. 新年到嚕~大家有新希望了嗎?大家都要快樂唷 .
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  8. 祝您來年事事如意~
    [版主回覆01/09/2010 16:15:00]新年工作順利,早日找到個好伴一同去看電影

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  9. 乏言以為電郵與信件只是傳遞的方式而已,基本上的格式仍要故及,開首以 Dear xx 甚為妥當,若然是對上司的,大抵以 Dear Mr. xx or Dear Ms. xx 便可,平行的(對同級或下屬)電郵,想 Dear Tom or Dear Jane (First name term) 較適合。其實於中式的公函之中,對上司用 “ 敬啟者 ” ,對平輩用 “ 逕啟者 ” 的,只是現今全都用以前者作為尊敬之意。
    Hello XX or Hi XX 較為口語化,相信亦是美式英語。乏言以為未必是最理想的格式,除非是即是通訊如 msn 之類。英式英語,大抵是較文雅(亦較 “ 虛情假意 ” )每每連你不大喜歡的人也用上 Dear XX, sincerely 之類的字眼。若論尊卑之分,相信英式英語中較明顯。
    [版主回覆01/09/2010 16:14:00]乏言先生:我剛收到客戶的投訴,說我用 Dear Ms x 去稱呼她太 formal 了。看來我得習慣一下 Dear + 名字 這個稱呼方法。
    說起來,很久沒用過 sincerely 這個字了。現在電郵的結尾,不是 Thanks 便是 Best (wishes),再不就是 regards。不知 sincerely 會否不日便被淘汰?

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  10. Oh, so your customer is not complaining about the "Dear", but that you used her last name as opposed to first name...?
    [版主回覆01/09/2010 16:39:00]No, Teacher. She complained about the salutation 'Dear Ms + surname'. She insisted I use her last name to greet her.

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  11. Ok, she wants you to use just her last name?  So, instead of Dear Ms Wong, she wants you to just write Wong?
     
    If she wants you to use her first name, like Mary, that's one thing.  But you don't want to just call her Wong.  In the west, surname-only is strictly for "efficiency", totally devoid of both formality and friendliness.   I think this lady is just plain weird.

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