Festschrift in Honour of Christina Schäffner
Edited By Beverly Adab, Peter A. Schmitt and Gregory M. Shreve
Christiane Nord, Heidelberg: “You Can Say You To Me” – Organizing Relationships In Literary Translation
Christiane Nord Heidelberg “You Can Say You To Me” – Organizing Relationships In Literary Translation 1 Introductory remarks When Christina Schäffner and I first met at a conference in Finland little less than twenty years ago, English was the general language of communication, and it seemed quite natural that we were introduced to each other by first names. Af- ter the conference we kept up the contact in German, but it was difficult to find the appropriate form of address—first names usually require the T-form (du, dein) with regard to pronouns and verbs, and this seemed too intimate for such a short relationship between colleagues. On the other hand, the generic title (Frau) + last name + V-form (Sie, Ihr), which would have been the natural thing to use had we first met in German-speaking surroundings, would be too formal or even offensive after having been on first-name terms before. We decided on a com- promise, combining first names with the more formal V-form, which is not very common between German speakers of (almost!) the same age. It was not until a few years later that we could finally settle our relationship through the usual rit- ual indicated in the title of this paper, which needs a glass of wine (or other al- coholic drink) and the explicit transition from the formal to the familiar form of address. This is why I chose this topic for my contribution to a book in honour of Christina Schäffner, who has...
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