Observations on the use of the Formal and the Familiar Forms of Address in the German Language
Gruber, Julie A.
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As a native speaker of American English studying the German language and people, the theme of this work has been a source of much serious contemplation, both academically and in active use of German in Germany. I have been puzzled and fascinated by the concept of the familiar and the formal, and after personally encountering the conflict of choosing the familiar or formal forms of address, a common stumbling block for many non-native speakers of German, I was inspired to take a closer look at the purposes and reasons behind both. This paper will hopefully serve to clarify the differences for others as it has for me.