Skip to the content

ci vs vi

by adrianlfc9, February 22, 2013

Messages: 158

Language: English

adrianlfc9 (User's profile) February 22, 2013, 6:12:46 PM

how common is it to use 'ci' as thou instead of 'vi' as thou, one thing i find annoying in english is the fact that 'thou' and 'you' have merged into 'you'. (hence my using of the pronoun 'yall'

but is it socially acceptable to use 'ci' for the singular second person?

Roberto12 (User's profile) February 22, 2013, 6:30:25 PM

A few people use it, most don't, and I for one find it intrusive.

adrianlfc9 (User's profile) February 22, 2013, 6:46:51 PM

but dont most other languages have it? i know my second and third languages have it, infact my second has 4 versions of the word 'you' tu, usted, vosotros, and ustedes

erinja (User's profile) February 22, 2013, 7:17:24 PM

Almost no one uses "ci". I personally find it presumptuous and slightly offensive when someone insists on using it with me. I received an e-mail once from someone trying to open up a correspondence with me, who insisted on using 'ci' (and who said as much). I didn't bother responding. I agree that it comes off as intrusive, because it simply isn't done.

It doesn't really matter that other languages have this form. Lots of languages have things Esperanto doesn't have, and vice versa.

darkweasel (User's profile) February 22, 2013, 7:56:43 PM

Personally, when someone addresses me as ci, I don't know what they want to express. There are at least three possibilities:
  • They are trying to speak in a disrespectful way and to offend me.
  • They are trying to express some kind of informality and friendship.
  • They always use ci for singular.
You probably don't want somebody to interpret it according to the first option - and when you do, there are more effective and less ambiguous ways to express that. ridulo.gif

So basically, don't use it, it just isn't common and certainly doesn't convey the same nuances conveyed by equivalent pronouns in other languages.

adrianlfc9 (User's profile) February 22, 2013, 8:28:24 PM

point taken, vi it shall be

RiotNrrd (User's profile) February 23, 2013, 12:31:40 AM

adrianlfc9:point taken, vi it shall be
You have made the right choice. ridulo.gif

fstphane (User's profile) February 23, 2013, 1:24:59 AM

Djino (User's profile) February 23, 2013, 2:15:29 AM

I think it's a pity that "ci" has this pejorative connotation, but this opinion doesn't surprise me from english speakers, since you also use "thou" this way.
Mine is that the possibility to distinguish the second-person pronouns, singular and plural, is a good thing (especially for an international auxiliary language). As I see it, we should use "vi" just for deference (like in many languages).
Being informal doesn't sound insolent to me, but friendly. How does "intimate" sounds to you? Is it bad?

Breto (User's profile) February 23, 2013, 3:14:03 AM

I had no idea "ci" was used to be offensive. Good to know, I'd be a shame to be accidentally offensive, or to fail to recognize being intentionally insulted, for that matter.

Kind of a shame, though. Even if it were not standard usage in day-to-day speech, it seems like it would be nice to have for literary translations from languages with a T-V distinction. It'd be nice to have distinct singular and plural forms, too. Even English dialects abound with workarounds like "y'all", "youse", "you guys", etc. How are these things usually handled in translations?

(As an afterthought: This is also the first I've heard of "thou" being used pejoratively. As far as I know, thou isn't used in most dialects at all, unless a person is being intentionally archaic, or needs the extra pronouns to adequately explain the grammar of a foreign language. Of course, I might just be misled by my native dialect, I suppose.)

Back to the top