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HeyHomie
09-20-2011, 07:57 AM
How do Spanish-speaking soldiers address officers? "Sí Señor" and/or "Sí Señora"? Do French-speaking soldiers say "Oui Monsieur" and/or "Oui Madame"? What about in languages that don't have direct equivalents to "Sir" and "Ma'am" (such as Japanese)?

naita
09-20-2011, 08:17 AM
In Norwegian you use the officer's title. "Yes, lieutenant!"

HeyHomie
09-20-2011, 08:29 AM
In Norwegian you use the officer's title. "Yes, lieutenant!"

Does Norwegian have an equivalent to "Sir" and/or "Ma'am"?

Floater
09-20-2011, 09:11 AM
Don't know exactly about Norwegian, but I suppose it is the same as in Swedish. You could say "Herrn" [Mister] and "Frun" [Mrs] (or "Fröken" [Miss]), but that would sound very archaic.

ETA And it also would sound very un-military.

Capitaine Zombie
09-20-2011, 09:16 AM
In Norwegian you use the officer's title. "Yes, lieutenant!"

Same thing in French, you use the title of the officer adressing you. There's no Sir thing, you aint his butler.

hogarth
09-20-2011, 09:27 AM
Same thing in French, you use the title of the officer adressing you. There's no Sir thing, you aint his butler.
That would explain all the instances of "Oui, mon capitaine!" in WW2 movies.

Quercus
09-20-2011, 09:28 AM
Same thing in French, you use the title of the officer adressing you. There's no Sir thing, you aint his butler.

[stereotypical French actor in English language movie]
"Oui, mon capitaine"
[/stereotype]

Nava
09-20-2011, 10:41 AM
How do Spanish-speaking soldiers address officers? "Sí Señor" and/or "Sí Señora"?

"Sí, mi ", both for officers and non-coms; gendered forms to be used where applicable (not all grades have gender differentiation).

Note that "sí, mi jefe" or "sí, mi presidente" are used only by foreign writers - it's not real Spanish; the real Spanish for those two would be "sí, jefe" and "sí, señor Presidente" (you could also address either one by (nick)name*). The "yes, my [grade]" is restricted to military grades.




* I'm not talking about a cutesy name, but cases like calling the current president of Spain "Mr Zapatero" - that's his second lastname so it's not how someone would normally be adressed - or "ZP" - the initials of the slogan for the campaign in which he got first elected ("Zapatero Presidente"). Someone whose slogan was "Zapatero Presidente" sure can't complain if people call him by the name [I]he used!

chappachula
09-20-2011, 01:36 PM
In the Israeli army, the standard word is "commander".
To anyone who is, well, your commander--(i.e. your boss,) no matter which rank..you say "yes, commander".

(But only in boot camp....after that, you can often just use first names like in any other job.)

naita
09-20-2011, 02:15 PM
Don't know exactly about Norwegian, but I suppose it is the same as in Swedish. You could say "Herrn" [Mister] and "Frun" [Mrs] (or "Fröken" [Miss]), but that would sound very archaic.

ETA And it also would sound very un-military.

This goes for Norwegian as well.

Fish Cheer
09-20-2011, 03:42 PM
In Norwegian you use the officer's title. "Yes, lieutenant!"While I've never been in the armed forces, I am quite certain that it's the same in Germany.

Alessan
09-20-2011, 03:58 PM
In the Israeli army, the standard word is "commander".
To anyone who is, well, your commander--(i.e. your boss,) no matter which rank..you say "yes, commander".

(But only in boot camp....after that, you can often just use first names like in any other job.)

Beyond the general "commander", officers are also occasionally referred to by their position, rather than their rank; or more specifically, by an abbreviation of their position. For instance, a battalion commander (Mefaked Gedud) would be addressed as Ha-MGD(pronounced "Magad"); a platoon commander (Mefaked Machlaka) would be address as Ha-MM (pronounced "Mem-Mem"). Israeli soldiers consider an officer's position far more important than his or her rank.

Of course, as chappachula noted, most of the IDF is on a first-name basis.

naita
09-20-2011, 04:29 PM
While I've never been in the armed forces, I am quite certain that it's the same in Germany.

I think it's slightly more formal in German, including a "Herr" - "Jawohl, Herr Kommandant".

Fish Cheer
09-20-2011, 04:37 PM
I think it's slightly more formal in German, including a "Herr" - "Jawohl, Herr Kommandant".Absolutely. My mistake, sorry.

Floater
09-21-2011, 06:29 AM
I ran into a young Scotsman, who had just left military service, yesterday and he kept on calling me Sir against my protests on the grounds that I 1) am older, 2) have grey hair and 3) have a beard.

shantih
09-21-2011, 10:42 AM
I think it's slightly more formal in German, including a "Herr" - "Jawohl, Herr Kommandant".

It's not so much that it's formal (although it is), it's that military and other titles don't replace your Mr. or Mrs. title. In America, someone who becomes a doctor of medicine goes from being called Mr. Smith to Dr. Smith. In Germany, that same man would go from Herr Schmidt to Herr Doktor Schmidt, and a woman would go from Frau Schmidt to Frau Doktor Schmidt.

Rysdad
09-21-2011, 09:35 PM
In the Israeli army, the standard word is "commander".
To anyone who is, well, your commander--(i.e. your boss,) no matter which rank..you say "yes, commander".

(But only in boot camp....after that, you can often just use first names like in any other job.)

Really? It would seem really odd to me to say (in Hebrew) the equivalent of, "Yes, Bob," when talking to an officer.

RickJay
09-21-2011, 10:12 PM
Same thing in French, you use the title of the officer adressing you. There's no Sir thing, you aint his butler.
In the Canadian forces, "Monsieur" and "Madame" are the accepted ways of addressing officers in French. I believe this practice was adopted from the British tradition, but, nonetheless, it's done "in French."

Terr
09-21-2011, 10:16 PM
Really? It would seem really odd to me to say (in Hebrew) the equivalent of, "Yes, Bob," when talking to an officer.That's how it works. My commander, when I was in regular IDF, was addressed as "Micky". My base commander was addressed as "Eitan" (his first name).

In reserves, it is even more relaxed.

Rysdad
09-21-2011, 10:37 PM
That's how it works. My commander, when I was in regular IDF, was addressed as "Micky". My base commander was addressed as "Eitan" (his first name).

In reserves, it is even more relaxed.

More relaxed? "Sure, schlamazl!"?

Hm. Do members of the IDF interact much with any US armed forces? How does that go over?

Terr
09-21-2011, 10:41 PM
More relaxed? "Sure, schlamazl!"?

Hm. Do members of the IDF interact much with any US armed forces? How does that go over?Since there is no chain of command involved, why would there be a problem?

chappachula
09-21-2011, 11:03 PM
Really? It would seem really odd to me to say (in Hebrew) the equivalent of, "Yes, Bob," when talking to an officer.
I was the guard on duty at the gate of a very small Israeli army base*.
At 2:00 a.m or so, a colonel in charge of our sector made a surprise visit to check us out. He pulled up to my gate, with his X-shaped rank insignia on his shoulders seeming to shine in my eyes bright enough to blind me (I'd never had any contact with anybody of his rank before).

He got out of his car, walked up to me and said "Hi, I'm Bob, the regional commander. I'm here to inspect the base.And by the way, have you guys been complaining about inadequate food supplies in the kitchen?"
I said, "yes".
Not "yes, sir".

* (guard duty is the lowest prestige job, often given to the lowest ranking privates, i.e. : me)

velomont
09-22-2011, 05:12 AM
RickJay,

I was just going to mention the same thing. I just finished 30 years as a CF officer and I simply assumed that the militaries of France did the same thing.

Noone Special
09-22-2011, 07:26 AM
More relaxed? "Sure, schlamazl!"?Uh, basically, yeah.... :o

I was the guard on duty at the gate of a very small Israeli army base*.
At 2:00 a.m or so, a colonel in charge of our sector made a surprise visit to check us out. He pulled up to my gate, with his X-shaped rank insignia on his shoulders seeming to shine in my eyes bright enough to blind me (I'd never had any contact with anybody of his rank before).(bolding mine)
That, dear, was no mere Colonel. That was a Brigadier.... :cool::eek:

It was this insignia (http://he.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D7%A7%D7%95%D7%91%D7%A5:IDF_tat_aluf.svg) -- right?

As others have noted though, it's still "Yes, commander!" in Boot Camp and in other Military Courses (like Officer training). Well, at least during the first week or two of officer training it was.

And there's really no Hebrew equivalent of the term "Sir" in the meaning of "Superior." The term "adoni" which is loosely similar is more a term of politeness than of servitude. We do hierarchy badly.

Arrogance Ex Machina
09-22-2011, 07:43 AM
I think it's slightly more formal in German, including a "Herr" - "Jawohl, Herr Kommandant".

We use this same format in Finnish - "Kyllä, herra alikersantti!". Women are all called "rouva" though, which translates to "Mrs.".

Giles
09-22-2011, 07:51 AM
... What about in languages that don't have direct equivalents to "Sir" and "Ma'am" (such as Japanese)?
There was a thread about three years ago about Japanese: How Do Japanese Soldiers Address Their Superiors? (http://boards.academicpursuits.us/sdmb/showthread.php?t=472147) Japanese is a language and culture very aware of social relationships, but (indeed) a Japanese soldier would just say "Ha", "Hai" or "Ryokai" (i.e., "Yes", "Yes", or "Understood") in response to an order -- there is no equivalent to "Sir".

Capitaine Zombie
09-22-2011, 07:59 AM
In the Canadian forces, "Monsieur" and "Madame" are the accepted ways of addressing officers in French. I believe this practice was adopted from the British tradition, but, nonetheless, it's done "in French."

Bad choice of words on my part, I meant "in the French Army" (I wonder how it plays in French speaking African countries though).

Alessan
09-22-2011, 08:04 AM
And there's really no Hebrew equivalent of the term "Sir" in the meaning of "Superior." The term "adoni" which is loosely similar is more a term of politeness than of servitude. We do hierarchy badly.


My little brother (a second lieutenant) was at an official Sukkot luncheon last year when he bumped into Gabi Ashkenazi (the IDF Chief of Staff at the time - a Lt. General). He smiled at him and said "Shalom adoni haramatcal!" ("Hello Mister Chief of Staff!"). Ashkenazi responded by grinning, slapping my brother on the back and saying, "Mazotomeret, 'adoni'?" ("Waddaya mean, 'mister'!?").

Of course, my brother's a special case.

RickJay
09-22-2011, 01:10 PM
Since there is no chain of command involved, why would there be a problem?
One does often interact with officers and men in other armed forces and it is polite and assumed that you treat the officers of other armies with the respect you show your own. Whenever I dealt with American officers I saluted them and addressed them as "Sir." There was a staff college in the base I worked at - well, near it, anyway - and I've probably saluted officers from a half dozen nations. To NOT do so would be very unprofessional and insulting, and your own chain of command would probably go apeshit on you.

In terms of such differences as exist, you just do the best you can; once an American officer was clearly a bit nonplussed when I didn't salute him indoors when I wasn't wearing my beret. (In the Canadian servie you do not salute if you are not wearing a cover.) But I just explained, and he was fine with that.

Terr
09-22-2011, 01:13 PM
One does often interact with officers and men in other armed forces and it is polite and assumed that you treat the officers of other armies with the respect you show your own. Whenever I dealt with American officers I saluted them and addressed them as "Sir." There was a staff college in the base I worked at - well, near it, anyway - and I've probably saluted officers from a half dozen nations. To NOT do so would be very unprofessional and insulting, and your own chain of command would probably go apeshit on you.

In terms of such differences as exist, you just do the best you can; once an American officer was clearly a bit nonplussed when I didn't salute him indoors when I wasn't wearing my beret. (In the Canadian servie you do not salute if you are not wearing a cover.) But I just explained, and he was fine with that.
I have only seen one or two American military personnel while in the IDF and AFAIR they had adjusted to the informal military atmosphere in Israel with no problem.

In general, I think the rule to follow should be "When in Rome..."

Mk VII
09-22-2011, 01:54 PM
That would explain all the instances of "Oui, mon capitaine!" in WW2 movies.

The 'mon' is not here a personal pronoun but an abbreviation for 'Monsieur le' (which you never use in full - unless you were addressing a Marshal of France, in which case you would use "Monsieur le Maréchal")

Capitaine Zombie
09-22-2011, 04:20 PM
The 'mon' is not here a personal pronoun but an abbreviation for 'Monsieur le' (which you never use in full - unless you were addressing a Marshal of France, in which case you would use "Monsieur le Maréchal")

Really? First time I hear that, I'm curious, where did you get this?

Rysdad
09-22-2011, 07:45 PM
One does often interact with officers and men in other armed forces and it is polite and assumed that you treat the officers of other armies with the respect you show your own. Whenever I dealt with American officers I saluted them and addressed them as "Sir." There was a staff college in the base I worked at - well, near it, anyway - and I've probably saluted officers from a half dozen nations. To NOT do so would be very unprofessional and insulting, and your own chain of command would probably go apeshit on you.

Yeah, that's what I meant. When I was in Germany, there were some German officers that we had to salute and refer to as "sir." I thought it might be the same between US and Israeli troops.

In terms of such differences as exist, you just do the best you can; once an American officer was clearly a bit nonplussed when I didn't salute him indoors when I wasn't wearing my beret. (In the Canadian servie you do not salute if you are not wearing a cover.) But I just explained, and he was fine with that.

Um, we don't salute inside, either, unless you're reporting to an officer--as in called into the captain's office, reporting for pay, or some such fashion. Just passing an officer in the hall--no salute.

Nava
09-23-2011, 03:18 AM
One does often interact with officers and men in other armed forces and it is polite and assumed that you treat the officers of other armies with the respect you show your own.

Israeli (or Spanish, French...) military personnel adressing American military personnel overseas will be doing so in English; that's quite a big hint that "you're not supposed to address those guys the same way as our guys". And when the Americans happen to be in Israel, it's them who have to get used to local mores.

Hypnagogic Jerk
09-23-2011, 01:21 PM
Really? First time I hear that, I'm curious, where did you get this?
I second your question; it sounds dubious to me.

Leo Bloom
09-25-2011, 12:48 PM
I was amazed when some of my Israeli friends told me about this first-name system.

So rank is specified only by uniform insignia--which is often stripped off, for anti-sniper locating.

So when soldiers (how many?) are told "take that hill" they will think "that's Moshe, do what he said," or try to figure out who Moshe is and whether he can issue this command?

Alessan
09-25-2011, 04:32 PM
Soldiers generally know their own officers. Soldiers and enlisted men in combat units work together, train together, eat together and hang out together. Familiarity isn't really a problem.

I don't know what happens in times of war, when units get broken up and men who are unfamiliar to each other find themselves thrown together. My guess is that in these situations, officers lead by sheer force of personality - if you're the one who's got his shit together, you should be in charge, no matter what your rank is.

Noone Special
09-25-2011, 05:03 PM
Soldiers generally know their own officers. Soldiers and enlisted men in combat units work together, train together, eat together and hang out together. Familiarity isn't really a problem.Also, officers come up through the ranks -- same Boot Camp, same initial training, etc... and then they get chosen to go to Officer training and very often they return to the same unit in which they were before -- so they're really already an organic part of the unit rather than being "dropped" on top.

I don't know what happens in times of war, when units get broken up and men who are unfamiliar to each other find themselves thrown together. My guess is that in these situations, officers lead by sheer force of personality - if you're the one who's got his shit together, you should be in charge, no matter what your rank is.I can't speak for the Ground Forces, but in the Air Force this is the way things work at all times -- the Pair or Foursome Leader pilot is not the highest ranking one, but the one who is currently considered the best and most "in practice" by the Squadron staff. This means that a high-ranking reservist or HQ brass doing periodic training with his squadron will fly #2 or even #4 (#3 is the leader of the Second Pair in a foursome, so is "above" #2 in a sense) even if he happens to be the Commander of the Air Force.

mac_bolan00
09-25-2011, 07:02 PM
are there still soldiers addresing each other with the phonetic "kamerad?"

constanze
09-26-2011, 05:29 AM
are there still soldiers addresing each other with the phonetic "kamerad?"

Um, it's been some time since the DDR was dissolved, so even if they used the comrade adress instead of Genosse (which was the proper communist greeting in East Germany), that custom is long gone.

Actually, I'd think more of the old song "Ich hatt einen Kameraden (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ich_hatt%27_einen_Kameraden)" which dates back to the Napoleonic wars and is for memorials, but not everyday adress.

What other countries were you thinking of that might use comrade as form of adress?

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