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La lengua de las mariposas - use of usted - question for Hispanists

Discussion in 'Modern foreign languages' started by Bungie, Sep 27, 2017.

  1. Bungie

    Bungie New commenter

    In the film La lengua de las mariposas, the teacher, when addressing Moncho (8 years old), uses the usted form. I would have expected him to use .
    Is he using usted a) to show respect for the pupil b) because of his egalitarian principles c) because a teacher using usted to a pupil was customary at the time the film is set? Thanks.
     
  2. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    As it's set in 1936, perhaps the regime in schools became more severe and formal in certain parts of Spain.
     
  3. lunarita

    lunarita Established commenter

    This article might be useful, seems to be a thing of its time.
    http://www.lavanguardia.com/estilos-de-vida/20121102/54354733397/el-usted-agoniza.html

    Y explica que la proliferación del tuteo, un fenómeno que se inició en países como Francia, Rusia, Italia y España en los años 40 y 50 a raíz del comunismo y del fascismo y sus planteamientos de “camarada” y “compañero”, ha adquirido en España unas dimensiones inimaginables en otras sociedades de nuestro entorno. “El boom del tuteo es un fenómeno español –no castellanohablante–, quizá porque España es un país sometido a vaivenes como ningún otro, y si durante años ha sido reticente a los cambios, después ha apostado con furor por estos; una encuesta de la Universidad de Michigan (EE.UU.) evidencia que España es el país, de 80 analizados, que más radicalmente ha cambiado en valores, actitudes, expectativas... y también en el uso de pronombres de solidaridad y poder”, dice Valladares. De hecho, en los años 40 y 50 el usted todavía estaba bien instalado en muchas relaciones padres-hijos, y en las de profesor-alumnos hasta bien entrados los 70.
     
  4. Bungie

    Bungie New commenter

    Really helpful. Thanks.
     
    lunarita likes this.
  5. pascuam49

    pascuam49 New commenter

    The use of usted in that context sounds to me a way of keeping the distance due between teacher and student. It was also very common for a teacher to address students using their surname and not their first name. What the article says about children addressing parents as "usted" in the past is true too. My mum, in her eighties now, always addressed her dad as usted, while I always addressed him as "tú".
     

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