Swan Tower (swan_tower) wrote in little_details,
Swan Tower

Shanghainese honorifics needed

I need three (or so) honorifics in Shanghainese that can serve as equivalents to certain Japanese and Mandarin terms (already chosen by other circumstances). It seems better to ask here than to go trawling through a dictionary, since actual usage is hard to determine from a simple dictionary entry.

(My apologies if the diacritical marks don't come through correctly on the vowels.)

First, I need the basic counterpart to Mr./Mrs./Ms./Miss: daily use for adults, essentially. The Japanese equivalent set for this is san, and the Mandarin is xiānshēng (male) or nüshi (female).

Next, I need something more respectful, that tends to be used for individuals respected for their learning. The Japanese equivalent set for this is sensei (which doesn't so much mean "teacher" as it is respectful address for various people, including teachers) and the Mandarin is lăoshī.

Third, I need something on the order of Lord/Lady, i.e. distinctly formal and possibly old-fashioned (that part isn't necessary, but also wouldn't be a problem). The Japanese equivalent set for this is sama; I don't have a Mandarin equivalent to cite.

It would also not hurt to have a few more: one that is uber-formal and old-fashioned, that would be seen as outranking #3; one equivalent to the Japanese senpai, used for a senior student to oneself; and one that would be used for the speaker's own teacher. (This may or may not be the same as #2. I'm told shifu can be written two ways in Mandarin, and one can be used to show respect for the addressee's wisdom and skill in general terms, but the other one implies a direct relationship between teacher and student. I'd like something along the lines of the latter, if such a thing exists in Shanghainese.)

Also, can anybody tell me whether Mandarin and/or Shanghainese speakers omit honorifics when speaking about a member of one's own group to someone outside the group? I know that's done in Japanese (uchi/soto), but not if it's a common practice elsewhere.

Thanks in advance, and please do feel free to suggest variant possibilities, especially if they express particular cultural practices that would differentiate this linguistic community from the others I've named.
Tags: ~languages: chinese
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