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Old 14.06.2011, 22:13
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höflich vs freundlich

I was told by a Swiss-German chap that "höflich" and "freundlich" are synonyms. If that really true ?
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Old 14.06.2011, 22:14
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Re: höflich vs freundlich

One is being polite and the other being friendly.
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Old 14.06.2011, 22:32
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Re: höflich vs freundlich

Not according to my native informant, who says that these two concepts are identical.

Rather like when you try to explain the difference between "safety" and "security", to be met with "ah, Sicherheit".

My question then is whether there is a difference between "friendly" and "polite" in Swiss Germans' heads ? I think that there isn't.
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Old 14.06.2011, 22:41
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Re: höflich vs freundlich

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I was told by a Swiss-German chap that "höflich" and "freundlich" are synonyms. If that really true ?
No it's not. But being freundlich is a good step toward Hölflichkeit.
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Old 14.06.2011, 23:06
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Re: höflich vs freundlich

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Not according to my native informant, who says that these two concepts are identical.

Rather like when you try to explain the difference between "safety" and "security", to be met with "ah, Sicherheit".

My question then is whether there is a difference between "friendly" and "polite" in Swiss Germans' heads ? I think that there isn't.
It goes even further: For Swiss Germans the concepts of "anecdote" and "generalization" are synonymous as well.
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Old 14.06.2011, 23:24
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Re: höflich vs freundlich

Höflich comes from "höfisch", which includes "Hof" - a king's court. So it originally means not just polite, but in an upper class way... I guess knightly would be the equivalent. Nowadays its used as polite, but that's still far from friendly.
I can be very polite without being friendly, no matter if I use English or German...in the words of Joschka Fischer (in his younger and wilder years, talking to the president of the German parliament): Mit Verlaub, Herr Präsident, Sie sind ein Arschloch!
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Old 14.06.2011, 23:43
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Re: höflich vs freundlich

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Not according to my native informant, who says that these two concepts are identical.

Rather like when you try to explain the difference between "safety" and "security", to be met with "ah, Sicherheit".

My question then is whether there is a difference between "friendly" and "polite" in Swiss Germans' heads ? I think that there isn't.

There is a HEAVY difference between "freundlich/fründlich" und "höflich" . polite/höflich is all forms and "etiquette" while friendly/fründlich is a positive attitude. And the difference in German speaking Switzerland really matters.
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Old 14.06.2011, 23:44
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Re: höflich vs freundlich

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It goes even further: For Swiss Germans the concepts of "anecdote" and "generalization" are synonymous as well.
hää ?
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Old 15.06.2011, 00:19
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Re: höflich vs freundlich

im with wollis....
in dutch it translates to hoffelijkheid. it is a bit derived from chivalry if im not mistaken. like holding doors, waiting to sit until the ladies sat down etc etc.

I still try to practice this daily and will hope to raise my (future) kids with it.
I remember in the USA I was hated by the guys for their lack of it and adored by the girls because I would do little things like that.

freundlich is simply being friendly and positive i think
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Old 15.06.2011, 05:24
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Re: höflich vs freundlich

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Not according to my native informant, who says that these two concepts are identical..
I suppose it depends on your definition of "identical concept". But no, the two words most certainly aren't synonymous.


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My question then is whether there is a difference between "friendly" and "polite" in Swiss Germans' heads ? I think that there isn't.
Absolutely.
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Old 15.06.2011, 08:47
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Re: höflich vs freundlich

Your local obviously is not very good at explaining languages, maybe his English (or Swiss German) is not up to par? It's like Wolli (and the others) said.
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Old 15.06.2011, 09:25
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Re: höflich vs freundlich

Oops.

I've just realised that I've spent the past nine years saying "courteously" instead of "hopefully"

That would explain some odd looks I've been given....
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Old 17.06.2011, 01:30
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Re: höflich vs freundlich

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My question then is whether there is a difference between "friendly" and "polite" in Swiss Germans' heads ? I think that there isn't.
If you look at pragmatics of language i can understand Bam's informant. "fründli grüesse" is more in usage by swiss germans than "höfli grüesse" > to greet politely
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Old 17.06.2011, 08:36
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Re: höflich vs freundlich

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If you look at pragmatics of language i can understand Bam's informant. "fründli grüesse" is more in usage by swiss germans than "höfli grüesse" > to greet politely

It isn't just a question of vocabulary.
The way we think is conditioned by the words that we use in our internal dialogue. The language in which we think partly defines who we are. I am a different person depending on which language I have switched on in my head at that moment. So I suspect that there is little or no differentiation between friendly and polite in Swiss Germans' world view. Friends are something you have for life and are almost family. Everyone else is a colleague or acquaintance. This is also reflected in the word colleague which in English suggests a professional colleague but which in German means colleague or acquaintance.
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Old 17.06.2011, 08:48
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Re: höflich vs freundlich

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If you look at pragmatics of language i can understand Bam's informant. "fründli grüesse" is more in usage by swiss germans than "höfli grüesse" > to greet politely
It either is dialect and spoken "fründlichi Grüess" or in Standard German and written "Freundliche Grüsse". Phrases like "Höflichst grüsst ....." were in use in the 18th and 19th Century.
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Old 17.06.2011, 08:52
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Re: höflich vs freundlich

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It isn't just a question of vocabulary.
The way we think is conditioned by the words that we use in our internal dialogue. The language in which we think partly defines who we are. I am a different person depending on which language I have switched on in my head at that moment. So I suspect that there is little or no differentiation between friendly and polite in Swiss Germans' world view. Friends are something you have for life and are almost family. Everyone else is a colleague or acquaintance. This is also reflected in the word colleague which in English suggests a professional colleague but which in German means colleague or acquaintance.
Once again, there is a clear and big differentiation between friendly and polite in the view of Swiss Germans.

No, a colleague in German is NOT just an acquaintance, but a colleague, be it professional, hobby-wise, club-member or colleague in military service. An acquaintance is "än Bekannte"/"ein Bekannter", and so a definite and clear difference.
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Old 17.06.2011, 08:56
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Re: höflich vs freundlich

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So I suspect that there is little or no differentiation between friendly and polite in Swiss Germans' world view.
Well, to put it bluntly, your suspicion is wrong.

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This is also reflected in the word colleague which in English suggests a professional colleague but which in German means colleague or acquaintance.

That's why there is a difference between "Arbeitskollege", "Kollege" and "Freund".
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Old 17.06.2011, 09:00
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Re: höflich vs freundlich

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No, a colleague in German is NOT just an acquaintance, but a colleague, be it professional, hobby-wise, club-member or colleague in military service. An acquaintance is "än Bekannte"/"ein Bekannter", and so a definite and clear difference.
Perhaps it's just a Basel thing, but I've heard "Kollege" used to describe even good friends, especially when the word for "friend" and "boyfriend"/"girlfriend" are interchangeable and a distinction is required.
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Old 17.06.2011, 11:16
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Re: höflich vs freundlich

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Perhaps it's just a Basel thing, but I've heard "Kollege" used to describe even good friends, especially when the word for "friend" and "boyfriend"/"girlfriend" are interchangeable and a distinction is required.
Do not forget that here, an old Schul-Kollege may be a very good friend, or after all the years only a "Kollege" nevertheless. Only few Militär-Kollegen become good friends, while Kollegen in clubs very often ARE good friends. But Kollegen tend to be in your Freundes-Kreis. A remark: I use the English hyphenating of longer words, since the Duden-Kommission some years ago officially allowed this ! as the words become much clearer that way even if nice old expressions like
Zürichseedampfschifffahrtgesellschaftkapitäne gradually get phased out
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Old 17.06.2011, 12:18
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Re: höflich vs freundlich

After all, a question that could also be resolved looking it up in Duden Synonym-Wörterbuch for the standard variant Hochdeutsch
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