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Question re: prayer

French translation: Before: mostly Vous, now both

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17:39 Dec 16, 2001
French to French translations [Non-PRO]
Religion / religious
French term or phrase: Question re: prayer
I have been asked to say a prayer in French (for a group of people). As all my religious instruction has been in English, I would have thought that one would use the "vous" form when speaking directly to God. However, recently I attended a church service in French, and was surpised to notice that prayers and hymns were said/sung using the more familiar "tu" form. I do not wish to offend anybody while reading my prayer. What is correct? Is it a matter of personal preference? Help!
Kateabc
French translation:Before: mostly Vous, now both
Explanation:
Hi Julia,

Until about end of 70's, mid 80's France was still very formal, I learned the prayer using Vous and I never heard it using tu.

However I recently learned that there are certain Free Church movements and certain congregations using "tu" as a principle (since a long time) and also as a principle refusing to say "Vous" to each others or in society.

I am not sure who they are, but I think they are Adventists, some protestant congregations (not from the "Main" protestant movement as such whether Lutherian or Calvinist) and some others.

Here in the region where I live in France most of the year I meet them frequently, but it is kind of embarrassing in France to ask people what is their religious belief, so I never asked. If you really need to know you can email me privately, my neighbour belongs to one of the small congregations and he is the one who explained to me that in his congregation it is a religious -almost commandment- to do that, reflecting thereby that all humans are equal and brothers and sisters.

I feel I should tell you it is important to do it right, because in France people who are not from these congregations (and do not know this "commandment" as I) find it kind of intrusive and weired, so it's important to know one's way around. Like to my neighbour it is so important that he says "tu" also to the police when they address him and gets himself into all sorts of misunderstandings. But he still feels he must do it.
Selected response from:

Carole Muller
Denmark
Local time: 13:39
Grading comment
Thank you for all the information, especially as it pertained to other denominations (I had not thought of that). I think that I will stick with "vous" as that is what I am most comfortable with personally.
Thank you Hazel, Serge and Maya for your answers too - all of which were a big help as well.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
5 +1Before: mostly Vous, now bothCarole Muller
4Les deux
Maya Jurt
4Vous...Serge L
4tu
Hazel Whiteley


  

Answers


3 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
tu


Explanation:
The informal form is used in Spanish. I think the idea is that we feel close to God, etc.

Google seems to think this is also the case in French.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2001-12-16 17:44:00 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Example: see http://jubil.op.org/4sitjubi/4parole.htm

Hazel Whiteley
Local time: 12:39
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in SpanishSpanish
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9 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
Vous...


Explanation:
I learned "Our Father" in French with "vous", not "tu":

Notre Père, qui êtes aux cieux,
que Votre Nom soit sanctifié,
que Votre règne arrive,
que Votre volonté soit faite
sur la terre comme au ciel.
Donnez-nous aujourd'hui notre pain quotidien,
pardonnez-nous nos offenses
comme nous pardonnons
à ceux qui nous ont offensés,
et ne nous laissez pas succomber à la tentation,
mais délivrez-nous du mal.
Ainsi soit-il.

Amen ;-)

Serge L.

Serge L
Local time: 13:39
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12 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
Les deux


Explanation:
Look at the links below. some prayer use the polite form, others not. Children's prayers always use "tu".

I would say that if your prayer take an intimate form, I would use "tu". If the community is rather a conventional one, use "vous" HTH
_____________________________
- [ Translate this page ]
Prières. ... 6r° Des Pervenches Blanches. Mon Dieu, je vous aime de tout mon coeur.
6v° Des Pivoines Blanches. Ô mon Dieu, regardez la Face de Jésus, et ...
www.tradere.org/biblio/therese/prieres/prieres-04.htm - 5k - Cached - Similar pages
[ More results from www.tradere.org ]

Prières - [ Translate this page ]
... Prières de Jean Calvin, « Même quand tout nous manquerait ... ne sois pas éloigné
de ta face. Exauce-moi, mon Dieu, mon Père, mon Sauveur, au nom de Jésus ...
www.protestant.ch/enpg/enpg_web.nsf/categ/CD435381DB90C4E6C... - 15k - Cached - Similar pages

Prières usuelles et traditionnelles es chrétiens et ... - [ Translate this page ]
... de chrétiens et chrétiennes (Carrefour Kairos) Prières Page web créée le 28
juin 2001 ... Amen! Acte de Charité. Mon Dieu je T'aime de tout mon cœur et ...
pages.infinit.net/rcc/prieres_usuelles.htm - 20k - Cached - Similar pages

Prières - [ Translate this page ]



Maya Jurt
Switzerland
Local time: 13:39
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman, Native in FrenchFrench
PRO pts in category: 4
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

2 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +1
Before: mostly Vous, now both


Explanation:
Hi Julia,

Until about end of 70's, mid 80's France was still very formal, I learned the prayer using Vous and I never heard it using tu.

However I recently learned that there are certain Free Church movements and certain congregations using "tu" as a principle (since a long time) and also as a principle refusing to say "Vous" to each others or in society.

I am not sure who they are, but I think they are Adventists, some protestant congregations (not from the "Main" protestant movement as such whether Lutherian or Calvinist) and some others.

Here in the region where I live in France most of the year I meet them frequently, but it is kind of embarrassing in France to ask people what is their religious belief, so I never asked. If you really need to know you can email me privately, my neighbour belongs to one of the small congregations and he is the one who explained to me that in his congregation it is a religious -almost commandment- to do that, reflecting thereby that all humans are equal and brothers and sisters.

I feel I should tell you it is important to do it right, because in France people who are not from these congregations (and do not know this "commandment" as I) find it kind of intrusive and weired, so it's important to know one's way around. Like to my neighbour it is so important that he says "tu" also to the police when they address him and gets himself into all sorts of misunderstandings. But he still feels he must do it.

Carole Muller
Denmark
Local time: 13:39
Grading comment
Thank you for all the information, especially as it pertained to other denominations (I had not thought of that). I think that I will stick with "vous" as that is what I am most comfortable with personally.
Thank you Hazel, Serge and Maya for your answers too - all of which were a big help as well.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Maya Jurt
39 mins
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