Monday, March 20, 2017

"Tu" v. "Usted"

This year, I'm taking Spanish 2. But it was actually last year during Spanish 1 that I came across what I am about to share with you.


The Spanish language has two forms of the word "you." The formal term for someone who you don't know very well is "usted" and the familiar word for close friends, family, and children is "tu." If you were standing in line at Walmart and started a conversation with the person standing behind you, you would use "usted." However, if that person had a child and if you were addressing him, you would use the "tu" form of the word "you." The same goes if you are greeting a friend or family member. "¿Comó estás tu?" "How are you?" It shows familiarity between you and is a recognition of your closeness.

If you've ever read Genesis in a Spanish Bible, you may have noticed that in the Garden of Eden when God speaks to Adam and Eve, the word he uses for "you" is translated "tu." Even in the midst of delivering their punishment for their disobedience, he still says "tu."

Think about how amazing this is. The God of the universe, who spoke and the heavens, earth, and all its inhabitants were created, the God over all the angels, the God who is the Alpha and the Omega—the beginning and the end, called Adam and Eve by such an intimate name. Later, when Jesus was speaking to the multitudes, he called them also by this name. Consider the implications of such familiarity.

Remember the cases where you use "tu?" With close friends, family, and children. When God uses this word when speaking to us, He is calling us His family, and His children. This is so amazing! Think back to the days when people came before their kings and queens with petitions. They certainly would not take the familiarity to call their king by such a term. They would instead show utmost respect and honor. They wouldn't dream of being so familiar with their king, much less to have him call them by such a name. But our King, who we also bow before on trembling knees, who is so much mightier than any earthly king, calls us "tu."

Will we live as someone so close to God that He would call us "tu?"

NOTE: Happy Spring! Stay tuned for my new blog design. :)

8 comments:

  1. Good post! That's really fascinating!! I'm learning Latin right now, but I do know a little Spanish.
    A new blog design?? Yay! I think your blog is beautiful right now, but new designs are always so cool! I'll be looking forward to that!

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    1. Ah, Latin? How interesting!

      Yes, I usually change my layout at the beginning of each season. :) Stay tuned! Thanks for reading!

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  2. That is super cool! You have the gift of giving words meaning and emotion. I cant wait to read more of your amazing writing!

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    1. Thank you so much! This comment totally made my day!

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  3. Love this post, Bethany! So far, it's my favorite. Great comparison and your points of familiarity are well stated. Keep up the great writing!

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    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed it! It's always a pleasure to hear your thoughts. Thank you for your encouragement, Carla!

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  4. Interesting thoughts Bethany! I studied Spanish in high school and I remember wishing that English had formal and informal words like Spanish did. I think it is neat that they can imply respect without adding extra words. :)
    I look forward to seeing your new blog design!

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    1. Yes, I've found myself wishing the same thing! The other cool foreign language aspect I wish English had is multiple words to express your level of friendship with someone. German has multiple words for "friend", all with different meanings!

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Bethany