Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Good manners

As I write this, the Today Show is showing examples of people who seem to be so angry that they refuse to engage in civil discourse and instead use the first amendment as an excuse for rudeness rather than an instrument for sharing viewpoints.

People can disagree politely, that's what we do in court--our positions are different but we follow the established rules, provide evidence subjected to rigorous cross-examination and a judge makes a decision based on all of the information provided. My feeling in court is that if everyone in that room does his or her job well, the right outcome will occur. I believe that about political discourse as well. Outright lies, scare tactics and rudeness has no place from either side of the debate. We all will be the losers. I think the lessons we learned from our mothers and our grandmothers on politeness, manners and kindness are essential.

So, in the interest of good manners I have some things to learn over the next few days--polite phrases in Swedish, Estonian and Latvian:

Latvian
Hello Labdien
Hi Chau
Thank you Paldies
Please Ludzu
I'm sorry Atvainojiet
My name is ... Mani sauc ...
I'm from ... Es esmu no ...


Estonian

jah - yes
ei - no

palun - please; you're welcome
aitäh - thanks
tänan - thank you
tänan väga - thank you very much

tere - hi, hello
tervist - hello


Swedish

Hello: Hej.

Goodbye: Adjö/Hej då.

Yes: Ja.

No: Nej.

Please: Snälla/Vänligen.

Thank you: Tack.

That's fine: Det är bra.

You are welcome: Varsågod

Excuse me (sorry): Ursäkta mig/Förlåt

6 comments:

KGMom said...

Oh I so agree that things in public discourse have gotten completely out of hand. What are people thinking (or not thinking)?

Safe and enjoyable trip.

The Texican said...

A quasi political statement? Pappy
"Danger Will Robinson, Danger."

beth said...

like I said before...because nice matters :)

how fun to learn some new phrases....and yes, the court room is a place where everyone could learn a lesson or two just by observing :)

Ruth said...

Good manners are what oil relationships and keep them running smoothly. Hope your efforts at remembering the phrases are better than mine are when I try another language.

Sharon said...

WOW!!! Quite the mouthful -- hope you can keep it all straight;) -- so glad you have this opportunity to travel and connect....Blessings for safe travel,

Jayne said...

Amen sister. I can't for the life of me understand why fear and screaming are seen as ways to get one's point across.
Be safe on your journey and ENJOY!