In French, is "Mademoiselle" now considered rude like "Fräulien" is in German?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by foidulus, Jan 15, 2009.

  1. foidulus macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2007
    #1
    Going to see a friend soon who lives in France, but I'm just curious if she would take offense to being called "Mademoiselle" even though she is young and unmarried.

    In Germany the word "Fräulien" is now considered a bit offensive, partially because the suffix "lien" is a diminutive, but I have no clue if it works the same in French but was hoping someone here knew.:confused:
     
  2. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #2
    AFAIK, it's equivalent of calling someone "miss" in English.
     
  3. weckart macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2004
    #3
    It's probably more to do with the fact that it initially highlighted that a woman is unmarried. This might be perceived to be unflattering to a woman past a certain age, so to avoid embarrassment all women began to be addressed as Mrs. Apart from that, the word Fräulein is now a euphemism for prostitute, so best avoided unless you "unwittingly" want to cause offence.
     
  4. foidulus thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2007
    #4
    And I do avoid it(never called anyone by fraulien), but different cultures have different rules, which is why I was wondering if it was rude in French. My French teacher in high school always said that if you didn't know the marital status, use "Mademoiselle", because the woman would be flattered that you think she is that young, but that is probably a bit dated
     

Share This Page