My mind, my thoughts, my words

Spanish – observation on addressing children

What sounds strange to you in the title? Nothing? Something?

In English or German, addressing your child with the words “my daughter/son” instead of their name is not common and sounds rather odd to me. In Spanish, however, this is very common. I spent about 17 months travelling through Latin America. Parents frequently talk to their children addressing them as “mi hija/hijo” (and it sounds perfectly normal to me in Spanish, but just not in any other language that I know).


  • Mi hija, ¿puedes lavar los platos? (Daughter, can you wash the dishes?)
  • ¿Puedes buscarme al aeropuerto mi hijo? (Can you collect me from the airport my son?)

At the same time, mi hija/hijo is also commonly used by people when addressing a person young enough to be their daughter/son (without a biological connection).

I wonder how these “phenomena” came about and may be connected to another…

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This entry was posted on 13/09/2016 by in Linguistic Musings and tagged , , , , , , , .
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