(I do not speak Japanese) I'm translating subtitles (from english to spanish) for the Hirokazu Koreeda's "Like Father, Like Son" movie. The characters, the Nonomiya's and Saiki's, are two couples of different social status (one wealthy, the other working class). Spanish, unlike English, reflect social status (the "tú" v/s "Ud."). I want my translation be faithful to the movie's social aspects. My question is, how characters talks to each other? Do they talks as equals or not? Are they formal or informal?

Starting from the english subtitles, I can have different spanish translations, all formally correct, but expressing different personalities and relationships. If working father use "Ud." and wealthy one use "tú", wealthy is dominanting the relation. If both use "tú", they are equals. If both used "Ud.", both are formal, and distant.

Saiki's husband being more a free spirit, like a practical teacher to Nonomiyo's, made me prefer him using "tú" (breaking class barrier) and Nonomiya's using "Ud." (acknowledging high moral standing). But, this use can also be seen as Nonomiyo's trying to keep distance.

So, that's my dilemma. I need some japanese speaker to tell me how he see the power relationship in the original script.

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    This question appears to be off-topic because it is about the content of a movie (the speech patterns between two characters). Generally, you can't say how they would talk to each other - one needs to watch the movie in order to find out what they're actually saying. – blutorange Jan 12 '15 at 18:54
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    Perhaps for movie.stackexchange? – blutorange Jan 12 '15 at 19:06
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    Alternatively, this might be on-topic if somebody could add a sample dialogue between the two characters. – blutorange Jan 12 '15 at 21:17
  • movies.stackexchange is all about standard Hollywood crap (pardon my french) and fanboys. I think people here watch japanese movies regularly to practice the language, so I have a better chance to get an answer. – Look Alterno Jan 12 '15 at 21:42
  • Perhaps off-topic on the main site, but if you're looking for people who more likely to watch Japanese movies, you could also ask this in the chat – blutorange Jan 13 '15 at 11:47

I speak Japanese, English and Spanish. I only checked the outline of the movie and will answer in a general way.

The characters should talk in a formal way like "Usted". In Japanese, polite expressions are much more frequently used than in Spanish. For example, I would use "Tù" for family or close friends, and use "Usted" for relatives, colleagues, or waitresses in restaurants. In this movie, the couples happend to know each other by an accident and they should have emotional conflicts. There should be no opportunity to use an informal, friendly expressions.

Regarding to equality, expressions will not change due to being richer or poorer. Instead, age can be considered in Japanese. Since Saiki's husband looks older than Nonomiya's, Saiki could take a stronger position and possibly use informal expressions to Nonomiya.

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