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  1. Member
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    #1

    Father Shou got up and wiped away his tears.

    I was reading a Chinese novel (there is no official English translation yet) and ran into this passage:

    "Father Shou (Shou is his surname. His name is unknown. We only know his surname is Shou because we know his son's full name) got up and wiped away his tears. He did not want his son to see his weak side."

    "Father" is used several times before "Shou" as in the passage above for some reason (he's not a priest or anything), probably because we only know the father's surname and the author didn't want to address him as just "the father" every time. My question is, if I were to translate it into English, would "father" be capitalized, as it's used similarly to how a title would be used? I looked online but didn't find anything useful. I would be grateful if you could help me.

    Thank you for your time
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  2. Moderator
    Interested in Language
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    #2

    Re: Father Shou got up and wiped away his tears.

    "Father" should be capitalized because it's used as a title. As long as it's clear when this form of address is introduced that "father" means "male parent", there's no risk that the reader will think Shou is a priest.

    Readers make allowances for usage in stories set in cultures that are foreign to them. They assume that the usage is natural in the language of the culture in question.
    I am not a teacher.

  3. Editor, UsingEnglish.com
    English Teacher
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    #3

    Re: Father Shou got up and wiped away his tears.

    How about Shou's father?

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