Just a usage note for American English: while secretary as far as I can tell is still the normal, acceptable term in other languages, there are some in the US who consider "secretary" derogatory. I don't know if the intent will be to mark them right or wrong, but don't be surprised to get translations like "administrative assistant" or "admin" for "secretary." For example, where I work, those are the official and informal job titles, and "secretary" is not something one would say.
"Secretary" is still the right (and closest) answer here, but I just thought I'd throw that out there because I wasn't sure if the team had decided what to do about the newer/P.C. translation into American English.
I know it doesn't seem to be used much these days in official titles, but I would have thought that's because people like to have more buzz-wordy titles. I don't understand how exactly the word "secretary" is derogatory in any way. In fact secretary, implies that they are someone who can be trusted with secrets (a compliment), whereas an "... assistant" is explicitly stating that they are someone's inferior (an assistant).
I'm not the one who made the name change, though if you Google, you can read various opinions of it. I just know it's a name change that a sizeable number of people in the US want; therefore the team might need to be aware of the possibility of receiving alternate translations.
I would be surprised if they start changing the title of positions like "Secretary of State" or "Secretary of the Treasury" anytime soon. These are still extremely high ranking, important and prestigious positions in government.
However I understand your point about the perception of the job title 'secretary' in a modern office setting. The media has turned the word into a stereotype of a subservient, often thankless or abused position characterized by menial and unfulfilling tasks like making coffee, answering the phone or filing documents. See also the TV series 'Mad Men' or any Hollywood movie set in an office in the 1980s.
Yeah, while I know not everyone shares that perception, the change in job titles is becoming widespread enough that I felt the team should be made aware of the possibility of receiving alternate translations and should consider whether or not they are willing to accept those.
First time I ever heard that "secretary" could be considered derogatory. But I suppose if it is by some, it is only as result of not doing enough for someone's ego.
People like to at least sound important (if they can't be important). Administrative Assistant sounds flashier than Secretary. And using the same logic we could put "Executive" in half the professions in the world; Executive Mail Handler (postman) for example. Lol.
For British English, "secretary" implies a rather higher status job than "administrative assistant" with a broader skill set. An "administrative assistant" is someone who does filing, takes telephone messages, and performs other routine organisational tasks. A secretary used to be expected to be proficient in shorthand and nowadays would be expected to have equivalent IT skills; they will perhaps be fluent in a couple of foreign languages, and should be fully capable of running the office in the absence of their boss.
As a note, I have held positions as an administrative assistant since the 1980s. Already in the 1980s the term "secretary" was at least out of date, and did have a slightly pejorative ring. So this change in usage isn't something new.
Also, the role in government of secretary, such as Secretary of State, is a totally different usage, and has always had a lot of prestige. No one has suggested changing this.
imho, nor should there be. To me, a secretary is a classy position held by only the most trustworthy people whereas stuff like "administrative assistant" sounds more like a filing clerk. A low ranked office worker. But hey, I'm 70 next year so I grew up when words had REAL meanings and people didn't need to try and "fancy up"their standing
In this sentence, there is a big difference between "drinks" and "is drinking".
"The secretary drinks tea" is a description of what the secretary usually does as a matter of regular habit or practice - but may not be doing at the present moment, e.g, it is midnight, but two people are planning for the next day. One asks the other, "What does she do during her morning break?" Answer: "The secretary drinks tea."
"is drinking" refers to what the secretary is doing right now, at this very moment.
Since there is no distinction of a Simple Present and a Present Continuous in Russian, the given verb пьёт can perfectly well be translated either as drinks or is drinking. The same is true for every Imperfect Aspect verb in the Настоящее время:
- — Shall I get you something, Sir?
- — A coffee, please.
- — How about something for your secretary?
- — No need to, she
is havingher tea = Не надо, она
Indeed, but even when it comes to verbs or motion, it is more like a matter of choice between what is called an unidirectional (or concrete) movement and a multidirectional (or abstract)٭ one, rather than a choice between a habitual action and one taking place at the moment of speaking.
In short, it doesn't mean that all Imperfect Aspect Unidirectional verbs of movement are translated using the Present Continuous, while all Imperfect Aspect Multidirectional verbs of movement are translated using the Simple Present. Take this pair of sentences, for instance:
- Я каждый день
идуна работу как на каторгу.
Since каждый день is used, we are talking about about a habitual action; so, we cannot translate иду as "am going" there.
On the other hand, using the respective multidirectional movement verb...
- Я каждый день
...would change the meaning of the sentence to "I walk to work every day".
٭ In Russian: Однонаправленный (or конкретный) глагол vs Разнонаправленный (or абстрактный) глагол.