"Anna is a good artist."

Translation:Анна — хороший художник.

November 12, 2015



since we are referring to a woman, I would expect only the "female" version of the sentence to be accepted. Duo accepts both versions (male and female), but seems to prefer the male one. is it really common in such sentences to use "male" in the second clause, regardless of the gender in the first one?

November 12, 2015


Specifically female nouns referring to professions, titles and alike are quite troublesome in Russian. Some are pretty much mandatory and cannot be replaced with their “male” equivalents, like княгиня, принцесса "princess", служанка "servant", певица "singer", актриса "actress". In some cases you can use either: both художник and художница work fine for "artist" and female поэт "poet" can be called поэтесса.

Some occupations are normally masculine, but have colloquial female forms. Examples include библиотекарша "librarian", билетёрша "ticket seller", директриса "director (head of the school)", комендантша "superintendent".

However, certain feminine nouns are disrepectful and even derogatory, like врачиха "doctor" or профессорша "professor".

Sometimes they can also mean the wife of the said person, e.g. бригадирша can describe both a female бригадир and brigadier's wife.

Another problem is that sometimes the possible form already means something else. Индеец is Native American, but its counterpart индейка is a turkey.

Many other similar words don't even have a feminine form: инженер, министр, вождь, борец, лауреат, etc. And then there are female-only professions, like балерина, which has артист балета as its masculine counterpart.

There is no real pattern neither to formation of these nouns nor to whether you should actually use the feminine form. This was written more or less based on this article. I'm afraid I don't have time to translate the whole thing, but I can't find any better explanation.

November 12, 2015


To add to that great explanation, my Russian teacher told us that in the case of professions where titles have both masculine and feminine forms (like преподаватель/преподавательница, teacher), most Russian women prefer to be referred to by the masculine version, because using the feminine one is akin to considering two "classes" of teachers, "преподаватели" being superior to "преподавательницы", even though they are not outright derogatory like врачиха.

December 24, 2015


I can't imagine how a word for female doctor is derogative (?) Like in Spanish vieja, zorra, gata and other female words are derogative, but... doctora? lol

March 1, 2016


Calling your doctor «врачиха» is like saying “what a ❤❤❤❤❤❤ doctor you are, maybe it's because you're a woman”.

March 1, 2016


The same happens in Greek as well. The words for female doctor and Member of Parliament come to mind. It's probably because those terms were coined when women in these professions were a novelty or even non-existant, with the sole intention to make fun of them. They sound cutesy and people used to openly laugh at them.

July 2, 2018


Why not "анна хорошая" used here???

June 10, 2016


This adjective (хороший) is for the word "художник" that is usually used with the masculine (look at the post of Norrius above here).

May 9, 2017


I would have expected too хорошая since the profession is in feminine...

October 8, 2016


Yes, you are right, if the profession is in feminine, you can say "Анна - хорошая художница".

May 9, 2017


And what about хорошая художник? My teacher said its possible to use a female adjective combined with a male noun,/ male adjective + female noun if necessary like for example хороший коллега

August 14, 2018


Коллега is masculine by default and cannot serve good example. However, хорошая коллега is possible. You are right saying that the combinations mught work, but the kry word is "might". Она хорошач врач, for example. I would not rely on this to be the rule, though.

February 20, 2019


Sorry for typos.

February 20, 2019


That's what I wrote, but it was not accepted.

July 12, 2019


In Spanish, the words for femsle professionals are not offensive at all. Au contraire, a female professional WANTS to have her female word, even when the word itself is grsmmstically incorrect, such as the famous case of the word "presidenta", which breals the rule saying that words ending in -ente can be both female and male adjectives/nouns. (as in " La estudiante" = The female student)

April 16, 2016


But that is in Spanish. Thats the beauty of linguistic differences and Russian certainly is one of thosr languages that can make your brain wonder

February 4, 2019
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