"A senhora"

Translation:The lady

1/13/2013, 7:31:30 PM

24 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/legatrix
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"The madam"? Really? The only time this would be appropriate in English, as far as I know, is when referring to the 'manager' of a brothel...outside of very marked contexts such as 'what does the little madam want now, we just bought her a pony', etc.

1/13/2013, 7:31:31 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/TiagoMoita_PT
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Haha! Yes, I would translate it as "The lady" or "The Mrs."

1/14/2013, 10:22:30 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/vivisaurus
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Besides, "madam" has its own specific translation: "madame". =)

5/3/2013, 3:35:09 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/andysilver75

Great comment mate :) - just done 'we are a mirror' so DL really does push the boat out sometimes!!!

3/17/2015, 2:05:30 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/jedi_grrlie

What you miss in using a free, grammar-translation based program is cultural context. "The madam" sounds weird in English, but "a senhora" does not in Portuguese. (See all the other comments on the thread about how "a senhora" is used.)

So we can giggle about how in English, "the madam" means the manager of a brothel and we'd never use that phrase outside of a certain context, but the correct translation of "a senhora" into English would just be "madam," or the far more common "ma'am." (For those who would contend that "madam" is only used to mean the manager of a brothel, I would point you to the example of Judge Judy, who, if you've ever watched her, calls women "madam" all the time and never uses it to imply that they work in a house of ill repute.)

I do not know whether Duo accepts "madam" or "ma'am" as translations for "a senhora," but they should. As for "we are a mirror," I have no explanation for that.

4/3/2015, 6:06:02 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/DREDWARD

AND WE LOVE IT :)

8/17/2015, 5:17:13 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/gregdois

Im a little surprised at the comments. Madam is a good translation. It is very formal but still used in English (at least in the US) much like "a senhora" is used in Portuguese. Yes, it can mean the owner of a brothel, but also: It is used as a greeting in business/formal letters, such as, "Dear Sir or Madam,..." If/when we have a female president, she would be addressed as "Madam President." Also, formally, or even just very politely/respectfully, addressing a woman. The less formal "ma'am" (mam) may be more common but that is merely short for "madam."

9/19/2014, 3:28:01 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Coayuco
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Madam is used as a salutation in letters and as a formal address but you almost never refer to someone as "a madam" or "the madam".

2/4/2015, 2:11:39 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/legatrix
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Most of what you say is certainly valid, but my comment applied specifically to the phrase 'the madam', rather than to the single word 'madam'. The latter is, as you describe, prevalent in English, the former vanishingly rare.

3/20/2015, 9:54:58 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/emeyr
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We have already had Madam Secretaries Rice, Albright and Clinton.

The use of "madam" is, however, quite limited in the United States. It would be considered "hyper-formal" as a form of address in daily life.

"Ma'am" is used extensively in the southern US, along with "sir". "Yes, ma'am" / "yes, sir" - responding to figures of authority.

6/23/2015, 8:46:06 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Sabin
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I totally agree with gregdois. As in the USA, "Madam" is used as a polite form of address in the UK and Ireland, especially in department stores and restaurants (e.g. when a shop assistant or waiter is addressing an adult female customer. It is also always used in a letter where the writer does not know who the recipient will be, as in, "Dear Sir/Madam" or "Dear Sir or Madam" as gregdois has explained. (By the way, we don't tend to use "Ma'am" in this part of the world and we have already had two "Madam Presidents" in Ireland :-) )

2/24/2017, 2:44:54 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/tuuky
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You can use "a senhora" to address anyone with whom you'd like to respectfully address, generally someone older than you (female, of course).

3/27/2013, 5:21:49 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/BLYNN8
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The third person honorific with the definite article (O senhor, a senhora, and plural counterparts) act as the second person pronouns in European Portuguese. "Voce" and "Voces" are used (if at all) for those with whom one is acquainted; "tu" is for intimates. A lady would be addressed properly as "A senhora dona [first name], as in "Lady Diana".

Naturally in English we have degraded the only two respectful forms of address for a non-noblewoman, "mistress" (from which "Miss", "Mrs." and ultimately "Ms." derive) and "madam", to mean something dirty.

12/22/2014, 9:33:03 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/jedi_grrlie

Yet "ma'am" is still used very frequently, and that's simply a shortened form of "madam."

4/3/2015, 5:50:48 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/yellowred42

This is one of the cases where cultural differences make it difficult to find an equivalent and equal translation. "A senhora" is commonly used in Brazil to address an older lady as a mark of respect. My Brazilian wife may address her mother as "a senhora" in certain circumstances, but I would never have addressed my mother as "Madam" in any circumstance.

8/31/2014, 6:39:26 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/txharman

I don't know about Brazil, but in English we would just address an older woman as 'Senhora'. When used in the middle of a sentence, I could see the 'a senhora', but I can't see addressing someone as 'A senhora'. Where does the A come from?

9/24/2014, 7:44:29 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/yellowred42

the "a" is the feminine definite article. If it was a man you were addressing you would use "o" eg "o senhor". The use of putting this definitive article in front of this form of address is pretty common in Brazil. It is also used frequently in front of a person's name eg "onde esta o Marcos?' where is Marcos; or "cade a Carla?" where is Carla ("cade" is a more colloquial form of "onde esta").

9/24/2014, 9:18:59 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/SylvainMar11

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe the comment above actually describes two completely different uses of the definite article.

When saying "O senhor", one is using the third person to create "polite distance" when addressing someone directly. It even exists in English. Imagine yourself in a chic restaurant. The waiter could very well say: "The gentleman would like..." or "The lady would like..." when taking orders, even though they are directly addressing someone.

In the other one, "Onde está o Marcos?", the definite article actually does the opposite: it adds a certain degree of "friendliness". Not using it would seem "dry" and too formal.

6/23/2015, 8:31:02 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/DREDWARD

Obrigado:)

8/17/2015, 5:19:45 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/raf_iggy
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You are right. The problem with the Duolingo translation is the usage of the ARTICLE.
La senhora = Madam ("the" is not used in English unless an adjective preceeds the address title).

9/30/2014, 12:24:10 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/davidgflo
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Is "you" not also an appropriate translation?

8/27/2015, 11:09:00 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/Nick779643
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Is it just me, or does the voice sound angry when she says this? Who is this lady, and what has she done to anger the Duolingo voice?

6/24/2017, 11:47:59 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/stevehetzel

Why not "the woman"?

5/1/2016, 11:22:23 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/OofleSpoofle

That would be "a mulher". In English, lady and woman are different words, so you would use a different word here as well.

4/2/2017, 1:52:23 PM
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