"היא לא רצה, היא זְקֵנָה."
Translation:She is not running, she is old.
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Well, even among Israelis, we would nowadays refrain from saying זקן in second person, unless we intend to offend, and even in third person we tend to avoid it for people we love. And the most common substitute is indeed מבוגר. As you say, מבוגר is technically ambiguous (which is precisely what makes it an attractive, intended-as-less-offensive substitute!). But context clarifies. Actually sometimes it doesn't sufficiently clarify, and it is a source of misunderstandings...
Well, the defective spelling is more usual in the Tanakh, but became rarer in later layers of the language. After the revival at the end of the nineteenth century there was a movement among intellectuals to impose a more "biblical" spelling with lesser use of helping vowel letters, so that וַ֫עַד־הַלָּשׁוֹן הַעִבְרִית, the predecessor to the Hebrew Academy, even insisted on defective spelling, when no niqqud was used. But as the Bible is not consistent on participles and even with niqqud mixed spelling like אָרוֹךְ and דִּיבֶּר instead of אָרֹךְ and דִּבֶּר became popular, spelling like הלך for הלוך have disappered and would now look old-fashioned even in fully vowelled contemporanean texts.
I believe that other synonyms, such as elderly, should be used for זקן/זקנה. I've reported it. My sentence, marked wrong, was "she doesn't run, she's elderly." At least in the English I know, it sounds better.
Well, unlike in the old days, when old meant revered and sage (Prov 31.23 נוֹדָע בַּשְּׁעָרִים בַּעְלָהּ בְּשִׁבְתּוֹ עִם־זִקְנֵי־אָרֶץ her husband is respected in the gates, when he sits among the old of the land), to be old has become an insult in the Western world. But Israelis are known to be more frank and polite as a cactus, so maybe you can still call someone זָקֵן without offense.
Yes זקנים meant [wise] elders, but the word זקן was also used in תנ"ך to mean simply old, no? For example, Bereshit 24:1, וְאַבְרָהָ֣ם זָקֵ֔ן בָּ֖א בַּיָּמִ֑ים וַֽה' בֵּרַ֥ךְ אֶת־אַבְרָהָ֖ם בַּכֹּֽל or Melachim Alef 1:1 וְהַמֶּ֤לֶךְ דָּוִד֙ זָקֵ֔ן בָּ֖א בַּיָּמִ֑ים וַיְכַסֻּ֙הוּ֙ בַּבְּגָדִ֔ים וְלֹ֥א יִחַ֖ם לֽוֹ׃ or even in a slightly negative way, as in Bereshit 18:12 וַתִּצְחַ֥ק שָׂרָ֖ה בְּקִרְבָּ֣הּ לֵאמֹ֑ר אַחֲרֵ֤י בְלֹתִי֙ הָֽיְתָה־לִּ֣י עֶדְנָ֔ה וַֽאדֹנִ֖י זָקֵֽן׃.
I would guess that the idea of זקנים meaning the wise elders stems from the Jewish idea that the young can always learn from the old and their life experience, and the young need to look to the old for guidance and leadership.