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Nope. From the dictionary for Ms: "a title used before the surname or full name of any woman regardless of her marital status (a neutral alternative to Mrs. or Miss )."
"Miss and Mrs., both derived from the then formal Mistress, like Mister did not originally indicate marital status. Ms was another acceptable abbreviation for Mistress, in England, in the 17th and 18th centuries. During the 19th century, however, Mrs. and Miss came to be associated almost exclusively with marital status. Ms. was popularized as an alternative in the 20th century."
I guess this is where a lot of the frustration for this comes from. It feels like Duo should become a bit more accepting of British English, for example. At school, if deference to teachers, you'd say "Sir" for male teachers, or "Miss" for female teachers, regardless of whether they're married or not.
Now I get that Duo is trying to teach you the difference between Miss, Mrs, and Mr, but in terms of using the correct English term of deference, Miss is perfectly acceptable.
I'm guessing the difficulty arises where the languages are revered, and you're spanish trying to learn English.
This is an important note of translanguaging Spanish to English. Yes "senora" is misses/ma'am and "senorita" is miss, but it is most common for people in the US to say "miss" if you do not know who they are. Sure, ma'am is used in some places to show extreme politeness, but it should not be the only accepted response. People will universally say, "Miss, is this your ___?"
Some people will say miss, but it is not universal. Ma'am is still widely used across the US.
Again, this is not about what you would say in English, but what you will be saying in Spanish. They keep ma'am as the default translation so people learn that señora is not the same as señorita.
I seldom hear anyone refer to an elderly woman as "miss," though it happens, anymore than you would refer to a little girl as "ma'am." It's the reason that we don't have just one term for everyone, and no one is saying that we do or should have one term for all. Of course, an older woman who doesn't accept her maturity with grace may delight in being called "miss."
Maybe it is because I come from the south, but we use ma'am here a lot. And they also use it in the military (USA). 'Yes, Ma'am!' Some women though take it as an implication that they are old and offends them.
But I would also want to learn another name for Senora and Senorita in english. Senorita in english (according to this app) means 'lady', but I wouldn't say, Hello lady! In english.. even ma'am is a stretch when transating to Senora..I would like there to be a word for a respectful woman that doesnt offend them.
According to Duolingo's answers, "Como se llama usted" means "What is your name" (formal), "Como se llama" means "What is your name" (informal), "Como te llamas" means "What's your name" (uses the contraction 'what's') and sometimes "What is your name" (no contraction) . So confusing. And when do you use "llamas" vs "llama". Duolingo doesn't give the "why" to the language, which is very important. For lessons to support your Duolingo coursework, listen to Coffee Break Spanish and gringoespanol.com
Your speaking will be more true if you learn idioms; you also need to be aware that each language has words with multiple meanings, not all of which carry over to the other language. If you persist in making literal word-for-word replacements, you will make many ignorant errors.
Please remember that there is a difference between translation and transliteration. Just because something is "the most literal" translation doesn't make it the "truest" translation. Trying to explicitly translate each and every word individually is transliteration, and it is quite limited in it's usefulness. Just about the only thing it is good for is to become more familiar with the underlying architecture and logic of any given language. You will find that it frequently gets in the way of actual translation, which is the act of communicating an identical idea in another language. Quite often, a transliteration of a sentence is simply not a translation.
As just one simple example, consider the sentence "I am hungry." In English, we would never express that as "I have hunger" -- it's kinda nonsensical when written that way. However, that's exactly how you would translate the sentence into Spanish ("Yo tengo hambre") or German ("Ich habe Hunger"). A transliteration of the Irish sentence that says the same thing ("Tá ocras orm") would be even more awkward and nonsensical in English: "A hunger is on me." It's the same sentence in four different languages, but they are translations, not transliterations.
There's also the fallacy of absolutist thinking. There are often variables that seem to contradict things of which we were certain. I always laugh when some learners say that Duo is contradicting itself, that in a previous lesson, it was this or that. Well, that wasn't the end! Learning continues! There's more!
For the purpose of learning the Spanish language, remember that señora and señorita are not interchangeable. Therefore the creators of this course picked two English words (however arbitrary their selection might seem) and consistently use those two words as the sole translation for each of the two Spanish words. The ultimate purpose is to help an English speaker understand the difference between the Spanish words, not to imply any kind of ultimate authority of any particular English dialect.
Yes, that can be confusing, and is one of many contexts in which word-for-word literal translation is not correct. Speaking from the USA, although we may address a woman whose name we don't know as Miss, we do not address someone whose name we don't know as Mrs.; we can use Ma'am in that case.
Nombre is a noun meaning name; llama is from the verb Llamar, to call. So there are many uses of each, but in this context they are parts of different phrases that communicate the same concept of asking for or giving someone's name.
Going through every level of these skills should give enough repetition to become familiar with the common uses that DL is teaching us. When you have completed the skill, come back and do the practice review to refresh your memory.
Duolingo is awesome and all that but, for the past week or two, The speaker is not saying all the words! For Example: They say "Senora, Como usted?" But when I type it I get it wrong and then it says "Senora, Como esta usted?" Its crazy!! LOCO!!! Sorry. I should not have posted this. All I am doing is complaining. Yameste people, Yameste.
I'm only 23, born and raised in Texas, and I use sir and ma'am everyday to my authorities, strangers, and people I respect in general, no matter the age. I love it when people call me ma'am because it's an intentional acknowledgement of respect. I will even respond with, "yes sir/ma'am," when talking with children to show them I respect them and what they have to say and it always has good consequences. It builds so much self-confidence and self-esteem.
Exactly so. Spanish typically requires a definite article when speaking formally about a third party. It's not necessary when referring to someone by first name ("Brad is in a new movie") but necessary if you're using the last name ("[The] Mr. Pitt is in a new movie").
in the USA, we use mrs. before a married woman's name; we use ma'am when addressing a woman directly without using her name. A colloquial usage is to refer to someone's wife as "the mrs." e. g., "How is the mrs.?" or, “Oh, the missus took the kids to Grandma for the weekend."
Since Señora and Señorita have different uses in Spanish, we should recognize that distinction in our translation: "Ma'am" for Señora and "Miss" for Señorita.
In the USA, we do have the equivalent distinction in the context of this exercise.
"Ma'am" is used for an adult woman (especially an older or married woman) instead of her name when speaking to her directly. It may also be used to recognize seniority of authority, such as in a work environment, regardless of the woman's age or marital status, but I don't know if that's true in Spanish, too.
"Miss" is preferred over ma'am for young women (especially if they are unmarried), including adolescents; it could even be used for young girls.
Beyond the context of this exercise, "Miss" is used also in the 2nd and 3rd person with her name, so we translate "Señorita Rivera" as "Miss Rivera.".
"Ma'am" is never used that way, so we translate "Señora Rivera" as "Mrs. Rivera."
It depends on the social context. In broad terms, you can think of it this way: If you are expecting someone to answer with only a first name (while among friends, at a party, etc.), then the familiar "Cómo te llamas" would be used. If you could reasonably expect that someone would give an answer that includes their last name (business settings, a student speaking to a member of a school staff, pretty much any retail situation, etc.), you would use the more formal "Cómo se llama." Using a form of address like "Señor" or "Señora" in your sentence would pretty much necessitate the use of the formal language.
I've wondered about that, too. Must be something very ancient in human culture, not to get too deep about it. LOL. There are probably equivalent terms in most societies that go to age and place/station in life. I think it makes sense and is rational for humans. I personally don't think a child should address an adult any way he/she chooses. We have elder abuse (not that that has to do with language per se but respect) now because lines have been blurred, even erased, in some instances, between generations. Works in reverse, too.
So how do you propose addressing a stranger or someone older or, say, a priest? Or should there be no more respect for anyone under any circumstance? How would you address someone before you know their name or have been given permission to just call them by their first or last name without a Ms., miss, Mr., etc.? Human beings long ago and everywhere figured out that it makes sense. Should we do away with what we call our parents, too? Everyone should be on a familiar, first-name basis?
"Lady, what is your name?" sounds as wrong and impolite as if you said, "Woman, what is your name?" "Señora" doesn't translate to lady or woman; it's understood that such person is both. Señora is a polite term of address. Sadly, more and more these days, the rationale for politeness has to be explained. I never hear, "Man, what is your name?" I don't hear "guy," "fellar," "chap," or any such impolite or casual terms for men by strangers. Rather, "Sir..." until a name is given.
Isn't the point of learning anything to know it? You're not expected to know anything until you do. You could also avail yourself of a common dictionary. Consider all those here and elsewhere learning languages they didn't grow up speaking, yet they're learning, and not because they're being forced to; I rather doubt that you are either.
I am glad I brought up this question! I think my age (53) and parents insistence on formal etiquette, lead me to question why Ma'am was not correct. I am from Boston Massachusetts. I was taught that Miss was used for a younger female and Ma'am was used to address anyone approximately 35 and over as a child. I now use it to address anyone elderly. I am not sure if this was due to my Irish Catholic upbringing. I know that it is still appreciated by women who are 80+.
I think that around the world and in most cultures and languages since time began, humans have respected different segments within society, that grandparents, for example, have been treated, respected and addressed differently from siblings or friends. To me, there’s no question that people should be considered or respected by age. One can only see how the breakdown of such things, the blurring of such, has negatively affected society. Turn on the news and you’ll see and hear about seniors being assaulted or cursed by younger people. At the opposite end, children are not respected as children either, treated as little adults or abused because they are small and defenseless. But I digress. My point was that these terms of address such as ma’am, miss, sir, not only make sense but are needed for the sake of civility.
Every language course has (either by choice or happenstances) a default variant for each language. For English, Duolingo chose American English. Whatever its failings, American English has the advantage of being recognizable and understandable by most English speakers throughout the world. The course contributors are generally open to accepting other variants, which must be suggested with the report function.
In fairness, it's not a phrase I've really heard often in my 30 odd years in the UK, the only time I'd expect someone to say "ma'am" is if they were either:
In the Police or the Military when talking directly to a superior officer
In the service of the Royal Family, or another aristocratic (ennobled) family, when talking to a Lady/Duchess/Baroness/Marquess/Her Majesty.
Outside of that, it's not something that's normally used in British English in general vernacular or normal conversation.
Hope that goes a little way to answering your question! :)
I have a question about the punctuation. I put the '¿'n front of señora, and it marked it as incorrect. Granted, i missed the advent off cómo, but in the past it's just said don't forget the accents, but not marked it as incorrect. Could someone clarify this for me please? Does the '¿' have to be immediately in front of the question part of the sentence i.e. cómo?
Ma'am? An archaic form of address, from the word 'madam'. In British English, salutations when writing formal correspondence to an unknown recipient, are generally: Dear Madam, or Dear Sir... and Dear Sir / Madam. You will hear in shops (stores) shop assistants address customers with: 'Can I help you madam?' (never ma'am'). On the phone, if somebody refers to me as 'sir', I will ask them to refer to me by name.
I recognise that in some English speaking countries and states, older, traditional salutations are still used.
These language courses need to recognise all forms and traditions. However! These databases are huge! I can only imagine the ongoing maintenance and the updating involved.
Diolch yn fawr am y cyfle, gyda llaw. Yn gywir, Leon (Dyn o Gymru).
A fascinating comment... Speaking from my personal experience (Mid-Atlantic US), I can assure you that "ma'am" is very much a real and commonly used word and it's use is an essential part of common courtesy. On the other hand, most people I know would consider "madam" to be an antiquated and even potentially derogatory form of address. Clearly, there is quite a significant difference in dialectical usage between our backgrounds. (Which reminds me that I should visit Wales again soon; it is a breathtakingly beautiful place with some of the best breweries I experienced in my last trip to the UK.)
It is possible that the curators of the Spanish course might be willing to consider allowing "madam" to be an acceptable translation of the word "señora" if you Report it the next time you get marked "wrong" for using it. However, it is my understanding that there is a deliberate intention that there be one and only one translation for señora ("ma'am") and one and only one translation for señorita ("miss") in order to create a clear and stable distinction between the two Spanish words. I don't know how they would feel about making a change to that at this point.
Since I made the comment, I've realised it isn't relevant to the course, but it is good to raise questions. In the context of this course, I accept American terminology. I love language in all its forms, dialects. I've looked at the Welsh course. As a Welsh speaker from South Wales, I'm rather disappointed that it concentrates on North Wales Welsh, and not all encompassing. North Wales Welsh is lovely, but so is South and West Wales Welsh and Argentinian Welsh. We do understand one another. Literal Welsh is universal, as is Spanish and English, all languages, in all their forms. Marking a phrase incorrect because it doesn't correspond to what has been written into the database is a matter for those managing the course. But! Duolingo is fantastic, and I'm very grateful for this opportunity! I am certain it will improve further.
How would we translate ¿Señora? ¿Señorita¿ ¿Señor? No other way, I suppose.
Thank you for responding, Troublesome 1. I'll just 'dyfalbarhau' and only question from now on if/when it's absolutely necessary.