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"Señora, ¿cómo se llama usted?"

Translation:Ma'am, what is your name?

May 19, 2018

216 Comments
This discussion is locked.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/The_Vicar

Am I the only one who would never call a woman madam? (Or ma'am?)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/El-Gecko

In some areas of the US, and in some social settings, “ma’am" is still considered a courteous form of address. As is “sir."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SymoneDerby

i'm british so i never use Ma'am or madam, i don't plan on getting into the habit of it either, but duolingo does not take that into account. we usually say 'Ms'


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sylvia196828

British or not, using those terms of address have been around a lot longer than the current non-use of them. It takes a while for such terms to completely disappear.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Danielconcasco

Not Ms, but Miss. Ms is pronounced Mizz and is an alternative to Mrs. or Miss.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EricaWelte

"Ms" is not the equivalent of "Mrs". "Mrs" is used when a woman is married. "Ms" is a single woman. "Miss" is a young woman.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ifny

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 )."

and

"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."

More: https://www.dictionary.com/browse/ms-

and

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ms.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sylvia196828

Ms. sort of replaces miss and Mrs., and came about because many women didn't wish to be addressed based on their marital status; whereas for men, there's just one term, Mr. or mister, without any marital status indication.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ValerieJoh467088

Not usual. The Royals use Ma'am, outdated.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Danielconcasco

No, the course is written in American English. Ma'am is still used widely in the US.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/on_the_blindside

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Moe648989

Here in the south it's very common. I live in Memphis. We all say ma'am and sir when addressing someone we don't know.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/msv77

Ma'am is used where I live, And I live in Richmond Virginia


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sylvia196828

I'm from the south, Georgia, too, and those respectful terms of address are still used in some quarters, but increasingly, they're going out of style, sadly. There are some things that we need to get back to; others, we need to leave in the dustbin of history.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LoveSet

Im from atlanta, i moved to utah i just wanted to say my good home training came with me


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sylvia196828

Good! You better bring them ! :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sylvia196828

Why Utah, of all places? LOL...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/0Crie

In the u.s., ma'am and sir are polite. Children are taught to call adults "sir" and "ma'am'. You might call your boss at work "sir" or "ma'am". If you were in customer service, you would also refer to a customer in the same way.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sylvia196828

Yes, and I don't see the harm in those terms. People are more upset over things like that than they are over the climate crisis or the possibilty of war!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dan542606

But if it is used in Spanish, you need to know the translation, even if y'all don't use it in English.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dalarial

I doubt that. Just focus on learning Spanish implicitly, so you'll know what ma'am is, to not say it. Then get an app for manners &etiquette.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sylvia196828

You're thoroughly modern, that's why. Maybe most of us are still a bit more traditional, or it's simply a matter of old habits dying hard. I have no problem with being called "ma'am" or "madam" when someone doesn't know my name.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sylvia196828

But I should have said many, not most, because the times are changing. Generalizing or making absolute statements always gets one in trouble.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TimMallard

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 ___?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Danielconcasco

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sylvia196828

You always manage to say the right thing, exactly what I'm thinking, but you say it infinitely better.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sylvia196828

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."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HollyN.2

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TylertheGirl

Senorita can also translate to 'Miss', which is polite but also implies youth. You could use that instead.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sylvia196828

It may also imply that a female is single, not just young.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sylvia196828

Believe you me, if such an acceptable term is ever found, there will be those who are offended even by it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NeriyahBut

Why is it "como se llama usted" instead of "como se llama"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HooeyB

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/milescutter

I think "Como te llamas" would be literally translated to "What are you called", but since that isn't something you ask often in English, they just added the contraction as the main difference


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MadHildebr

Separating the MA from the 'AM in "ma'am' makes no sense. It is one word, not two, and only serves to create confusion.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dflee53

Why is it not "Como te llama usted?" Why is "se" used when asking about "your name"? Does this have to do with "usted" being formal?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lrtward

It can be:
"Como te llamas tú" with te, llamas, and tú all agreeing
"Cómo se llama usted" with se, llama, and usted all agreeing

But you cannot use te with llama and usted.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nolanbass

Why did this answer not work....

'Ma'am, what do you call yourself?'


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sp2learn

That is a more literal translation rather than an idiomatic translation. How often would you ask someone what they call themself? Most likely only if they first gave their name and then said they go by a nickname.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MatthewCorey

I prefer the most literal, closest, truest translation available. This is better and easier for me to learn, and I want my speaking to be exact.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rich739183

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Troublesum1

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SamHillie

What an excellent response. Perfectly demonstrates the fallacy in thinking transliteration results in more accurate translations.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sylvia196828

@Troublesum1 - I agree with SamHillie that what you said is excellent. It is also scholarly. Gracias!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sylvia196828

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!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dawn611963

When should I use "Como te llamas" vs "como se llamas estoy"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lrtward

You would never write "Cómo se llamas estoy" for a few reasons.
You cannot say "se llamas" because it's either "te llamas" for tú or "se llama" (without an s) for usted/él/ella
Estoy means "I am" and does not make sense in this context.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BlakeLove2

haha oh shoot that "estoy" made me laugh, thank you.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JohnnyNirvana

Why aren't ma'am and miss interchangeable? I feel like they should be.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/J.C.Fink

It's mostly a matter of age and marital status, just as "boy" and "man" are not normally interchangeable. (Although one might say of an adult male, "he's out with the boys".)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Troublesum1

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Izabel38025

Why saying "Mrs" here is wrong? Senore is Mrs and senorita is miss


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rich739183

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GeorgFIN

It is very confusing when señora sometimes is Lady and sometimes is ma'am. It would be nice it Duo dicided which one to use. Neither are very much used, perhaps the Ms would be a better translation...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Carol_Nolan

I believe they are trying to indicate formal vs informal -- but not very well.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/squeeks08

Ma'am is confusing as two parts. Lost a streak for my "bad" English... Ugh.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rich739183

Yes, please reported using the flag button, or go to the Forum to do so.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Victoria419398

Why in this sentence do they not use tu?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/linburnlane

If you don't know someone's name, you would use the formal usted instead of the informal tu, unless that person were a child.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/J.C.Fink

The informal tu would not be used when speaking to someone you address with the formal "Señora."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Anthony000

In what context would I use "se" rather then "te"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lrtward

se for usted/él/ella
te for tú


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DoraP...

Why is "what is your name, ma'am?" not acceptable...?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rosemarie638621

when do you use nombre and when do you use llama


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rich739183

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Typh532612

In this exercise Ma should be Ma'am


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Moe648989

Here in the south it's very common. I live in Memphis. We all say ma'am and sir when addressing someone we don't know.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/joshua.smi3

Sir and ma'am is very respectful in the United States. Highly recommended you learn.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Peyton811082

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Magnum_dorkus

They split up ma'am on mine so I had idea what they were going for. My brain just did not Ma and 'am together.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SarahSmith770296

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sylvia196828

Indeed! It seems a trend that we should get rid of everything that's been around for a long time on that basis, willy-nilly. We would soon see how illogical that would be and reap the negative social impact of doing so.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ween710702

I translated it as "Ma'am, How do you say your name?" i'm wondering how that isn't correct since it is closer to the actual Spanish meaning than the correct answer


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lrtward

There is nothing in the original Spanish sentence about "saying your name".
¿Cómo se dice su nombre? = How do you say your name?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rich739183

The actual Spanish meaning is a tricky concept. When you're translating into English you need to find the actual Spanish concept and translate it into the actual English meaning.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Robel_

What's the difference between "cómo se llama usted" and "que es tu nombre"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KeithProud

Como se llama translates to "What do you call yourself" while Cuál (not que") means "which is your name" either is acceptable where we live in Mexico


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dan_Gologorskiy

Why both "se" and "usted"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lrtward

Usted is the subject, you.

se llama means to call oneself.
The "se" means you do it to yourself rather than to someone else.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/yogSH_01

What's the literal translation of 'como se llama usted'? Is it 'what do I call you'?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lrtward

Cómo - how
se - yourself/himself/herself
llama - you (formal)/he/she/it calls
usted - you (formal)

How do you call yourself?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HilaryBabb1

I write in typo sometimes ,but it is still correct . I'M from the Caribbean


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Erazya

The former question I had required me to add "EL" infront of señor Perez. Why is here not LA señorita required? Is it because I named a specific person?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Troublesum1

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").


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kika443978

Instead of being a ma'am, it would be best if it were lady or miss.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SeanKirby12

Lady is a substitute for Ma'am


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Carol_Nolan

Growing up in California the term Senora, indicated mature woman or married woman. Seniorita was a young woman or an unmarried woman. Never saw ma'am before -- except in visits to Georgia or from military staff.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Carol_Nolan

When I am 99 you can call me ma am, until then I would appreciate lady.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ziaheart

Haha, I got the "pick the right blocks" exercise for this sentence, and it divided up the word "ma'am" into "ma" and "'am".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ArmenForge

Why is "Mrs." incorrect but "Ma'am" is correct? I believe other exercises translated señora to Mrs.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rich739183

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."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BlackLeathrSeat

Yo you ca t use the word "miss" Here but you can were you have to puzzlethe words together


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PedroLozan14

He utilizado para traducir (ésta) Señora... Lady... y me dice que debo utilizar ma'am. No estoy de acuerdo que sólo se pueda utilizar una de las dos.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rich739183

Yes, DL is sometimes inconsistent. I suggest reporting those inconsistencies using the flag button when you find them.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lydiaann.l

What this is awesome


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Des335639

Would you need 'usted' is you're already using the formalized phrase 'como se llamas' ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rich739183

You mean "cómo se llama"; and we will both wait for someone more authoritative to answer your question.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JBPatague

Mrs. Should be acceptable.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alysam8

Is it just me or do i not see any difference between "miss" and "ma'am" i keep putting "miss" and i feel like theyre the same exact thing


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rich739183

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."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DocDan2

Why is "se llama" used instead of "te llama?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rich739183

it's either "se llama (usted)" or "te llamas (tú)"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LorenaOcho998631

Esto esta mal porque seria mrs. What is your name or woman what is your name


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Danielconcasco

No, mrs. is a title only. You could spell it out as Missus.

Saying "woman, what is your name" would be incredibly rude.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sylvia196828

LOL on your second paragraph. I can't imagine it!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CsKO8IYs

Madam is the right word


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Danielconcasco

No, it's one possible answer. Ma'am is also correct.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sara720570

How do you know when to use cómo se llama and cómo te llamas?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Troublesum1

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/VrhegyiPte1

Madam or Sir, How long might it take to correct my points(XP), it shows in the league 15 points less than it is in the reality? Thank you for doing something!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rich739183

This is a page for exchanging comments with other students. On the Duolingo website you could use their Forum or perhaps some other method of contacting the administrators.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jasmin478915

Can someone please clarrify for me como se llama and como te llamas? Whats the difference - to me it appears that theyre being used in the same way.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Spookiyu

So señora is outside the question marks... Do ¿ and ? specifically go around the CLAUSE that contains the question?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sylvia196828

Yes, because señora isn't technically part of the question. If it were "Juan" or "Maria," it would be the same.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Danielconcasco

Sylvia, thank you for being so helpful in the forums lately. I've noticed your contribution and really appreciate all you've done for our learning community :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sylvia196828

Thanks, gracias, and merci! I try, but I think I'm more perceived as annoying (and mean) than helpful. LOL...I also turn out to be wrong more than I'm proud to admit, but I admit it, and in the process, I learn.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Danielconcasco

I always worry about the same things! We can't always be right every time, but that doesn't mean we give up :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sylvia196828

Indeed, we should never give up! I insist on continuing to learn, being helpful and annoying all at once!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lebatsnok

it is confusing that "ma" and "'am" are presented in different boxes ... one word per box, ma'am, plz


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sylvia196828

I found it confusing also, at first. But now I understand that it's part of being tested. Simple.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SympatheticPoop

why does everyone care if its SIR, MA'AM, MS.(MIZZ), MRS, OR MR????????????


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sylvia196828

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sylvia196828

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?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/behfar.rezai

What's wrong about "lady, what is your name" then?!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sylvia196828

"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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ali796625

Maam should be one word in options. I looked for maam and couldnt find it so i thougth lady is what they meant. Thank you for this wonderfull app.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sylvia196828

Ma'am is one word, with the apostrophe properly placed. The apostrophe doesn't make it two words. However, I have also seen it without the apostrophe.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DannyGarci423421

There us no Ma'am in your choices. Instead of Ma'am there is only Ma


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sylvia196828

The rest of the word is in another box. They want you to choose them, first "ma," then "'am." It just hit me (I'm slow; also self-deprecating) that you thought the complete word they wanted was "Ma." This is quite funny, actually.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Melissa833266

I knew Senora is Mrs. but the only option for a female was Ma or there was Mr. But no Mrs


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sylvia196828

There's also señorita, for Ms. or miss. Ma must be slang in Spanish or regional. I don't see it in any of my formal reference material.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Melissa833266

You didn't offer Mrs. only Ma or Mr. for Senora


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/squishyphilly

I understand ma'am is used in English, but this caught me by surprise. How am i suppose to know when Senora means "miss" "lady" or "ma'am". Just seems like too much thought goes into Spanish and the best way to know it is to grow up with people speaking it everyday


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/on_the_blindside

Señora García means Mrs García,

Señora usted necesita un taxi? means Ma'am (or Madam) do you need a taxi, there's no name so it can mean Madam, ma'am, or lady, any of them work in the sentence.

Señorita means miss, Señorita García is Miss Garcia.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sylvia196828

Gracias! Love your clarity!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sylvia196828

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SeanKirby12

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+.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sylvia196828

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bekahfulle

I found the options confusing simply because I'd never seen "ma'am" split into two separate choices the way they presented it here as "Ma" and "'am". I'd rethink this question, or replace ma'am with Ms, as requested in other comments.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/komziblackburn

Why usted is at the end of the sentence?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Danielconcasco

This type of inversion is common in Spanish questions.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ChiragJain1601

Senora is also used for mrs, so why it is wrong


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/on_the_blindside

Mrs is a shortening of Missus, same as Dr is for Doctor. You wouldn't say "excuse me missus" and you wouldn't write "excuse me Mrs." in English, so it's wrong.

If you're looking for a British English translation, try Madam.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kyle996134

Which situations does it make sense to use, "Cual es tu nombre", vs ,"Como se llama"? Does it matter?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ArekStryjski

I think proper English should be used not some regional dialects. I'm not native English speaker and it was very confusing for me.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Danielconcasco

This is proper English. Each English speaking country has its form of proper English.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/WesselBoek

Mrs. is wrong according to Duolingo. (Which is not wrong)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Danielconcasco

You would need to write it out as missus. You only use Mrs. as a title with a name.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FitFanatic

I never ues ma'am in my life what is that


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/on_the_blindside

If you're british, try using Madam.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MikeDavies4

Ma'am is American English only...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Danielconcasco

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sylvia196828

Could you refer us all to the evidence that your statement is true?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/on_the_blindside

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! :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MIKAYLAKEN11

Why won't they let me use Miss instead of using Ma'am? Doesn't senora pretty much mean both Miss and Ma'am??


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/on_the_blindside

Señora García means Mrs García,

Señora usted necesita un taxi? means Ma'am (or Madam) do you need a taxi, there's no name so it can mean Madam, ma'am, or lady, any of them work in the sentence.

Señorita means miss, Señorita García is Miss Garcia.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LydiaBardsley

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?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NeriyahBut

When you have a question within a sentence, the "¿" goes where the question begins within the sentence.

In this case, the question within the sentence begins with "como", so that's where you put "¿".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BenSnider2

Ma'am is pronounced "May um," for all of you who don't know. It is a very common thing in the US, but is weird to write out.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Danielconcasco

That's one pronunciation, but not the only one. In the North of the US it sounds like mam.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Carol_Nolan

The only places in the US that use Ma'am are in the South and in the military


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Danielconcasco

That's not true. New York is definitely in the North, as in Pennsylvania. You can hear ma'am in those states and others.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sylvia196828

Yes, when addressing a woman (whether she's married or single), until her name is known, it's proper and acceptable to say "ma'am." I had no problem with "miss" in my youth or "ma'am" now.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rosanna528332

People rarely use ma'am anymore, it shouldn't mark the answer as wrong when it isn't even very correct in English


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Danielconcasco

Ma'am is still in common use across the US.

It shouldn't mark what answer wrong when it isn't very correct???


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/K7wL1

Having lived in England my whole life and a native speaker of English, I resent being forced to use ma'am.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Danielconcasco

No one is forcing you to use it. It also accepts madam.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Leon426033

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).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Troublesum1

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Leon426033

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Danielconcasco

It's not archaic if it's still used :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sylvia196828

Indeed @Danielconcasco, and God knows we need to hold on to the few polite or respectful things left! I feel respected, even if it goes to my age or marital status, when I'm called "ma'am," and I don't find it sexist at all.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sylvia196828

Reminds me of the way it's often said that Latin is a "dead language," yet it's the root or derivation of many words we currently use.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/steve_hoey

We don't have an equivalent to Señora in English.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sylvia196828

LOL... yes, we do, it's "ma'am" or "madam."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sylvia196828

It's right there in the translation, as "ma'am"!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/on_the_blindside

In British English, it'd be "Madam" or "Ma'am", basically like you were talking to the Queen, or if you were in the police and you were talking to a superior female officer.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lcmiracle

Translating this sentence, "Mrs." should also be accepted. Getting marked wrong for something the course itself uses is absolute unacceptable.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Danielconcasco

No, as discussed above, Mrs. is only used before names in English. You would have to write it out as Missus.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/araj04_plyglt

Is it ok to say como te llama instead of como se llama

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