"¿Ella es camarera?"
Translation:Is she a waitress?
Would it be okay to accept: Is she a waiter? Since in common, everyday usage, we hardly make that distinction anymore in English?
It should be accepted, since 'waiter' certainly is sometimes used to refer to a woman, and not just a man.
No, that is not acceptable because mesera refers directly to a female being, and waiter does not.
What is Political Correct is a vouge, a social style, and not a reality about the English language.
Judging by the down votes I have been given, it appears that there are PC fans present here, where PC in my mind means, Permanently Confused.
No, it's not your naive labeling that people are down-voting you for (at least not primarily), rather, it's that the meaning of words are descriptive, not prescriptive. Over time, a word that was once gendered ceases to be. English has slowly moved from a gendered language (Old English had M, F, N genders) to a non-gendered language. Once common, words like "authoress" and "poetess" are archaic, and words like waitress are vestigial. It's very obviously YOU that are "permanently confused", as this trend is centuries old. If you want to be the last person who still says "policewoman" instead of police officer, go ahead, but don't expect the rest of the world to remain in 16th century.
You are describing "politically correct": no matter how long-winded you have become, in the process.
It may have started in Hollywood (or among feminists): those who thought gender descriptive words were condescending.
(Like the old man in a beard, I am of HIS generation! And, I remember what you cannot "possibly" remember! He is right and you are wrong! Political correctness is the basis for this type of change (at least here in the U.S.)
And, if you are going to carry that nonsense out to its logical conclusion, you will have to address all "policeMEN" as "police persons" (right along with "chairpersons" and "spokespersons").
Once you "commit yourself to that", are you ready to go the whole nine yards, on it?
(You can't just 'pick and choose', young man!)
EugeneTiffany, I believe you hit the nail on the head. It is camarera to indicate a waitress, a female person.
And, if you REALLY want to go "Old School", on this, the word "camarera" can refer all the way back to the root word "cámara" (which, besides meaning "camera", means "chamber", in English.)
And, although there are still two "cámaras" (chambers) in the American system of government (i.e., the Legislature), the old, standard definition of "camarera" has the following meaning:
Personally, I see TWO root words, in "camarera":
Now, where is the "table" (as in "waiting tables"), in all this?
EugeneTiffany, You don't always have to 'defend' yourself in ways that are inflammatory, or will start another argument.
Sheesh we don't have enough words for 'waitress' I guess:
- la camarera
- la moza
- la mesonera
- la mesera
- la garzona
I am sure I don't understand the distinctions amongst these.
May I attempt to differentiate some of these, here?
1) camarera = chambermaid (room cleaner, in hotels)
2) moza = (slang for 'girlie')
3) mesonera = innkeeper (archaic)... used frequently, before ~1840 A.D.
4) mesera = waitress (i.e., 'wait staff'; 'table hop')
5) garzona = girl (Spanish application of French: for example, 'garçon' = boy)
Informative post. Even though I'm short on lingots, let me give you three more. ¡Gracias!
You have seen "moza" here?
MOZA: Noun: girl , wench , lass , waitress , barmaid , lassie , gal , chick , dame , cutie , diva , call-girl
I haven't seen it here, but from my understanding, it is an antiquated term used primarily by older people.
From what I know, it is more of a positive term to describe the beauty of a woman/girl, ie. "Qué moza". (kind of like que guapa, but guapa is more in regards to the facial appearance, moza is a whole body statement).
I've always used mesera/mesero or senor/senorita, all of those others are new to me
First time seeing camarera in Duo. Luckily waitress was the only obvious answer, otherwise i would have taken a stab at "photographer"
Why is there no article before this noun? Un camarero? Una camarera? Porque no?
Because it is a profession. They never have an article unless you are going to add more to the description, such as, "he is an intelligent engineer" --> "Él es un ingeniero inteligente"
I kind of think of it as a "trait" of a person. Would you describe a tall person as, "She is a tall"? No, we say, "She is tall".
Hopefully that helps!
The thing is this, though: occupations are not physical traits.
Occupations are "nouns"; and, physical traits are descriptive words (adjectives).
So, there is really no direct correlation of these two ideas with each other. It would be nice to think that there is, but I, for one, believe that a direct correlation doesn't exist, between the two.
Just think of how Russians ALSO say it this way.
1st person: "What do you do for a living, Boris?"
Boris: "I am engineer."
(He is actually not speaking "stilted English", here: he is just following the pattern that is customary in his native Russian language. And, Spanish has the same pattern, in this.)
They're not needed when referring to someone's job Ex: yo soy conductor = i am a conductor, the un/una is not needed
Right. What is important is to dump all one's ideas about things being said in Spanish should be structured based on how English works.
No, but "cámara" is both "camera" and "chamber", in English.
And, following that understanding, we "drop the final 'a' to get the root, like this:
Then, we add the ending, like this:
"cámar-era" -----------> "camarera"
WHY is "chamber" the preferred meaning of "cámara", here, you may ask?
It is because the traditional meaning of camarera is the following:
And this, by the way, has nothing to do with "waiting tables".
(It 'does' have to do with making beds and cleaning the room, in hotels.)
So, the next time you order something in a nice Mexican restaurant, for example, just consider the humor in the following interaction:
1st person: "Chambermaid, will you bring me a menu, please?"
Camarera: "Sure, mister! Right after I make up Mr. Jones' bed, up in Room 202."
I strongly ""dislike"" the incorrectness of the sentence structure, here!
It is lazy (grammatically-speaking) to say the following (in BOTH languages):
"Ella es camarera?"
(She is a waitress?)
The thing that is wrong with this (because it is slang) is that there is a 'formula' for creating interrogatives (viz., questions), in both languages!!
"Es camarera ella?"
(Is she a waitress?)
To many of us who learned proper grammar, it is important to learn correct grammar, in the process of learning the language. (After that, you can go out into the street and learn what you will, out there! But, not in MY classroom!)
Why isn't "She is a waiter" acceptable. The word waitress has almost disappeared from English. Maybe Duolingo needs to get with the times!
Yes, in English, we now use waiter in a gender-neutral way, but here we are learning SPANISH, which is loaded with gender. In my opinion we should not be trying to force English conventions onto the Spanish language. It should be the other way around, if we want to take language acquisition seriously.