I do not see it - the translation above shows "ma'am", which is absolutely correct (and that is what I saw yesterday, too, so it hasn't been changed).
I think the bigger problem is that none of these new questions will accept Lady as a translation for Señora. I know they want me to use Madam or ma'am, but I insist on answering with Lady simply because it should be accepted (and it is not).
Once you report it it can still take quite a while to get changed because a majority of moderators are donating their time and expertise to help us, and they have to coordinate with the people & equipment at Duolingo.
I believe lady ought to be accepted for señora, however there is also the issue of how correct it is in the sentence. I have seen some contradiction as to how proper it is to use the word ma'am. Where I live in the states, using lady in this sentence would be considered less polite and less common than ma'am.
As a native English speaker, I would not say lady in this sentence... sounds kind of rude. Ma'am is more polite and definitely preferred.
As a native English speaker, the exact opposite applies for me. It's regional.
Well, for better or worse Duolingo teaches & uses American English. "Ma'am" is definitely correct. "Lady" would be quite impolite &/or something a very young child would say.
You are right. But you missed some information. This was presented to me to be solved by picking out English words on the screen. It listed Ma and 'am as two separate words.
They're just word tiles - sometimes Duo splits words up like this.
The Japanese course has o' and clock on two separate tiles. I've seen other examples, but that one sticks in my head because I find it particularly annoying.
The issue isn't "ma'am", the issue is "Ma" " 'am" "are" "you" "a" "doctor" Ma'am is expressed as two separate words when Madame is a single word and does not need to be expressed as two separate buttons to click. I didn't see the ' and as a result my brain interpreted it as just "am", which meant that for whatever ungodly reason Senora was Madre in my head, and that means "Ma, are you a doctor?" was appropriate.
Lady is señorita not señora. Señora should also mean Madam or/and Ma
I'm fairly new into Spanish ( two weeks ) so I may be wrong here - so far I understand Senorita to mean young lady and Senora to mean a) lady when referring to but not directly addressing an adult female and b) Madam / Ma'am when directly addressing an adult female. I have yet to see Senora being translated as Ma. Sorry about the lack of accents used here, UK keyboard in use.
You are right the difference between senorita and senora is age, HOWEVER it changes from senorita to senora when a woman marries. THAT is the primary difference
Hi, please use the button to report problems. The course creators don't read every comment to every sentence discussion, but they do get the reports. Thanks!
I also agree, separating the Ma' and am in two sections is confusing. It should be "Ma'am" on one card.
I read in another discussion that the moderators are aware of the problem and have put it in the works to be changed, but it takes time.
I'm used to saying 'Miss'. Please add this as a translation as it is used. Just as Spain' and Mexico' spanish is accepted, UK' and USA' english shoud be accepted!
I used it too, as a Brit, we usually reserve ma'am for somebody like the Queen or women of senior rank (e.g. military)
I agree, as a brit I would very rarely say ma'am and generally say lady or miss.
In the US, I think "lady" dropped out of fashion because we don't have the official title of "Lady" anywhere (outside of the First Lady). We almost don't use the word at all, honestly. But saying "Lady, are you a doctor?" would sound more like "Woman, are you a doctor?" and be kind of rude here.
Good to know. Thank you for sharing that info. I think it is good for those who are here to improve their English (after completing the Spanish to English tree) to polish the dialect they want. But I also think it's interesting & since I'd like to travel it would be good to know for the future.
chrisinlaco you are absolutely correct!
It seems that folks don't realize that Duolingo teaches/uses American English. The symbols DL uses to signify the English language make this quite clear:
Although it may be interesting/helpful to hear answers from the perspective of other English speaking countries, e.g. England, those replies are not correct from the DL perspective.
N.B.: I make no assertion as to what is better or worse about all this, just stating what is. ;-) (In other words, please don't shoot the messenger.)
I can't respond to Brigid directly, but I've found the conversation about regional differences to be fascinating. I love that other English-speakers don't hang so much on gender in their language. But here in the USA, we do and I hear "ma'am" used pretty much every day.
On the other hand, dl displays a spanish flag and uses LA spanish occasionally ( and supposedly to be interchangeable with the PI spanish)
That's because it's rude. "Usted" indicates respect, so to match the tone you'd have to use something like "Ma'am"
as in "ms. are you a doctor?" In the US, no one would ever be called "ms., mrs. or mr." without and name attached -- like "Ms. Jones, are you a doctor?" Oops, which is also wrong, because if you thought the person was a doctor, you would call them "dr."
I think that has more to do with where the developers of the course came from. In some parts of the English speaking world, the word 'lady' seems to have a generally rude connotation...
outside of the very southeast, nobody says ma'am or madam. Both words are outdated.
I don't know if that's true. I can't recall ever hearing anybody from Australia or New Zealand saying ma'am. At least in Australia, I've heard it's considered somewhat offsensive.
Offensive? Isn't it used for the Queen?
Regardless, Duolingo teaches American English. Many have noted that "ma'am" is commonly used in the U.S. As I've been copying repeatedly* in this Discussion, the symbols DL uses to represent English clearly show that America is its English language source:
*Please read the entire discussion before making a comment or asking a question...the info you're seeking is probably already posted.
Just because its taking as reference American English doesn't mean the rest of the world's English speakers can't voice their thoughts here or that everyone else's thoughts on English used in other parts of the world are invalid. Yes - most definitely if you say Ma'am or Madam to someone in Australia or New Zealand they will think you are taking the piss....or in American....taking the Mickey.
The queen is a special case with several forms of address, so I'm not sure what your point is there. If you ever find yourself being referred to as "your majesty" in the UK, you shouldn't take it as a compliment.
They use a Spanish flag for Spanish, but they don't teach much peninsular Spanish at all. What's your point?
They also accept common English answers as well as American English ones most of the time, but they don't acccept many regional equivalents of "ma'am" on these questions, so the fact that they use a US flag seems quite irrelevant to the discussion.
Ultimately, any time designer uses a country's flag to denote a whole language, they're making some kind of mistake. I don't think it's worth trying to reason about it too much. The important thing is, Duolingo accepts answers that aren't American English and the "ma'am" questions are an exception that is almost certainly not intentional.
At any rate, my point is that the OP specifically said it was only used in the southeast. I'm just saying I've heard of far more people from the US using it than people from the southeast, and that as far as I'm aware it would be considered inappropriate there.
I grew up in the Rocky Mountains and live near DC now. "Ma'am" was and is regularly used in every place I've lived -- Colorado, Kansas City, Chicago, DC. To me it is more that the other answers people are suggesting are not common and/or appropriate substitutes: lady, mrs. or madam. Miss is OK and common, but is used for younger women and girls. Someone could be offended by miss or ma'am if they are sensitive about their age one way or the other, but it would be personal preference.
I haven't heard anyone saying that other English speaking countries use "lady" or "missus" for example, just that they WOULDN'T use ma'am. I'm still curious about what is used instead, or if one would just say "excuse me" to either a man or woman without any "title."
Point taken on the use of the Spanish flag...however, it apparently is used largely for easy recognition and because Latin America is a continent not a country.
As repeatedly stated in this discussion "ma'am" is a commonly used word across the U.S., not just in the South. When people comment that they "can't recall ever hearing anybody from Australia or New Zealand [or England...] saying ma'am" it is an interesting observation of differing use of words around the world. However, it does not indicate the need for "reporting" alternate answers to DL because they don't reflect the American English taught on Duolingo.
Although there are many similarities, there clearly remain differences in word usage among English-speaking countries, e. g. ma'am, boot, jumper... Inserting Duolingo's representation for the English language is a visual way to remind and/or inform folks that DL teaches American English. (Note above link from DL founder Luis von Ahn as well as multiple Moderator entries in this Discussion.)
I live outside of Washington DC and my plumber called me "ma'am" 20 minutes ago. I hadn't even noticed how incredibly common it is until this thread.
I disagree, as a native northeastern american, I use ma'am all the time. "Yes, ma'am", "No, ma'am", etc.
I noticed on some other questions that it was accepting madame, not madam, so you might be right as to why it flagged this wrong. I had assumed it was medic vs doctor.
That said, who is to say that a woman in charge of a 'house of ill repute' couldn't also be a medic? :)
That connection is archaic and would only be an issue if it was translated to a non-english speaker's equivalent.
if I wanted to say "are you the doctor" would it be "usted es la medica"?
En mexico el termino medica esta mal usado se dice Medico sin importar el genero
When do you use, "es usted", and when do you use " usted es"?! Does it make a difference?
I don't believe there is a hard and fast rule on this so you can use either order.
Just out of curiosity, isn't the rule that when you ask a question, and you want to use the pronoun, if comes after the verb, rather than in front of it? Or is that just because the pronoun is being used to disambiguate in most situations, but here we're doing something else (such as emphasizing the "you")?
You can switch things around or you can leave it as a regular remark with question marks added on.
It would most probably mean the speaker is a tad confused about how to use formal address in Spanish. "Señora" is a formal address. "Eres" is informal. When referring to someone as Señora, best to go for the formal "Ud es" (usted es).
That's exactly what it is. Formal or not, to me, it all is the same. That's why I'm having such a hard time with it.
No, it really doesn't. Mrs. is a title, used before a name. It's never used on it's own in English. You can write it out as Missus, but never just Mrs.
The only acceptable translation for this Duolingo question is to use "Ma'am" which is acceptable in most of the USA even though it is something I would never say.
In the UK and probably the rest of the English-speaking world we would not address her with any title, but simply say "Excuse me, are you a doctor?"
I don't think 'Lady' or 'Missus' would be used like this in any English-speaking country and the use of either would be aggressive-sounding and rude.
Ma'am is not an address used in every day Englang. It should be Madam or Lady.
If it didn't accept madam or lady, you need to use the Report Button to suggest it. Posting it here will not help to add it to the database.
I did not try this, but on MASH when calling for a doctor they would yell "Medic!" just wondering if duo would have accepted it.
Ma'am isn't universally used in all English dialects. As far as I know it's only used in American English, and that's not what I speak.
The course is in American English, so you should expect to see ma'am in all the señora sentences. They usually also accept madam. If they don't, please report using the Report Button.
Miss is used to refer to a younger woman (señorita), while ma'am is for someone older (señora).
I am confused as to when to use an article and when to not. Can someone enlighten me? Why was an article (a) not used in this instance?
why is "miss" wrong? I live in the UK and I use it regardless of someone's age
Saying that would sound rude and a bit aggressive in all varieties of English. In most of the USA 'Ma'am' would be fine and the only acceptable translation for this Duolingo question. In the UK and probably the rest of the English-speaking world we would not address her with any title, but simply say 'Excuse me, are you a doctor?'
No, Mrs. is only used as a title. You would have to spell it out as missus.
Some times in questions the subject comes before "ser" and some times the subject comes after..and some times there is no subject at all..is there a rule for all of this ?!
Mrs. is an abbreviation of Missus and never used on it's own. You can try Missus or Madam, but it will never accept Mrs. It's for the same reason you don't see, "Hello, Dr."
Depends on where you are. It's commonly used in the U.S., particularly in the South.
No, using the abbreviated form Mrs. is never correct in cases like this. You need to write it out, Missus.
Ma'am is an abbreviation for madam, so the apostrophe and extra a are necessary.
I have never in my life seen it spelt ma'am it's spelt mam in the dictionary
I guess this is one of those times you can say, "I have now!" In the dictionary, "mam" is: (1) one's mother; (2) an alternate spelling for ma'am, which is short for madam (it's not the preferred spelling, however).
In what language? Merriam Webster has it spelled "ma'am" http://www.learnersdictionary.com/definition/ma%27am
Horrible pronounciation and intonation. I don't heard a question at all.