Duolingo is the most popular way to learn languages in the world. Best of all, it's 100% free!

"Señora, ¿usted es médica?"

Translation:Ma'am, are you a doctor?

3 months ago

73 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/headreplacement

once again ma'am is expressed as two words, this is a systemic problem

3 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Cambarellus
Cambarellus
  • 22
  • 15
  • 11
  • 8
  • 6
  • 247

This bugs me too. The choice of word bugs me as very Americentric but beyond that splitting it out into two words is annoying to say the least.

3 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/aaerie
aaerie
  • 25
  • 20

Likewise, this bugs me no end. Ma'am is not a contraction of two words, but one. Even if it were shortened from two words, as in the case of "don't," the contraction itself is a single expression and should not be broken into "do" and "n't," but rather "do" and "not."

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/EmmaMitche89062

It's not split into two words. The apostrophe is needed, because it's showing that there is a letter missing, namely the letter "d". "Ma'am " is short for" madam" and it is correct to write it that way.

1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GraceandRu1

I think this has to do with how it's presented when you aren't using the keyboard, so that you have to press ma and 'am separately. In other words, you're getting angry over something that others have seen, which actually does count as splitting ma'am into two words.

1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Kento711
Kento711
  • 17
  • 6
  • 120

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).

3 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Telisa7
Telisa7
  • 23
  • 17
  • 12
  • 10
  • 9
  • 9
  • 9
  • 8
  • 6
  • 6
  • 5
  • 5
  • 4
  • 4
  • 4
  • 4
  • 3
  • 3
  • 2
  • 50

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.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DonnySchre

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.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/chrisinlaco

Especially to a DOCTOR. Lady, are you a doctor? Not polite.

1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/EugeneTiffany

I have seen "lady" accepted from time to time.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/chrisinlaco

No, lady is not correct. It is rude.

1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Marthijsde
Marthijsde
  • 11
  • 10
  • 6
  • 5
  • 5

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!

3 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Thylacaleo
Thylacaleo
  • 24
  • 11
  • 174

Señorita is miss, señora is not.

3 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/squeak10

Yes, but they should be interchangeable and miss is a much more natural thing to say, where i'm from, than ma'am or madam.

1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/V4d5dni6

I put "Lady, are you a doctor?" and it's wrong.

3 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mm3C5
mm3C5
  • 25
  • 284

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)

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Telisa7
Telisa7
  • 23
  • 17
  • 12
  • 10
  • 9
  • 9
  • 9
  • 8
  • 6
  • 6
  • 5
  • 5
  • 4
  • 4
  • 4
  • 4
  • 3
  • 3
  • 2
  • 50

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.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ptygj

I would use 'Excuse me, Mrs.', but never 'Ma'am'. I agree with the Brit above.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/chrisinlaco

Americans would never call someone Mrs. in that way.

1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Brigid
Brigid
  • 17
  • 11
  • 4
  • 567

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: Change Chinese to any language

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.)

4 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/chrisinlaco

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.

4 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/squeak10

I agree, as a brit I would very rarely say ma'am and generally say lady or miss.

1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MRArroz

I also agree, separating the Ma' and am in two sections is confusing. It should be "Ma'am" on one card.

3 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Telisa7
Telisa7
  • 23
  • 17
  • 12
  • 10
  • 9
  • 9
  • 9
  • 8
  • 6
  • 6
  • 5
  • 5
  • 4
  • 4
  • 4
  • 4
  • 3
  • 3
  • 2
  • 50

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.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Robert877622

It is an awesome program never the less.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Telisa7
Telisa7
  • 23
  • 17
  • 12
  • 10
  • 9
  • 9
  • 9
  • 8
  • 6
  • 6
  • 5
  • 5
  • 4
  • 4
  • 4
  • 4
  • 3
  • 3
  • 2
  • 50

Yes! Thank you! I love duo & love that it's free.

For those who are not aware, there is a report button to flag issues so that the moderators get the message. Though I know many moderators do read the comments as well, that is a pretty big time commitment as a volunteer, which I'm sure not every one can afford to do.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/renemost

Yes, using ma'am is debatable, but splitting it up into two words is indeed annoying. No human speaker would ever consider doing that...

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/EmmaMitche89062

Using an apostrophe is NOT splitting it into two words for goodness sake. Quite the opposite, because it's indicating that something is missing, the letter 'd' in this case.

1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Craig90

Why not " Miss, are you a doctor? " ?

1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/hagarOsama1

Señorita is miss, señora is not.

1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RemoteMary

I believe "Ms." should be accepted.

4 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/HarryRober515252

The female voice doesn't sound like she's asking a question. Sounds like a statement of fact not query.

3 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LipsaKar1

Why can't I write the spanish translation as "Senora, usted es una medica?"

1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GMgOFl
GMgOFl
  • 19
  • 36

They should also accept Miss, instead of Ma'am.

1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Deb1134
Deb1134
  • 25
  • 25
  • 14
  • 9
  • 7
  • 7
  • 115

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.

3 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Rebecca126402

"Medic" is a slang term for anyone with medical training (doctor, nurse, EMT, etc). So a doctor would be a medic, but a medic would not necessarily be a doctor.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Trumaine7

I honestly guessed at this one and got it right. When they Mix words and don't put words like "una" for "a or an" loses me.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/EugeneTiffany

I wrote "madame" with an "E" and that was accepted.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Stanley702957

Why does it has to be ma'am why not lady

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GraceandRu1

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...

1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/HannahBanana427

What's the difference between "médica" and "doctor"?

1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/scottm47

Shouldn't miss be expected?

1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MalikatetheGreat

Was I the only one who read this sarcastically?

4 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/K8n8or

"With all due respect..."

3 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Martyn731976
Martyn731976
  • 25
  • 22
  • 15
  • 7
  • 5
  • 5
  • 3
  • 304

What is it with this ma'am nonsense? Can we progress to the 20th century, please.

5 days ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Brigid
Brigid
  • 17
  • 11
  • 4
  • 567

Please read the other entries. Your "question" has been asked & answered, repeatedly.

In short, Duolingo teaches American English. The use of "ma'am" is common in all parts of the US.

5 days ago

https://www.duolingo.com/alan967216

Duo dosn't like "Ma'am " now marked me wrong and tells me its "madam" who is making these questions and answers ??

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Brigid
Brigid
  • 17
  • 11
  • 4
  • 567

8/22/2018 Strange, ma'am just worked for me...

4 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/admcfad
admcfad
  • 25
  • 1158

"madam, are you a medic?" is marked wrong.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GMgOFl
GMgOFl
  • 19
  • 36

outside of the very southeast, nobody says ma'am or madam. Both words are outdated.

4 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Virakal
Virakal
  • 23
  • 5
  • 5
  • 153

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.

3 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Brigid
Brigid
  • 17
  • 11
  • 4
  • 567

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:

Change Chinese to any language

*Please read the entire discussion before making a comment or asking a question...the info you're seeking is probably already posted.

3 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Virakal
Virakal
  • 23
  • 5
  • 5
  • 153

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.

3 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Virakal
Virakal
  • 23
  • 5
  • 5
  • 153

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.

3 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/chrisinlaco

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.

4 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Thylacaleo
Thylacaleo
  • 24
  • 11
  • 174

admcfad: It may be because the appellation Madam has a euphemistic connection to a woman in charge of a 'house of ill repute!'

If you don't like Ma'am, it would probably sound better to borrow the French pronunciation 'Madame' (pronounced like m'darm).

1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/admcfad
admcfad
  • 25
  • 1158

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? :)

1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/aaerie
aaerie
  • 25
  • 20

"Medic" should be accepted. I hope people keep reporting.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/EugeneTiffany

This is a copy and paste of what I just did: madam, are you a doctor?

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GraceandRu1

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")?

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/EugeneTiffany

You can switch things around or you can leave it as a regular remark with question marks added on.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Nya783280

It didnt sound like a question so i had the incorrect punctuation.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MatthewSne933732

'maam' who says that..?

1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/K8n8or

I do tbh

3 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/chrisinlaco

Yep. Me, too. And I hear it every day.

3 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Brigid
Brigid
  • 17
  • 11
  • 4
  • 567

Asked & answered...please read previous posts.

Duolingo teaches American English; "ma'am" is commonly used in all parts of the US.

5 days ago

https://www.duolingo.com/spinge
spinge
  • 22
  • 6
  • 6
  • 3
  • 35

Some people here are pretty militant about their advocacy of US English. But we aren't learning US English here. We are learning Spanish and translating it into English (without any regional association). The rest of the English speaking world (UK, Ireland, India, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, other Commonwealth countries and other International English speakers) don't normally use ma'am. Period.

Sure, "ma'am" is a correct option since it's used in US English. But so are 'Madam', 'Miss' or 'Lady'. because they are used in UK and International English.

Yes, some parts of the English speaking world actually don't consider 'Lady' offensive. Similarly, some parts of the world as well as some women in the US do consider "ma'am" offensive. Makes them feel old.

Also of note is that if you don't know the woman's age nor whether she's married or not, "Miss" is an acceptable way to address her anywhere in the English speaking world. I've yet to meet a woman, young or old, who didn't like being addressed as such.

3 days ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jannie548460

Usted es medica? was wrong earlier. Now DL gives it as a sentence i should translate. Confusing!

1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Donald798622

Listening to the voice, I can not tell if it is a statement or a question. Surely this situation can pose problems?

2 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/shasha436629

if I wanted to say "are you the doctor" would it be "usted es la medica"?

2 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/EruLooke

I have never in my life seen it spelt ma'am it's spelt mam in the dictionary

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/chrisinlaco

In what language? Merriam Webster has it spelled "ma'am" http://www.learnersdictionary.com/definition/ma%27am

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Martyn731976
Martyn731976
  • 25
  • 22
  • 15
  • 7
  • 5
  • 5
  • 3
  • 304

The audio doesn't sound like a question but an affirmation.

5 days ago