1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: French
  4. >
  5. Professeur and enseignant - t…


Professeur and enseignant - the difference?

August 29, 2012



I thought so, however, it isn't clear when Duolingo gives you the sentence to translate. You would think either would be correct in that case. I am a little discouraged by the errors. Sometimes an answer is correct, others times the same thing isn't. But I am learning lots nonetheless. Thanks for your reply.


I think that if you always translate it as "enseignant/teacher" and "professeur/professor", you should not have any error. I don't think it's a good idea that either of them should be correct. It's better to learn the good terms.



  • Enseignant : Teacher.
  • Professeur : Professor (University).

In the familiar speach, professeur is often used as a synonyme of enseignant


I will do that! I believe my question may have been more of a complaint about being marked wrong when there was no way to tell from context which word to use. There are many errors in what is considered to be the correct answers. I will be happy when the program is edited for those. However, I will be more patient and scroll from now on : ))))


I agree. I will follow your advice.


I will repeat what I already answered one week ago : "A comment about hugolemieux's mention that professeur/professeure is only for university. Actually, in France, professeur is used for all teachers teaching one specific discipline (as opposed to primary school teachers, although the latter have recently aimed at a social promotion by changing their previous title 'instituteur/institutrice' for 'professeur(e) des écoles'). Yes feminists insist on feminization of titles and jobs (re. auteur/auteure) whenever there is no official feminine word. But this can be tricky in instances like ambassadeur/ambassadrice if you consider that ususally the ambassadrice was the ambassadeur's wife. Same story with préfet/préfète. At last, in France 'enseignant/e' is used as the generic job of teaching. The debate might move forward when French speakers have found a proper name for midwives (une sage-femme - even if a man is doing it)." Now, for your future questions, you may find ready-to-eat answers before asking by scrolling down the Questions section since chances are that they are there already. Good luck !


Interestingly, in my mother-tongue, Afrikaans, we have the exact opposite happening - the pressure is for the eradication of feminine forms of titles in favour of only one form (the traditional male form) - so we had "onderwyser" (male) and "onderwyseres" (female) for "teacher", but there is pressure to refer to females as "onderwyser" also.


This is largely true in English as well. In the 19th century, a female doctor was a doctress and a female author an authoress. Those are long gone. Losing ground these days, certainly within the profession, is actress. We are all actors now. In the other direction, firemen are now fire fighters, policemen are police officers, and mailmen are letter carriers.

Learn French in just 5 minutes a day. For free.