1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Italian
  4. >
  5. "La scrittrice"

"La scrittrice"

Translation:The writer

June 4, 2013



"Authoress" is certainly used in English - "lady writer" is never used!!


You win! I had (luckily) never heard Dire Straits before. But in 69 years of living in England and speaking British English, I have never heard it used. Most women nowadays seem to object to the term "lady", though I cannot fathom why!


How many women nowadays would qualify as ladies, and how many men as gentlemen? In their objections, maybe they're just being honest. ;-)


I think that it might be because nowadays, where the term "lady"is used it is more often than not used to "gentrify" someone who clearly is not of the gentry, or alternatively it is used by the quintessential "male chauvinist" to patronize women (harking back to the days that gentlemen ran things and ladies ran the home).


When the female members of my family are around in a group, I address them collectively as ladies. "Ladies" is becoming more common in Canada these days "How'yre ya doin' tonight, ladies?" similar to "guys" for men.


In Australia guys is very gender neutral and lady and ladies are either a bit prissy and stuck up or a bit of a arse trying to pick someone up.


Yes those terms are common nowadays. I find the term "ladies" over-respectful and the term "guys" disrespectful unless you refer to people to whom you are very familiar. I would never want to be referred to as a "guy".


It's my understanding that "lady" is from Olde English and loosely translates to, "man-pleaser." I haven't researched this myself, it was told to me by a friend who was a humanities grad. True or not, that may be the reason some feminists bristle at being called a lady.

  • 2612

In OE lady was "hlæfdige", which some explain as hlāf (bread) + dǣġe (kneader); lord was "hlaford", or hlāf (bread) + weard (keeper), and maid "hlafæta", or hlāf (bread) + æta (eater).


Probity is rare.


No longer available


Terms such as "authoress" and "poetess" are culturally obsolete, shunned, and inappropriate nowadays. Both female poets and male are referred to simply as "poets". You will really date yourself if you were to refer to a female author as an "authoress".


Agreed, although actress still feels natural English usage except that most actresses prefer to be called actors. Also postmistress (though they are probably a dying breed) and manageress (eg of your local convenience store). And prophetess. Even murderess, though perhaps let's not go there! Any other -esses in normal English usage?


Well, a mister is device to cool things down (by dispersing a fine mist of water, e.g. over a patio), whereas a mistress is supposed to have the opposite effect.


Well played, well played indeed


Don't think that counts as there is no male equivalent of seamster.


"Just because it is in the dictionary, I'm not sure that it means it is/was ever used much."

I would submit that that is exactly why a word is in the dictionary.


In the end it matters little, and certainly I agree it is not a commonly used word today! Perhaps James Fenimore Cooper or Jane Austen would have used it: that is a job for a linguist with a language corpus.


I don't know about you but I've never read of anyone being a seamster. Just because it is in the dictionary, I'm not sure that it means it is/was ever used much.


Well, you would have thought so, and yet I'm pretty sure that if I were to read my way through a dictionary, I would come across a great many rare and unusual words for everyday things. Anyhow, yes, it matters little: both seamster and seamstress sound pretty dated nowadays!


Yeah, I'm Probably Not Going To Refer To An Actress As An Actor, It Just Feels Wrong. Although I Probably Would Say "Actors" As The Plural If There Are Both, Since Saying "Actors And Actresses" Takes Too Long.


How sad!! Some professions have historically had a mixture of sexes hence it was and, i would contend is perfectly acceptable to use the appropriate term, e.g. actor actress. author authoress. Some were predominately male or female and no opposite gender existed (e.g. butcher) and today bucheress would sound contrived and stupid hence the term is now unisex. Why destroy a language for PC, I suppose its all hens now a pity about the cockerel maybe is all bull anyway


I'm Pretty Sure Some Words, Such As Authoress, Went Out Of Fashion Because There's Just No Real Need To Differentiate An Author By Gender, No For Political Correctness Or Whatever


I've never heard "authoress" in my life.


They dont accept woman writer


Just say ❤❤❤❤❤❤❤ writer.


Today is January 2019 abd "woman writer" is perfectly accepted.


In the 1950s maybe. Fine, Italian is a heavily gendered language but I don't see a good reason to carry that over into English, or to continue the use of words like "authoress". Fortunately, DL accepts "the writer" as an adequate translation.


I agree. The writer is perfectly acceptable as the English translation here and if Duolingo didn't already accept it, I would be telling them to. In English we get gender clues from other parts of the sentence (ie. The writer talks about her book), there is no need for dated terms like authoress.


Authoress is NEVER, EVER used in English. It's fisherwoman all over again.

"JK Rowling awarded authoress of the year" is not a headline one would ever see.


"Authoress" was probably last used in the early years of the 20th century.


Margaret Atwood would kill you (with a pithy remark) if you called her authoress!


Absolutely right.


I've Never Heard Either, So...


Nor is "The female writer" accepted!


I just put in "The writer" (no gender qualifying words) and it was accepted as correct - July 2017


Why is "authoress" give as a possible translation but not accepted?


I tested "authoress" today (23 Feb) and it was allowed


Because no one ever naturally uses that word.


We use it a lot in (British) English!


Erm, no, we really don't. We just say "author" or "writer" irrespective of gender. "Authoress" is completely obsolete. It's the sort of word Mr Burns (Montgomery, not Robert) might use.


I'd never heard it until today. Are other gendered job titles still regularly used in the UK? I've been a little surprised by how antiquated some of these professions sound (such as "mailman" and "policeman"), and aside from "actress" (which is also rapidly fading away) I can't think of a single job title that still makes note of the worker's gender. Is this trend a US thing?

Exceptions edit: Councilman, congressman


What about Dominatrix? :)


You got me there. But you never know, ten years from now we might be calling them "subjugation engineers".


That is interesting, since we have the opposite trend in Germany. Nowadays you have to gender every profession where you former hadn't.


Do we..? That's news to me after 20 years living in England :')


I'm sorry, 'authoress' is the correct word. Maybe it is falling out of fashion but surely 'lady writer' is just a sexist as 'man writer,' and we don't use that.


"'lady writer' is just a sexist as 'man writer,' and we don't use that."

What argument are you trying to make here? Are you saying it's good or bad that people don't say "man writer"?


Er, I am not trying to make any argument. All I am saying is that the word exists, whether you like it or not. I don't think stating fact can be considered sexist, or anything else for that matter.


'Lady writer' sounds patently absurd to me. I'd just say 'author' usually, unless I wanted to make it very clear that it was a woman, in which case I suppose I'd say 'authoress'.


yes. the lady writer is preferred over authoress. oh, i meant, if it were still the 1950s.


There ought be a way to easily mouseover and specify gender for occupations, as English doesn't (much) make that distinction.


Authoress is an acceptable translation. Lady writer is an abonimation. Would anyone propose a male doctor as an acceptable translation for dottore? This is a very good app but the occupation exercises need serious rework to bring them into the 21st century.


I'm not sure why 'lady writer' is an abomination, and even if so, of what it is an abomination? Certainly not of English. Of course, I agree that 'authoress' should also be a correct translation. Either way, 'male doctor' is in fact a more exact translation for 'dottore,' while 'dottoressa' is the more exact translation for female/woman/lady doctor. I guess the Italians are just not so hung up on gender; an Italian psychiatrist friend is quite happy to be called dottoressa, just don't call her Signora in her office! So do you mean the Italian language needs to be brought into the 21st century?


The Italian language can do what it wants, what so many of us object to is that we are expected to use English in ways it hasn't been used in half a century.


I think you are missing the point. The Italian langage does exactly what it wants, but if you want to translate 'scrittrice' into English, you need to add a gender. Scrittrice certainly does not mean male/man/masculine writer. I don't care, if anyone else is hung up on gender, I'm not, but there is no way around it - scrittore = male etc. writer, scrittrice = female etc. writer.


I think people object to 'lady writer', rather than the gender in general. 'Female writer' is fine by me, but 'lady writer' just sounds wierd.


Absolutely! It's duolingo I was commenting on. Certainly not the Italian language. There are tons of professions that the language distinguishes as performed by women. i.e.. Professoressa, dottoressa ...


I'm not missing the point. Duolingo did not accept "woman" writer. The company's answer was "lady writer". Duolingo is politically incorrect.


I think he was talking to TerreyP...


Depends... How would you translate e.g. French "ils sont" vs. "elles sont" -- both "they are", but the translation loses the gender distinction explicitly present in the original. Or losing a different distinction: "tu es" vs. "vous etes" -- both "you are", but loses the formality distinction. Idiomatic translation cannot necessarily conserve all of the nuances or ambiguities of the original.


Well it depends if I wanted to emphasise the gender. If I were talking about them, I would just say they, but if I wanted to indicate that they were women in particular, I might say 'those women', those ladies over there. You're right that there is no single word to carry that impression, as there is no single word for female writer (except perhaps writeress, but that just sounds silly), but there is always a way of conveying it by using extra words. So, the question here is how best to convey the gender of the writer (assuming that we want to emphasise that it's a woman) in English.


You don't need to add a gender when translating to English, because in English we don't differentiate occupations by gender in most cases. We use author/doctor/etc for both men and women. There are a few cases where gendered occupations still persist but author is not one of them (certainly not here in Australia anyway - I have never heard authoress used).

Yes, in Italian "scrittrice" refers to female authors only but it is perfectly acceptable to translate "la scrittrice" to "the author" because information about someone's gender is not given by occcuptions in English. The gender of the author being referred to is revealed by context clues (ie. The author writes her book - it's perfectly clear what gender the author is in this example). Duolingo accepted "the writer" (no gender qualifying words) as correct just now so they agree.

It's a bit like in Italian how "il suo libro" can mean either "his book" or "her book" - and you have to work out whether it's his or her from context. So in the Italian sentence "La scrittrice scriva il suo libro" you determine the gender of the person from the word used for author - but in the English sentence "The author writes her book" - the use of her (instead of his) is what makes you understand that the author is female. Interesting, isn't it?


amaybury is right, it is you that is missing the point. I don't object to translating a term using gender, since gender is intended in the original Italian. I object to using the term "lady writer" which is a term used by Victorians to insult women who wrote. I could translate it "female writer" and that seems to now be accepted as correct, but if I needed to say that a writer was female, I would say "woman writer" and that is not accepted as correct.


"Authoress" is actually given as a one of the hints - yet not accepted. Odd


"lady writer" and "woman writer" aren't the same???????????????????????


I would say 'female writer' if I wanted to point out that the writer is not male. Lady sounds so outdated. Maybe 'woman writer' could be confused with someone who writes about women.


As a professional writer who happens to be female, I can confidentially state, I am no lady!

Use this noun throughout Italy to describe my profession.


From your other post [I'm not sure why it doesn't show in this discussion but I received an e-mail notification]

"A writer is not necessarily an author. I am a professional writer, but I am not an author. However, I'm definitely a female and not a lady!"

Anyone who writes, professionally or not, is most certainly an author, or authoress: just as I am the author of this reply.

Although 'lady' is maybe a subjective term and therefore debatable, 'female' or 'woman' writer, or authoress, should all be accepted as translations of 'scrittice.' I suppose 'writeress' would be a backward step.

Cin cin, Terrey

PS. I'm sure you are a lady writer really!!


:) I think of an author as one who has been published, while the verb "to author" refers to the act of creating text... nevertheless, I see your point.


why would writeress be a backwards step? does that mean you're against use of that word? If so, you are being inconsistent. Also, forget sexist language. It should die.


but surely you can see that it's less patronizing than lady writer, and that no one here is arguing that author has not become a neutral term?


Very good. I can see that you very nearly understood what I had written!


The previous time I answered this one, I put 'lady' in brackets i.e. 'The (lady) writer' to show that I understood that the writer was female, but that in English we would usually just say the writer. Duolingo took offence to the brackets and marked it wrong! Usually English avoids the often redundant notion of gender, and it is now more acceptable not to discriminate with "-ess' endings etc. E.g. 'Actor' is now commonly used for female and male thespians.


Amidst all this political correctness, nobody seems to have noticed that scritore/trice and autore/trice have different meanings. The former is merely "someone who writes", including jobs where "author" would be silly, such as a copywriter. The latter is "someone who originates a creative work", as is shown by its use in Italian for painters, artistic photographers, film directors, etc, for whom "writer" would be silly.

So I think that authoress is not a very accurate translation here, whatever you think of its gender.


What is the difference between "scrittrice" and "scrittore"?


It looks like "scrittice" is a female writer and "scrittore" is a male writer. In UK English we just call them author these days regardless of gender.


indeed, like "actress" and "actor"


Why not "Lo scrittrice"?


Because 'scrittrice' is a feminine noun so 'la' is correct. 'Lo' (or 'il') would be when used with a masculine noun.


What's the plural of "scrittrice"?


So the plural of "female writer" is a male-gendered word in Italian?


No. Nouns that end in -e in the singular can be either feminine or masculine, and they all change to ending in -i in plural regardless of gender. The gender doesn't change, the issue is that -i plural ending can be for both masculine words (-o or -e ending when singular) or feminine words (-e ending when singular). It's more likely to be masculine because of all those singular nouns ending in -o, but really you have to look at the article to be sure. La scrittrice becomes le scrittrici when plural - le clearly indicates the word is feminine plural.

[deactivated user]


    "the lady writer"? "authoress"? what century are we in.


    The use of "lady" before an occupation is extremely rude. They should translate this as "the writer" or "the female writer".


    Sounds silly doesn't it, don't know where they got that translation from.


    female writer = correct translation of scrittrice - writer = incorrect translation of scrittrice


    Then why isn't "scrittore" translated as writer, and not "scrittrice"? Is it because masculine is the "default"?


    Scrittore is translated as "writer". Yes, the masculine is the default.


    Would you say in English that J. K. Rowling is a "female writer" or a "writer"? I would definitely choose the latter.


    I agree (as does Duolingo) that "the writer" is a perfectly valid translation of "la scrittrice". In English we get information about the gender of the writer from context clues ie. The writer writes her book. In the Italian translation (La scrittrice scriva il suo libro) "la scrittrice" gives us information about the gender of the writer and "il suo libro" doesn't, but in the English sentence it's the other way round - "her book" tells us the gender of the writer and "the writer" doesn't.


    If you fall into the trap of translating directly into the usage that you would use, you will miss some of the meaning of the Italian. By that I mean, in English, she would be a writer. In Italian she would be a scrittrice, unless she were with a mixed group of writers who would then be referred to in the masculine plural. I assume that if you had no idea as to Ms. Rowling's sex, then she would be a scrittore, which would be the default you referred to. If you know, then scrittrice is correct.


    Writress should be accepted!


    Writeress is old but valid, agreed.


    I'm English, well read, and well educated. I've never heard this word before in my life. Which is not to say it doesn't exist in a dictionary, just that it is rarely if ever used.


    ...and I'm an American engineer? Identity is not the issue here, and I would argue that whether any given individual has heard of a word does not make it right or wrong.


    Agreed, but whether it is in common use makes it worth learning or not. Maybe its a regional thing: US common, UK rare? But US online dictionaries say:

    writeress ‎(plural writeresses) (dated, rare) A female writer; an authoress.

    Don't you think it morally wrong to give non-native speakers words that may embarrass them?


    Hahaha naw, I had to look it up myself. ;-) Writeress is not common in the US to my knowledge. Never heard of it prior.

    Your second point is interesting. I had approached it in the sense of "is this correct", not "is this a good idea". Maybe, and much to your point, the better thing to do is accept the antiquated answer if given, but not to suggest it in the lesson. At the same time, this was an English word in a Learning Italian lesson, so perhaps any word that indicates understanding should be a green light. All of this is a big ask from a computer, admittedly.


    This thread is way too long and can be summed up as follows: The way duolingo - and gendered language in general operates - gives incredible insight into how a society and sexism operates. Before there are cries of foul play, no this does not mean anyone who speaks this language is sexist or something ridiculous like that. These things are not simple.

    The 'normal'/base/default of the word is the masculine form. Notice how the endings -trice, -essa etc are always given in dimmed brackets? Just in case a woman happens to be doing a job that was originally a man's? Writers, astronauts, lawyers - male male male. Except for secretary (segretaria)? Anyone who cannot see the glaring stereotypes here, I don't even... Latin-based languages obviously can alter the noun by changing the ending but it just goes to show that it is a reflection of how a language has had to 'catch up' with society gradually changing to allow women into the workforce when they originally wouldn't have even dreamed of leaving a life of unpaid housework.

    Why is "la scrittrice" a lady writer but the translation for "lo scrittore" just 'the writer? Why is conduttore just a presenter but "conduttrice" a FEMALE presenter? Because men hold the domain of 'the great normal'.

    Additionally, I often make a point of giving the female pronoun when translating a sentence containing the third person possessive (suo/sua) but not stating directly whether it is 'lui' or 'lei'. Duolingo always tells me the other option for the answer as "his" or "he" [object/action]. Never when I use the male pronoun does it say it could also be a woman or girl doing the action or having the occupation.



    I make a point of rotating he/she/it to practise the language. To me, Duolingo often gives the female alternative, and does not always give the male one. Not 100% yet, but a good fraction.


    i rotate too :) mm i haven't noticed duolingo giving the female one. For all we know it could be random algorithms, who knows.


    For "la scrittrice" I gave "the writer" because that is what google translate said it was and it was correct but I am confused as to why "la scittrice" and "lo scrittore" are both "the writer". What am I missing?


    If you look at all the other comments, you'll notice a general theme on 'female writer' - 'lo scrittore' is masculine, used for a male author, while 'la scrittrice' is feminine, used for a female author. Translating it into English, both phrases would translate to just 'author' or 'writer', because English very rarely distinguishes between gender like that.


    150+ comments on gender equality. sigh.

    Authoress is just wrong. Get over it.


    I love this word, it sounds great!


    Today I Learned That "Authoress" Is A Word.


    Why is authoress on the hover hints incorrect I would say writer but as it is la so obviously a woman authoress is more correct.


    I gave "woman" once and was marked wrong. Told it was "female" Now I write "female" and it's wrong. Told it was "lady"!!! Come on guys. All three are correct.


    The sentence doesn't have an adjective so it shouldn't be correct to add one. This whole discussion is kind of weird, I don't think anyone would try and translate "scrittore" as "male writer".


    why "the female writer" is wrong here?


    It is not wrong, it is duolingo that has got it wrong ... :-)


    For such a short word, it's a bit of a tongue twister


    So woman writer is wrong, but politically correct


    At the beginning of this section, I thought it said writer=scrittore or something similar. Is scrittrice specifically for female writers?


    Yes, so I believe


    Can someone tell me when the feminine occupation suffixes (-a, -essa, -rice) are used.


    When you are talking about a woman. JK Rowling is a 'scrittrice', Bernard Cornwell is a 'scrittore'.


    Thanks, but I'd like to know is there a special rule about using either -rice, or -essa or -a.


    Oh I see sorry, no I don't think there is rule, different words take different endings, I think you just have to learn them.


    So would a male writer be "Il scrittrico"?


    Male writer - Lo scrittore / Female writer - La scrittrice


    No - nor even lo scrittrico. But lo scrittrice


    https://www.youtube.com/shared?ci=qL6teiBLp1w Lady writer on TV (live) (I know, it's only a song :))


    I typed : the writer (female) We rarely specify in English and say lady writer - is this how you'd distinguish in the States?


    I believe the proper translation should be female writer. Italian men would appreciate foreigners knowing the difference, I'm sure.


    And you could certainly say, if you were speaking of two writers named, say, Chris Holmes, "No, the woman writer." You would never say, "the lady writer," unless you were from the XVIII century.

    In Dire Straits, Mark Knopfler is being ironic, sillies! Listen to the rest of the lyrics!


    How come it's not "lo scrittrice?"


    This was answered above. Lo is only for male nouns. Scrittrice is female, so therefore la is used.


    How on earth was "The author" not accepted?


    Because it says scrittrice, not autrice, so that would be how on earth.


    Except "author" is listed as one of the acceptable translations, and has been accepted as a translation for 'lo scrittore'


    Why not lo scrittrice?


    'Scrittrice' is the feminine, hence 'la scrittice' and 'lo scrittore'


    It is often helpful to read the other comments, as this has been answered about 3 times in the thread now. (That being said, I know it is a lot to slog through)


    the hint or clue says writer or authoress. But authoress marked wrong. What is going on?


    Why "writer" but not "scribe"?


    As a former symphony orchestra conductor, I always felt that "concertmaster" ("leader" to my Brit friends) was a much nicer term for a woman violinist than "concertmistress," which sounds more than a little racy to my ear.


    Why was 'authoress' marked wrong?


    Maybe they can speak more "clearly"


    Shouldn't it be 'il scrittrice', or 'la scrittrica'?


    Lo scrittore = The writer (male)
    La scrittrice = The writer (female)

    Il conduttore = presenter, anchor (male)
    La conduttrice = presenter, anchor (female)

    Il direttore = The director (male)
    La direttrice = The director (female)

    Can you spot the profession gender "suffix"?
    (There are also professions that have more regular gender endings.)


    Ah well! Virtue signalling here...


    Author, writer, same thing


    Hey. To many are on their high horses. This is a language teaching forum not a socio-political site. Like it or not, Italian, German and other languages use gender, and we need to be able to show we have correctly understood. In this case we were asked to translate a clearly femininej ob title. How are we to demonstrate we have correctly understood if we do not respond with a corresponding word from English? Authoress is the long standing term, even though Duo, in ignorance, refuses it. And there are perfectly acceptable reasons for distinguished between male and female doctors, such as to express a preference when at the medical centre. Dont try to tell me that is not allowed, because I know women who do prefer to see a female doctor. So you may wish to be able to do the same when in Italy.


    I would suggest that author should also be accepted as a translation here. Authoress is, I suggest, old fashioned English and the term author is now generally accepted as referring to either gender.


    Shouldn't "The scribe" be accepted aswell?


    These folks need to update their knowledge of colloquial English.


    why is it not 'lo scrittrice' as it begins with an 's' and 'lo' always comes before an 's'????


    An author is most definitely a writer! Should have been accepted.


    I had a bad time trying to pronounce it.


    The lady author should be accepted. Reported it.


    "The author" suffices. You don't say "the lady author" in English. It's incorrect and rude.


    Although you are incorrect, the -1 did not come from me. I.e. lady [feminine] author [masculine]


    author is gender neutral.


    You're right, in vernacular use 'author' is becoming gender neutral. Personally, I don't care what people call themselves. But just because you don't like a particular word, that doesn't make it sexist, or incorrect, however important you consider yourself. I don't 'need' the word 'actress' either, but if I met one, and she referred to herself as being an actress, I would not be so rude as to call her an actor - or vice versa.


    Your rant kissed the mark. There is no gendered term for author in English.


    Why am I incorrect? (Thanks)


    Because 'lady' is feminine and 'author' is masculine, it would be the same as saying 'man authoress,' or 'man actress.' Cin, cin


    Authoress is almost never used in British English, in my experience. It sounds terrible dated and patronising to my ears. We use 'author' for both male and female writers.


    TerreyP, what country are you from? Or what century? Women are generally recognized as people these days. We don't need to use a separate word for a female author. Writers are writers, regardless of gender. Or would you say writresses?


    HI, just because it is or isn't used is irrelevant to its being correct, or not. Lady author cannot be any more correct than man authoress, as I explained above. 'Authoress' is still in most standard (or worldwide) English dictionaries.


    "Authoress" and "actress" do indicate female gender, but "author" and "actor" do not, in modern usage, imply any particular gender.


    I'm sorry, you are incorrect. As long as the words actress and authoress appear in dictionaries, there can be no argument that they exist, and - as you say - that they are gender specific; and if they are gender specific, then actor and author must be as well. I'm really, really sorry if that offends you, or anybody else.

    As I've noted elsewhere in this discussion, I honestly don't care. All I am doing is ponting out fact, although I really don't understand how it can be offensive to recognise gender, or be more precise, in our language usage. Cin cin.


    TerryP almost no one is saying you can't technically use authoress. Female author is correct as you can use author in both female and male cases, so it is definitely not the same as saying male actress. Regardless of the word authoress being valid or not.


    That is exactly what a lot of these comments are saying. The other point is that I really don't care. All I'm saying is the words exist


    just throw out the words authoress (which no one ever uses anyway) and actress. we don't need that sexism.


    Exactly! Not that it's important, it's just trivial at best, but creating separate feminine words for occupations is actually more sexist: it's more divisive and diminishing. That said, it's not something to make a fuss over!

    2016-2017 has been so frustrating in this respect.


    I respectully suggest you read the whole thread before commenting. I've already mentioned 'writeress' in another reply - about 6 down form this one.


    I like that it's an onomotapoeia. Sounds like scratching on something. Writers used to call themselves 'scribblers'. Now it's always 'authors'. It's a step down.


    my translation "the writer woman" is not being accepted. I wonder why it ahs to be LADY and not WOMAN


    'Woman' is definitely correct. As a guess at DuoItalian's logic: the word 'woman,' or 'lady,' is an adjective in this sentence, so should go before the noun [writer] in English


    Duolingo has no logic.

    It's duolingo. It uses sentences like the insects are in the sugar. Or the women run from the cat. Or the cook talks to the turtle. Or there is an ant on the orange. Or there is an architect in the bathtub.


    It’s just AUTHOR. You wouldn’t say “the guy-dude-man author.” You just say the author, gender regardless.


    If 'pescatore' is translated into "Fisher" and "Fisherwoman" depending on gender then 'La scrittrice' and 'il scrittore' should be translated into "writeress/writerwoman" and "writer". Otherwise Duolingo should revise their consistency.


    if you hold on to the english words "authoress" and such you are even more sexist than these italian words. The english words have an unmarked form and call that masculine, and then a marked form that is feminine. That implies that the default human is male. That's stupid and horrible and wrong.


    do you honestly believe that the word scrittrice implies a lesser status than its male counterpart? especially in a language that differentiates gender even in inanimate objects? just curious.


    I don't think you are asking me but anyway, my answer is emphatically 'no.' I think the people who complain about gender specificity in English have the problem. We are translating two very different languages. Comparing Italian [genderised inanimate objects] to English [gender - don't care] is like comparing apples and oranges.


    I said the english words, not the italian words, since in italian everything is gendered. It's still annoying but nowhere near as bad as in english. I don't know why I would have to say this again, why you didn't read it in my original comment.


    No, you are incorrect. What about 'seamtress?' The word 'seamster' no longer exists. Does that make the defualt female? Maybe in olden day yes, but now, much less so. I would postulate that 'actor' and 'actress' are gender recognisable, and more informal, forms of 'thespian,' and if you can gender defualt that word, please let me know; and even if you could, who really cares? But you are still missing the point. I [and I assume you] are here to improve our Italian, and whether we like it or not, there are certain words that are gender specific in that language. What you need to understand is that it is the WORDS that are gender specific, not the objects to which they refer; 'la tiera' is a female singular noun, or do you really think that teapots are female? So I repeat my question: Do you mean the Italian language needs to be brought into the 21st century?


    seamster (plural seamsters) (female seamstress)

    1. A MAN who sews clothes professionally [my emphasis]

    OMG, how sexist! You managed to find an English word that is not in the OED and which, according to you, shouldn't exist anyway because it has gender specific forms. Seems like you are still missing the point.


    You said the word seamster doesn't exist. I proved you wrong. Seamster is the one that we should use. Not seamstress. "er" means "one who" as in "driver".


    To quote you: ‘…you are even more sexist than these italian words…’ It seems you have a problem with anything gender specific. You might try learning Russian instead of one of the romance languages. Incidentally, the word ‘Italian’ is an adjective derived from a proper noun; as such it should be capitalised.

    About seamster: what I actually said was that the word is defunct. It seems you are still missing the point. Whether you like it or not, there are words in Italian, and English come to that, that are gender specific. Of course, it is your prerogative if you wish to call them, or me, sexist, or anything else for that matter. However, for now you are just going to have to come to terms with it, they exist; I can’t see Italian, or French, or Spanish, or German, et al, changing just because a few native English speakers find gender specific words offensive. Maybe they won’t exist [in English] in the future, which was the point I obviously failed to make about the word ‘seamster,’

    Your ‘er’ sentence is absolute nonsense. If you add ‘er’ to the verb ‘to drive,’ you get ‘driveer’ which is not the noun formed from the verb, and similarly, if you subtract ‘er’ from ‘seamster’ you get ‘seamst,’ which is not the verb derived from ‘seamster.’


    Perhaps you should write the Queen and inform Her Majesty of your objections.


    Why would I care to do that? Who is this "queen" even? No one I know. Are you implying she's an owner of english or something?


    Don't know what year these comments were written but in English as we speak it in Australia gender has been removed from occupations - we have a chairperson not chairman or chairlady , an author (of either gender) an aviator (not aviatrix) and so on. It's fine for Italian to keep its distinctions but Dl should recognise English has dropped them.


    I agree - Italian has these distinctions and English has dropped them and Duolingo should recognise that. (They did on this one at least - I put the writer and was marked correct)


    Ugh the italian words are not sexist just heavily genderised. there is no logical reason to genderise table or chair, but romance and most germanic languages just do.

    Please stop this "Hello I'm a good person and everyone else is sexist because I make stupid comments about any trivial gender-based situation because this is 2017 and Hermione Granger is feminist now" dilemma we're in.

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