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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).
Though Australian, my old school forebears were clear in instilling the difference which is that one is not a lady unless entitled. As has been asked much more subtly, how many would qualify today, along with gentlemen, in the traditional systems (of class divide, no less!).
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?
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 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.
Writeress, though not very common, is also used:
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
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?
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.
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!!
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.
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.
WOULD LOVE IT IF THIS COULD BE AMENDED DUOLINGO K THX
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.)
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.
Probably because (like in English) there's a separate word for it:
[EN] Writer = [IT] Scrittore (masculine)
[EN] Writer(ess) = [IT] Scrittrice (feminine)
[EN] Author = [IT] Autore (masculine)
[EN] Author(ess) = [IT] Autrice (feminine)
(We no longer use the words that indicate a female writer/author in English, but I've included the separate gender suffix in parenthesis for clarity.)