"La scrittrice"

Translation:The writer

June 4, 2013

This discussion is locked.


"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.


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!).


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


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


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.


I've Never Heard Either, So...


but Duo did not accept authoress! Is Duo more hep than me?


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.


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.


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


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


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.


"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.


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.


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.


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.



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.


I love this word, it sounds great!


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.


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"


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.


    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.


    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.


    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.


    Today I Learned That "Authoress" Is A Word.


    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?


    So would a male writer be "Il scrittrico"?


    Male writer - Lo scrittore / Female writer - La 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.


    150+ comments on gender equality. sigh.

    Authoress is just wrong. Get over it.


    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.


    Why is author not accepted?


    Why is author not accepted?


    Why not 'author'?


    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.)


    So annoying g. Correct me too quickly.


    Why is "the author" accepted as translation for "il scrittore", but rejected for "la scrittrice"? Are there no Italian female authors?


    Does anyone know of an app that can help with pronunciation? This app doesnt pick up what im saying well my Italians sounds pretty qwful


    The author is perfectly OK.


    Author is not accepted, even though for "lo scrittore" it was.


    Surely the answer is either female writer of Authoress ..?


    is it me or do others find the pronunciation of 'scrittrice' a bit difficult.


    At a loss, because in English you don't use the femal form, i cheated and looked at the underlined suggestions. As they suggested authoress, i used this uncommon word. And what happened? It cost me a heart... Why does DL not accept it's own suggestions?

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