As many of you probably know it "signora" is a courtesy title for a married woman (equivalent to Mrs.) while "signorina" is a courtesy title for unmarried woman (equivalent to Miss)
haha i forgot all about signorina. i thought it was just an observation of todays society that a woman isn't always a lady :P
I was thinking along the lines of the viral video with a "woman" saying "IT'S MA'AM"
ehr, i think "a woman is not always a missus" would be a more accurate translation
I have been living in Italy for five years, and my experience is that only teenagers are called signorina. Signora seems more a courtesy title given to adult women, with marital status not an issue. Thus, there is no "Mrs." versus "Ms." issue here.
Actually it's not so easy... Some women could result offended if you call them "signora"; because actually we use it for married women and old ones; so if a woman that it's not married gets called "signora" could think you are claiming that she's old... And we all know no woman wants to hear that... Ahahah
In Japan it would be "oba-san" (aunt). Women wanting to be younger prefer "Nee-san" (big sister).
I was called 'signorina' when I was in Italy although I am over thirty and married (with a ring and a husband), so it certainly isn't that simple :)
From my observations - in France if you're no sure, use 'mademoiselle', it is preferred.
There is a brilliant phrase from Margaret Thatcher on that matter: 'To be powerful is like to be a lady: if you say you are - you are not'.
non è sempre né signore né gentiluomo (he's not always neither lord nor a gentleman)
It's still not clear to me if this phrase is supposed to be literal (e.g. A woman is not always married/called signora) or if it more about behavior (e.g. A woman is not always a lady).
I agree. DL consistently provides these sentences out of context. But that's what you get for free. I want to think it's referring to marital status, as the behavior angle seems a bit inappropriate to me. Then again, there giving sentences like "Lui se trova in prigione"!
blackofe: No, in English, at least American english, a "madam" is the woman who runs a house of prostitution. It is however used as a form of polite address in stores for example: Yes, madam, can I help you. But in this context it'd be an inappropriate word to use.
The meaning of the sentence in English is that the alternative woman is a trollop, but the translation into Italian, whilst apparently straightforward, makes me wonder if it would be understood. I translated it to be -A woman is not always called a lady. 'Una donna è non sempre chiamato una signora.' I knew it would be wrong for Duo, but is it?
Perhaps to quell the inferred character dig, DL may wish to revise this sentence to: Una donna non è sempre una signora sposata. (A woman is not always a married lady).