師父 / 師傅

Discussion in '中文+方言 (Chinese)' started by Thrym, Jun 6, 2013.

  1. Thrym

    Thrym Senior Member

    Spanish
    As far as I know, both words are pronounced Shi-Fu, but their meanings are not similar, aren't they?
     
  2. tarlou Senior Member

    Chinese
    I think they are quite similar, and people actually mix them up in most cases.

    Here is a study of the differences between 师傅 and 师父, but that might be too advanced if you are just learning Chinese http://ktjx.cersp.cn/jsbl/lists/200712/3979.html .

    According to a dictionary, 师父 has two meanings: 1. the same as 师傅 (a. skill/art teacher; b. man with a skill, such as taxi drivers, cooks.) 2. respectful way to address monks.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2013
  3. stellari Senior Member

    Mandarin Chinese
    师父 literally means 'teacher-father'. So it's supposed to be someone who teaches you and who you treat as a father. 师傅 could be a teacher or a skilled worker.

    I would use 师父 for a teacher, especially a teacher of a skill that requires time to learn, such as kung-fu(1a) or a monk(2), and reserve 师傅 for skilled workers (1b). For example, I would say "这是我的咏春师父" (This is my Wing-chun shi-fu. I usually don't use 师傅 in this context), and “他是一位寿司师傅” (He is a sushi maker, and I never use 师父 in this sense).
     
  4. SuperXW

    SuperXW Senior Member

    So a rule of thumb:
    When you respect the person as someone who can teach you something, use 师父.
    When you respect the person as merely a skilled one, but you have no intention to learn from the guy, use 师傅.
     
  5. Youngfun

    Youngfun Senior Member

    Pekino, Ĉinujo
    Chinese/Italian - bilingual
    What's a female 师父?师母?
    师傅 is for both men and women, right?
     
  6. Lucia_zwl

    Lucia_zwl Senior Member

    I think it's also 师父。师母(also heard of 师娘) is the wife of your male 师父.

    I think so, but it's usually for men...as most skill workers are men.:p
     
  7. Youngfun

    Youngfun Senior Member

    Pekino, Ĉinujo
    Chinese/Italian - bilingual
    In Beijing there's the weird habit to call the female ticket vendors on buses 师傅... or when people stop me on the streets to ask for information, even though I don't look like a skilled worker. :D
     
  8. Lucia_zwl

    Lucia_zwl Senior Member

    Do Beijingers call the female ticket vendors 师傅?People may call female bus drivers 师傅,but usually not the ticket vendors...er, they might ask the ticket vendors “师傅,这车到XXX吗?” to show their respect, but I would ask “请问这车到XXX吗?”
    It's about the same thing when strangers address you "师傅"-- they're just showing their respect, esp for men.:)
     
  9. Youngfun

    Youngfun Senior Member

    Pekino, Ĉinujo
    Chinese/Italian - bilingual
    :tick:
     
  10. Ghabi

    Ghabi Moderator

    Hong Kong
    Cantonese
    Hi! Did 师傅 and 师父 ever exist as two separate words (with different pronunciations) in real speech? Or are they mere orthographical variants of the same word (like 他~她~它)? How are they pronounced in 轻声-less varieties of Mandarin? (In Cantonese there's only one word in speech: si1fu2.)
     
  11. tarlou Senior Member

    Chinese
    They are pronounced the same in Mandarin. I typically say shi1fu for both words and may occasionally say shi1fu4 in a formal context. (The 轻声fu is like 四声 but lighter.) Actually 轻声 is not clearly different from 四声 on this word.
    (According to dictionaries, the standard sounds of these two words are the same shi1fu(轻声).)

    Just curious, is 'si1' (in Cantonese) pronounced like '斯' in Mandarin or like the English letter 'C'?
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2013
  12. SuperXW

    SuperXW Senior Member

    Like "C"~
     
  13. Youngfun

    Youngfun Senior Member

    Pekino, Ĉinujo
    Chinese/Italian - bilingual
    In my dialect 父 and 傅 are pronounced differently: 父 with /v/ and 傅 with /f/. But we only use 师父 with /v/ sound.
    We don't have the word 师傅 for "a. skill/art teacher; b. man with a skill, such as taxi drivers, cooks.)" - we call that 老师, such as 裁缝老师、装修老师、开车老师 or 车师。
     
  14. Ghabi

    Ghabi Moderator

    Hong Kong
    Cantonese
    Thanks for the informative replies! @YF: So how do you call your, say, Kungfu master? 师父 or 老师? And then how do you call a teacher? Also 老师?
     
  15. xiaolijie

    xiaolijie MOD

    UK
    English (UK)
    Putting aside how it's come about, I think 师傅 may exist only in Modern Mandarin (and perhaps spread to other dialects, if at all). This word doesn't exist in Sino-Japanese or Sino-Vietnamese.
     
  16. Youngfun

    Youngfun Senior Member

    Pekino, Ĉinujo
    Chinese/Italian - bilingual
     
  17. tarlou Senior Member

    Chinese
    It's probably true that 师傅 mostly refers to cooks and drivers only in modern Mandarin. But according to the link in #2, the word 师傅 itself (which means the same as 师父) appeared in 战国时期 and was used quite a lot, whereas 师父 appeared much later (in Tang dynasty).
    Perhaps people gradually forgot 师傅 or assigned it new meanings as 傅 became a less common word...
     

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