1. lidia.moas Junior Member

    hi! in spanish when we talk to children about old people or adults we use the words "señor/a" "señor/a mayor" in order to teach them to show respect. What word would you use in English? How would you translate: "mama, aquel señor me está saludando" or "hay una señora sentada en el banco"

  2. fenixpollo

    fenixpollo Mod, I say, Moderator

    American English
    You would use man or woman.

    Mom, that man is waving at me.
    There is a woman sitting on the bench.
  3. lidia.moas Junior Member

    Thanks a lot! I wasn't sure if those were the right words because we usually translate "man" and "woman" as "hombre" y "mujer" and they don't sound as respectful as "señor/a", but it's good to know it does in English.
  4. Bevj

    Bevj Allegra Moderata

    Girona, Spain
    English (U.K.)
    I agree with 'man' but I think a small child would say 'lady' rather than 'woman'.
  5. inib

    inib Senior Member

    La Rioja, Spain
    British English
    Bevj and I must have grown up in the same place. I always agree with anything she says about (obviously - British) English usage! Definitely "lady" in this case, but not "gentleman". (Sexism, but not "positive discrimination" was rife in my days).:).
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2013
  6. Bevj

    Bevj Allegra Moderata

    Girona, Spain
    English (U.K.)

    Greetings, inib!
  7. fenixpollo

    fenixpollo Mod, I say, Moderator

    American English
    It doesn't sound respectful or disrespectful. It just sounds descriptive and neutral.
  8. mylam Senior Member

    United States English
    If the child is addressing the adult directly he would use "ma'am/miss" or "sir". But for talking about someone, then yes, "lady" (I think this is more likely in America too) or "woman", and "man" are appropriate.
  9. lidia.moas Junior Member

    thank you all!
  10. westend New Member

    In England we address the Queen as "Ma'am" - and only the queen. We would never use it for anyone else!! if you did it would be thought you were joking !
    lady, woman, man - all are commonly used - the only other possible word - 'gentleman' is very formal - and would never be used by a child.
  11. lidia.moas Junior Member

    thanks! I didn't know about "Ma'am" only used for the Queen. I'll go for "lady" / "man"

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