Discussion in '中文+方言 (Chinese)' started by Thrym, Jun 6, 2013.
As far as I know, both words are pronounced Shi-Fu, but their meanings are not similar, aren't they?
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.
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).
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.
What's a female 师父？师母？
师傅 is for both men and women, right?
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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'?
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。
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?
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.
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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