maestra, profesora, profesor.

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Vocabulary / Vocabulario Español-Inglés' started by teenage flesh, Nov 23, 2009.

  1. teenage flesh

    teenage flesh Member

    Colombian Spanish
    Buenos días respetados miembros,
    ¿podrían ayudarme a encontrar el término adecuado para maestro y maestra en inglés?
    Verán, intento conocer cómo nombrar a un maestro o maestra de una institución de mayor nivel que una escuela secundaria, como saben, y para citar un ejemplo, don es un término para el profesor de universidad y etc.., mas he usado mistress en cuanto a la maestra y no sé si sería reprochable, conidereando que su formación profesional para la educación se enfoca en un nivel más alto.
    Vi un hilo con estas palabras, pero no hay este criterio de distinción y por eso les pido su ayuda.

    Garacias por sus aportes.
  2. spodulike

    spodulike Senior Member

    Brighton, England
    English - England
    I would answer but I guess you want to know the usage in EE.UU. There they use professor much more than we do in Britain. Here we use lecturer, senior lecturer, assistant professor and finally professor.

    So friends from the USA, please help!
  3. donnacim Senior Member

    USA- English
    Pues "mistress" nunca he oído en un contexto profesional. De hecho, la palabra refiere a la novia de un hombre casado. En las universidades aquí, el titulo es o professor o doctor, si es que la persona tiene el doctorado. Y las palabras son iguales para los hombres y las mujeres. Lo más habitual es llamar la persona por el titulo y su apellido. "Professor Davis" "Doctor Garcia" etc.

  4. jinti

    jinti Senior Member

    We have those same job titles in the US, but we address all of them as "Professor" when speaking to them.

    As Donnacim said, we can also use "Doctor" for those with a PhD, but if we don't know what degree they have, then "Professor" is safe. (Actually, in practice, most professors without PhDs will not correct you if you call them "Doctor", although they really should.)

    We use "Professor" both with and without a last name, but we use "Doctor" only with a name. For instance:

    Professor? Are you busy?
    Professor Smith? Are you busy?
    Doctor Smith? Are you busy?

    "Mistress" is never used in this context. Donnacim's definition of it is correct. :D
  5. GreenWhiteBlue

    GreenWhiteBlue Senior Member

    The City of New York
    USA - English
    No, we all don't do this. If one wants to be very correct (which , of course, is not popular today...), the title "Professor" is reserved for "full" professors only. An Assistant Professor, Adjunct Professor, Lecturer, etc., would be addressed as "Doctor Smith" if he or she has a doctorate (and it is a rare university teacher who does not) or "Mr. Smith/Ms. Smith/Mrs. Smith/Miss Smith" (according to the preference of the person being addressed) if he or she does not have a doctorate.
  6. vcostandy Senior Member

    American English
    I (and every other US university student I know) call all of my University teachers, be they adjuncts, assistant profs, full profs, etc., ¨Professor¨ or ¨Doctor.¨ I know to say Doctor if that is how the teacher refers to him/herself, writes his/her name on the syllabus, signs his/her emails, etc.

    I´ve never heard a fellow student call them Mr./Mrs., and I think they would be fairly offended if they were called Mr./Mrs. instead of Professor or Doctor, no matter what their ranking is!
  7. GreenWhiteBlue

    GreenWhiteBlue Senior Member

    The City of New York
    USA - English
    While you may do this, and your circle of friends at the same school may also do this, I don't think that your personal experience should be taken as proof of a general practice observed by all English speakers everywhere at all institutions of higher learning in the United States. Clearly, my comment should indicate to you that what you do is not a universal usage. You might also note that those who follow usages other than your own are not thereby wrong for doing so.

    One can also just look in that part of the school's catalog where faculty are listed. One will then typically find the actual degree, and often the name of the institution that granted it. Titles are never correctly part of a signature, although some university teachers may feel the gaucherie is nececessary lest the student think that a proper signature of "Jane Doe" can be interpreted as permission to address the writer as "Jane".

    You have clearly never been in any classes taught by colleagues of mine. I can't imagine a doctoral student who was teaching a course being "offended" at being correctly called "Mr. Jones", instead of the inappropriate "Professor Jones".
  8. Marqueesa Senior Member

    Spanish - Spain
    My experience can't serve as general rule, but I spent six months in a North American University as PhD student, and my particular experience fits with this description.

    Professor is reserved for "full professor" (catedrático, in spanish).
  9. vcostandy Senior Member

    American English
    No need to be rude, GreenWhiteBlue, I was just sharing what is common in my neck of the woods to add to the possible interpretations and explanations.
  10. GreenWhiteBlue

    GreenWhiteBlue Senior Member

    The City of New York
    USA - English
    There is nothing at all rude about my answer. There is a great deal of rudeness, though, in your dismissal of my statement because it does not agree with your experience as an undergraduate in a single university.
  11. teenage flesh

    teenage flesh Member

    Colombian Spanish
    All you mates, thanks a lot, very wide sources I think, and excuse me, all I want to be sure is: Have I NEVER to use mistress (a lover of a married man)to call a female teacher? I mean, I just read this in an English dictionary.

    That to conclude the thread, very thankful.
  12. jinti

    jinti Senior Member

    I agree that this is technically "correct" practice, and I have seen it plenty of times in official college publications. I would add, though, that in the 9 colleges/universities I have attended or worked at (including where I currently work), I have never observed it in daily conversation or emails, whether on the part of the students, staff or faculty. Students are generally not aware of the rank of their professor (nor do they care), and I have never once in twenty years heard any faculty member under the rank of full professor correct a student who called him or her "Professor".

    So there are rules and there is usage. But thank you for pointing out that part of the culture of academia.

    And to Teenage, yes, I think the one thing we all agree on without reservation is that you should never call your female teachers mistress. :)
  13. donnacim Senior Member

    USA- English
    The idea of a "head mistress" rings some bells of antiquity . . . . I think that is an old fashioned and completely outdated term.

    Yes, it does seem the one thing we've all agreed on is that it should never be used.
  14. teenage flesh

    teenage flesh Member

    Colombian Spanish
    Thanks a lot esteemed mates, I'm always listening to your valuable hints.Be fine!

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