Maestra (sarta)

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Gymnasiumcats

New Member
English - US
In a letter from 1913, my great grandfather uses the term "maestra" to refer to a woman with whom his daughter had apprenticed as a seamstress ("Maestra Maria"). How best to translate this into English? "Teacher" usually means schoolteacher; "Master" does not connote a woman in English; "Mistress" means lover. I thought of using "boss" or "supervisor" but this does not really connote a learned skill. Any ideas? Thanks in advance!

The original phrase: Tutti assieme con la Maestra Maria t’inviano baci e benedizioni...
 
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  • london calling

    Senior Member
    UK English
    I have come across 'master seamstress' but although 'Everyone including Master Seamstress Maria sends you kisses and blessings' is technically correct it sounds very odd to me.
     

    london calling

    Senior Member
    UK English
    I don't think I'd say it at all. Not because of 'master' but it sounds odd in English to refer to a person this way. It would be the same if she had been a primary school teacher known as Maestra Maria: 'Teacher Maria' sounds plain weird. And the same goes for some other professions. 'Doctor XXX' is fine but 'Lawyer or Engineer XXX' , for example? :eek:

    'Mistress Maria' is fine but it doesn't convey the idea that she was a skilled instructress, although I'm well aware that all those years ago women were not considered professionals even if they were. :mad:
     

    elfa

    Senior Member
    English
    I have come across 'master seamstress' but although 'Everyone including Master Seamstress Maria sends you kisses and blessings' is technically correct it sounds very odd to me.
    I agree it does sound odd. Having said that, I've looked it up on a certain search engine and there are a lot of references to the term, in particular relating to US degree programmes. What about dropping the capitals and going with 'master seamstress Maria'? If we're talking about a letter dating from 1913, I'm stumped for a more suitable term. :)
     
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