San? Sensei?

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TimeHP

Senior Member
Italian - Italy
Hi.
What's the best title I should use to address myself to a Buddhist nun about 84 years old? She is not a sensei and san seems to me not very
appropriate. But maybe I'm wrong...
Thank you.
 
  • crises

    Senior Member
    BCN
    EU Spanish/Catalan
    The most polite expression I haver ever used with a Japanese priest was お師匠様. But maybe a ○○様 would be enough.

    What do our Japanese fellows think about it?
     

    Flaminius

    coclea mod
    日本語 / japāniski / יפנית
    The range of people that sensē (sensei) covers is quite large; not only teachers and professors but also laywers, doctors, politicians and lecturers. If you are going to see the nun at her lecture, this address form is very fitting.

    Religious figures may have different forms of address depending of their sects and positions in their denominations. One of the most general address form is 方丈さん/方丈様 (hōjō-sama/san). This is used for senior Buddhist monks regardless of their sex.

    By the way, san here sounds too intimate.
     

    TimeHP

    Senior Member
    Italian - Italy
    I've never met her before. But I'm going to interview her about the books she has written. I don't know which language we are going to use. English I suppose, but there could be an interpreter. Anyway I couldn't use words like 'madam' or 'mrs'...
    Thanks for your precious help.
     
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