先生

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Cantonese[edit]

simpl. and trad.

Noun[edit]

先生 (traditional and simplified, Jyutping sin1 saang1)

  1. mister, sir
  2. husband (polite)
  3. (dated) Doctor; Dr
  4. teacher

Japanese[edit]

Kanji in this term
せん
Grade: 1
せい
Grade: 1
on'yomi

Etymology[edit]

From Sinitic 先生.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

先生 (hiragana せんせい, romaji sensei)

  1. one who was born earlier; an elder
  2. one who excels at a subject; a scholar
  3. one who teaches; a teacher or professor

Usage notes[edit]

This is a term of respect, reserved only for speaking about others, and considered somewhat impolite (immodest) to use when referring to oneself. Instead, the term 教師 (kyōshi, "teacher") is considered more socially appropriate when referring to oneself.

Derived terms[edit]

Suffix[edit]

先生 (hiragana せんせい, romaji -sensei)

  1. a title used after the name of teachers, doctors, lawyers, or certain other professionals

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  • 2002, Ineko Kondō; Fumi Takano; Mary E Althaus; et. al., Shogakukan Progressive Japanese-English Dictionary, Third Edition, Tokyo: Shōgakkan, ISBN 4095102535.

Mandarin[edit]

simpl. and trad.

Etymology[edit]

From (xiān, Old Chinese *sɯːn(s), "before, ahead") and (shēng, OC *shleːŋ, *sreŋs, "to be born"), i.e. "one who was born earlier". Attested in Shijing ("first child"), Yili ("elder brother"), Classic of Rites ("teacher"), Mengzi ("a knowledgeable elder").

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

先生 (traditional and simplified, Pinyin xiānsheng or xiānshēng)

  1. (Beginning Mandarin) mister, sir
    王先生来了 (Wáng xiānsheng láile) IPA(key): /ˈu̯ɑŋ˧˥ ɕi̯ɛn˥ʂɤŋ˨ ˈlaɪ̯˧˥lə˧/ (Mr Wang came.)
  2. husband (polite)
  3. (dated) Doctor; Dr

Min Nan[edit]

simpl. and trad.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

先生 (traditional and simplified, POJ sian-siⁿ or sin-seⁿ or sian-seⁿ)

  1. Mr.
  2. gentleman; sir
  3. teacher