|simpl. and trad.|
From 先 (xiān, Old Chinese *sɯːn(s), "before, ahead") and 生 (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").
- Cantonese (Jyutping): sin1 saang1
- Hakka (Pha̍k-fa-sṳ): sîn-sâng
- Min Nan (POJ): sian-siⁿ / sin-seⁿ / sian-seⁿ
- Wu (WT Romanisation): xi san (T1)
- Min Nan
- (Beginning Mandarin) mister, sir
- (formal) husband
- (dated) Doctor; Dr
- (regional) doctor
|Kanji in this term|
From Sinitic 先生.
- one who was born earlier; an elder
- one who excels at a subject; a scholar
- one who teaches; a teacher or professor
- sensei (Japanese martial arts teacher)
- sir, a polite form of address to teachers, doctors, etc.
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.
- 師匠 (ししょう, shishō): a master, a teacher
- 医師 (いし, ishi): a medical doctor
- 教師 (きょうし, kyōshi): a teacher
- 教授 (きょうじゅ, kyōju): a professor
- 弁護士 (べんごし, bengoshi): an attorney, a lawyer
- 2002, Ineko Kondō; Fumi Takano; Mary E Althaus; et. al., Shogakukan Progressive Japanese-English Dictionary, Third Edition, Tokyo: Shōgakkan, ISBN 4095102535.
|Hanja in this word|
先生 (seonsaeng) (hangeul 선생)