K S Lall asked in Society & CultureLanguages · 1 month ago

In French, a female Senator is known as a Sénatrice. Would this terminology be understood by English speakers?

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  • John P
    Lv 7
    1 month ago
    Favorite Answer

    In general, in English we do not have masculine and feminine forms for professions and public office holders and similar.  And those few which we do have are now tending to go out of use because of gender equality issues. E,g. actors are now actors whether male or female (no longer 'actresses'). 'Police officers' are thus, whether male or female.  Dtto 'firefighters'.

    If we know French, as I do, we can easily see that 'senatrice' must be a female senator, especially if the context of democratic assemblies is obvious.  In over 70 years in Britain and Australia' I have never seen or heard 'senatrice' or any feminine version of 'senator'.

      I have not read any texts in French about parliamentary procedures or nomenclature.

    In "A Tale of Two Cities" by Charles Dickens (written about 170 years ago), the terms 'citizen' and 'citizeness' are used, to correspond with the French terms. That is the only instance of 'citizeness' that I know of. It emphasises the 'Frenchness' of the egalitarian society which Dickens portrays.

  • 1 month ago

    Someone who understands French would understand it.  Someone speaking English wouldn't use "senatrice" because the word doesn't exist in English.  I think people would probably guess at the meaning though.

  • MARK
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    Yes, if they understood French. No, if they do not.

    It is not a term likely to be used in English. We would say senator irrespective of the legislator's sex. If indicating the sex was necessary we would say female senator.

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    No. English uses "Senator" for all Senators of whatever gender.

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  • 1 month ago

    Of course, as long as they learned it ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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