I am looking up the word for teacher and I see kyōshi and also sensei.

Can someone tell me the difference between these two translations?

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    This question has been asked here. Can you read hiragana and (some) kanji? – Earthliŋ Jan 20 '17 at 11:32

教師 (kyoushi) is an objective word for a teacher, while 先生 (sensei) is honorific. Formally, you would use 教師 to speak about teachers in general, or to describe yourself, and 先生 to honour specific teachers; in informal communication, however, people often use 先生 as the general term.

Another matter: certain people such as doctors and lawyers are also called 先生, but they're obviously not 教師.

  • Thanks for you help. Quick question, if writing in Romaji would it be Kyoushi or Kyōshi ? I am a bit confused about the rules for Romaji – Alan Jan 20 '17 at 12:03
  • @Alan There are different systems for romanization: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romanization_of_Japanese kyōshi is Hepburn. kyoushi is strictly speaking none of Hepburn, Nihon-shiki, Kunrei-shiki, but because it is difficult to input, ō is often typed ou (so I guess kyoushi could be wāpuro rōmaji). In any case, kyoushi is unambiguously きょうし, so even if it doesn't belong to a particular system, it's a clear way of transliterating it. – Earthliŋ Jan 20 '17 at 12:21
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    @Earthliŋ Generally if I'm timing in Japanese, I type 'kyousi'. Giving Romanizations I use 'kyoushi' though. – Angelos Jan 20 '17 at 12:30

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