What is the difference between きょし and せんせい ?

In Japanese, both “きょし” (kyoshi) and “せんせい” (sensei) can be translated as “teacher” in English, but there are subtle differences in their usage and connotations.

  1. きょし (Kyoshi):
    • “きょし” is a more specific term that refers to someone who is a teacher by profession, typically in a school setting such as elementary school, junior high school, or high school.
    • It is often used to refer to teachers who have a formal educational role and teach specific subjects or disciplines.
    • While “きょし” can refer to any teacher, it is more commonly used in the context of school education.
  2. せんせい (Sensei):
    • “せんせい” is a broader term that can refer to any type of teacher, instructor, or mentor, regardless of the setting or subject matter.
    • It is a respectful and versatile term that can be used not only for school teachers but also for instructors in various fields such as martial arts, music, arts and crafts, sports, or even professionals like doctors or lawyers.
    • “せんせい” can also be used as a term of respect when addressing someone who is knowledgeable or skilled in a particular area, even if they are not officially a teacher.

“きょし” specifically refers to teachers in an academic or school setting, while “せんせい” is a more general term that can be used for any type of teacher, instructor, or mentor, and also as a respectful term for experts or professionals in various fields. The choice between these terms depends on the context and level of formality you want to convey.

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