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Thread: pupil vs student

  1. #1
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    pupil vs student

    What is the difference between 'pupil' and 'student'?
    Where would you use the word 'pupil' in school environment?

  2. #2
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    Yes, pupils go to school, students are in further or higher education.

    Technically I think "pupils" could be considered a sub-category of "students", but that's the usual distinction.

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    As far as I understand in the USA 'students' is used to denote everyone from kindergarten to high school to college (university). But this usage is common for the USA only, it seems to me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by alexsms View Post
    As far as I understand in the USA 'students' is used to denote everyone from kindergarten to high school to college (university). But this usage is common for the USA only, it seems to me.
    from dictionary.com

    a person, usually young, who is learning under the close supervision of a teacher at school, a private tutor, or the like; student.

  5. #5
    Hanna
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    In British English, pupil is someone who studies in school. Student is somebody a bit older, in the last year of school (6th form) or at a college or university.

    Example:
    At St Winifreds secondary school, no pupils have been able to attend lessons for a week because door to the school is jammed and nobody can get into the main school building.

    All the Physics students like Mr Jones, the new lecturer in quantum theory.

    There are quite a lot of differences in vocabulary about schools between US and British English.
    If anyone is interested we can make a list, else just be aware that at least 30 words, I'd say, are different.
    Usually British people are familiar with the American words though, from TV. Not sure if Americans know about the British vocabulary for this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hanna View Post
    In British English, pupil is someone who studies in school. Student is somebody a bit older, in the last year of school (6th form) or at a college or university.

    Example:
    At St Winifreds secondary school, no pupils have been able to attend lessons for a week because door to the school is jammed and nobody can get into the main school building.

    All the Physics students like Mr Jones, the new lecturer in quantum theory.

    There are quite a lot of differences in vocabulary about schools between US and British English.
    If anyone is interested we can make a list, else just be aware that at least 30 words, I'd say, are different.
    Usually British people are familiar with the American words though, from TV. Not sure if Americans know about the British vocabulary for this.
    No I don't know the British vocabulary for this - please start a list and I'll help as best as I can.

    Scott

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    Завсегдатай Throbert McGee's Avatar
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    On a related note: Я "коренный" американец и мне исполнится 40 лет в ноябре. Can I call myself an ученик русского языка, or must I say "я -- учащийся русского языка"? And what if the topic is not a foreign language, but gourmet French cooking or Japanese martial arts? Can I say "я -- ученик карате" or "я -- ученик французской кухни"?

    P.S. As Alexsms correctly observed, "student" is used very broadly in US English -- so no matter how old you are, it's okay to say "I'm a student of English" or "I'm a student of karate" or "I'm a student of French cuisine." On the other hand, "pupil" in the sense of "one who is learning" is used rather rarely in US English, except when talking writing in formal contexts about "elementary school" (children younger than 10-12 years old). To Americans, the normal meaning of "pupil" is "the black part of the eye."
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    Старший оракул CoffeeCup's Avatar
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    Я "коренной" американец и мне исполнится 40 лет в ноябре. Can I call myself an ученик русского языка, or must I say "я -- учащийся русского языка"? And what if the topic is not a foreign language, but gourmet French cooking or Japanese martial arts? Can I say "я -- ученик карате" or "я -- ученик французской кухни"?
    "ученик русского языка" и "учащийся русского языка" - грамматически правильно, но звучит непривычно и так никто не говорит.
    А вот "я -- ученик карате" и "я -- ученик французской кухни" вполне типичные выражения.

    Если ученик используется не для обозначения человека, посещающего какое-либо учебное заведение, а для человека изучающего что-то, то ученик используется если имеется ввиду какое нибудь направление (стиль, течение, школа) в данном виде, а не какой-нибудь конкретный предмет изучения.
    я - ученик (школы) карате (а не бокса или борьбы).
    я - ученик французской кухни (я предпочитаю готовить так, как готовят французы а не итальянцы или китайцы).
    So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish

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    Throbert,

    ученик русского языка and учащийся русского языкаwould sound awkard to a Russian speaker. So would also ученик карате and ученик французской кухни. The word student in English has a broader meaning, but ученик is rather confined in Russian.


    ученик (in school environment) is the equivalent of grammar school and high school student in USA. Now, technically, a grammar school student is ученик младших классов, and a high school student is ученик старших классов (can be called старшеклассник). As soon as you enter a what you would call 'community college', technical school, or college or university (which is also somewhat confusing for Russians as колледж is a lower rung, while proper higher education in Russia implies graduating from университет or институт) you become a студент. So we, basically, have ученик (grades 1 to 11) and студент (any school or college after high school).

    I am student of Russian should be translated as Я учу русский язык (liter., I learn Russian) or Я изучаю русский язык (liter., I study Russian).
    I am a karate student - Я занимаюсь карате. (99% would say that)
    Instead of я -- ученик французской кухни you can say Я изучаю французскую кухню.

    CoffeeCup, let me further explain the usage of ученик that you talk about. Let's consider this example: Матисс - ученик Моро. In the Russian language this phrase means that painter Henri Matisse is not only Gustave Moreau's student, but his follower, that Matisse took something from Moreau in terms of style, expression, artistic rigor, etc. Similarly, a karate master could say of his student something like: "Он - ученик моей школы" (He is the follower/disciple of my karate school).

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    Завсегдатай Throbert McGee's Avatar
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    Спасибо за объяснения, ребята! Alexsms, your suggestion of the word "disciple" was especially helpful.

    If I understand your explanations correctly, I suppose that one could say about the famous American cookbook author Julia Child: Она была ученицой французской кухни. (Because she "threw herself", body and soul, into learning the methods of great French chefs, and really made herself a "disciple" of haute cuisine -- and then wrote cookbooks and had a TV cooking program to show Americans how to cook French-style.)

    However, for someone like me, who is maybe interested in learning a few different French recipes, but has no interest in studying ONLY French cuisine, to the exclusion of Italian and Chinese and Middle Eastern cooking styles, it's not appropriate to say ученик французской кухни, because I'm not a "disciple" of the "art of French cooking."
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    Старший оракул CoffeeCup's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Throbert McGee View Post
    If I understand your explanations correctly, I suppose that one could say about the famous American cookbook author Julia Child: Она была ученицой французской кухни. (Because she "threw herself", body and soul, into learning the methods of great French chefs, and really made herself a "disciple" of haute cuisine -- and then wrote cookbooks and had a TV cooking program to show Americans how to cook French-style.)

    However, for someone like me, who is maybe interested in learning a few different French recipes, but has no interest in studying ONLY French cuisine, to the exclusion of Italian and Chinese and Middle Eastern cooking styles, it's not appropriate to say ученик французской кухни, because I'm not a "disciple" of the "art of French cooking."
    Yes, this is correct.
    So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish

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    Well, Throbert, i will try to explain further: when ученик in the sense of 'disciple' is used in Russian it means than some Person(s) is (are) the disciple(s)/follower(s) of another Person (now, this particular usage is rare, forученик is mostly used in the other sense in school environment). So Аристотель - ученик Платона is correct (person-person), while Аристотель - ученик греческой философии (Aristotle is the follower of the Greek philosophy) is awkward in Russian. One of the correct variants could be Аристотель - последователь греческой философии (последователь - follower).

    Coming back to 'Она была ученицей французской кухни' - they wouldn't say that in Russian. In case of Julia Child wikipedia in Russian says: Джулия Чайлд — американский шеф-повар французской кухни. Here Шеф-повар in Russian means she was a professional, skilled in the French cuisine field, master. Another variant that i could guess would be: "специалист по французской кухне" (French cuisine specialist).

    ученик французской кухни - also sounds strange in Russian. If you just like cooking French food or you like French cuisine recipes you could be called: "любитель французской кухни" or "поклонник французской кухни" (admirer) (don't necessarily mean you use French cuisine recipes, it could be you just like eating French food, but also you like French recipes). I think most neutral would be: "Я люблю готовить блюда французской кухни" (I love cooking French cuisine meals), so here we are very far from the word "ученик".

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    Quote Originally Posted by CoffeeCup View Post
    А вот "я -- ученик карате" и "я -- ученик французской кухни" вполне типичные выражения.
    Не для меня. Я мог бы сказать "Я изучаю карате", "Я занимаюсь карате", "Я изучаю французскую кухню", "Я учусь на курсах французской кухни". Выражения типа "Я - ученик <+ название изучаемого предмета в родительном падеже>" для меня лично не работают ни при каких обстоятельствах, ни в каком контексте.

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