This has been bothering me for ages and I'm finally going to ask it here.
In most Western languages, we refer to our priests (Catholic at least) as 'Father'. But what about other languages? Particularly Japanese. Did Eastern languages adopt this way to refer to Catholic priests when the religion swept across the world? Are there any other ways that Catholic priests are referred to in other languages?
Thank you for answering this question.
Preface: I work at a call center that provides directory assistance services to several wireless companies.
This evening I got a call from a young woman who seemed to be wanting to practice her Spanish on an actual Spanish speaker. However, she decided to do this by pretending not to speak English.
She was ... about as convincing as Arnold Schwarzenegger trying to pass as a woman by just putting on sun dress. (Only without inspiring the urge to gouge out one's eyes.)
The call went like this:
[autogreeting]: "City and state, please?"
Caller: "Tucson, Arizona." In IPA, for those that speak it: /tusɑn ɛɹɪzoʊnʌ/
Me: "What can I do for you in Tucson?"
Caller: "No comprende." ... Sort of. This was said with a dead standard American accent: /noʊ kʌmpɹɪndeɪ/ (And I should add that she spoke at the pace of an English speaker, complete with the break between the words you don't really hear in Spanish.)
This was not said with a good Mexican or Spanish accent, I repeat, or even a bad one. Just a bog standard American accent like you get in the Southwest. Over and above that, Spanish speakers who speak little or no English but end up with an English-speaking operator never ever say "no comprende" -- I don't think they'd expect us to understand it. Instead, they usually say "Somebody speak Spanish?" (in a very pronounced Hispanic accent, with a /ʌ/ preceding the /s/ sounds, Spanish vowels, etc.) or "¿Español?" or something along those lines.
So, silly me, I figured this was the name of a business or something that she was looking for. So I just kept asking questions, trying to find out what exactly she wanted as I searched for something called "No Comprende" in Tucson (I've had stranger things in five years at this job), and she just kept repeating /noʊ kʌmpɹɪndeɪ/. Finally, she started saying something else in Spanish (again, in a bog standard General American accent), so I transferred her to the Spanish line.
And, of course, what I really wanted to do was gently break it to her that while she seemed to have a decent grasp of grammar -- as far as I can tell, anyway, seeing as I've never studied the language (even if I can understand some) -- she really, really needed to work on her accent if she wanted any native speakers to understand her or, at least, not think her ... perhaps a little slow on the uptake.