Countries where Mandarin Chinese is spoken are often strongly influenced by Confucian ideals. Part of the Confucian tradition is a deep respect for teachers.
Lǎoshī is the Mandarin word for “teacher.” It has two characters: 老師 and the first character lǎo 老 is a prefix which means “old.” The second character shī 師 means “teacher,” so the literal translation of lǎoshī is “old teacher.”
Lǎoshī is used as a title. You can address your teacher as “lǎoshī” or you can use lǎoshī in combination with a family name when referring to a teacher.
Examples of Lǎoshī
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Lǎoshī hǎo. Nǐ máng ma?
Hello teacher. Are you busy?
Wǒ hěn xǐhuan Huáng lǎoshī.
I really like Teacher Huang.