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So, why is it that Duolingo has kuraciston for "Doctor" when books like Teach Yourself Esperanto have doktoro?

Is there some sort of technical distinction between the two words? Perhaps a medical doctor vs. a PhD holder in any other field?

  • You perceived the distinction. That the more ambiguous doktoro still is seen that often, especially in teaching material, is not surprising as "doctor" is very international. Also many languages know the same ambiguity. – Joop Eggen Jan 30 '18 at 16:29
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The word kuracisto unambiguously means "medical doctor", while doktoro mainly means "degree holder", but that word can also mean informally "medical doctor".

4

I will include here the answer I posted to this very question on Duolingo three weeks ago. (Original thread here.)

Original question:

So, why is it that Duolingo has kuraciston for "Doctor" when books like Teach Yourself Esperanto have doktoro?

Is there some sort of technical distinction between the two words? Perhaps a medical doctor vs. a PhD holder in any other field? Also, can kuraciston be abbreviated? As many Esperantists know — even komencanto — doktoro can be abbreviated as Dʳᵒ or D-ro.

My answer:

This is not a case of one source using one word and another using the other. It's simply that the words mean different things. Kuracisto is a physician - someone who treats others medically. Doktoro is a title for a person who has attained a certain level of education.

  • 1
    Although it's implicit in you're answer, you might have added that kuracisto is not a title which explains the unlikeliness of an existing abbreviated form. – psychoslave Feb 19 '18 at 7:31

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