What's the difference between: 总 总监 总统 总裁 董事长 主任 领导 老板

They can all be translated as president, chairman or boss.

I only know that 总统 is the president of a country, while 老板 is used in small firms and 领导 is a generic term for boss

  • answer in dictionaries, e.g.总监 inspector general ; chief inspector ; Director;Superintendent,Commissioner 一般为某项领域的第一监管人,如项目工程总监,财务总监,人力资源总监等,在企业中也是高层管理人员。
    – user6065
    Jul 26 '15 at 7:25
  • They can all be interpreted as: the one who can fire you. Jul 29 '15 at 5:09

They're really confused, and often changes meaning according to the context. Here're my opinions:

总统 is the most clear one here, as you said, means the president of a country.

董事长 means chairman of the board.

总裁 (president), according to my experience, usually used for the CEO of a large company, which has a number of subsidiaries. BTW, 总经理 is often used for CEO too, but usually for a small or one-tier company.

总监 is used for a chief officer of certain field, such as 技术总监 (CTO).

主任, and 主管, means director, usually used for the people who are primarily responsible for an organization or department. Such as 财务主管 (financial executive), 教务主任 (dean of students).

领导 is a generic salutation for your superior, immediate or non immediate.

老板 (boss) is a generic salutation too, usually used for the top of your company, such as 总经理 (CEO).

  • 2
    总经理 is GM. It refers to CEO for small companies only because CEO and GM is the same person.
    – NS.X.
    Jul 26 '15 at 17:38
  • I beleive 总监 is Director, 主管 is executive, 领导 is lead
    – Alex
    Jul 30 '15 at 20:41

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