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太太,奶奶,大姐,阿姨,女士,and many other variations are commonly used to address older women. 小姐 is used to address young women. Would it be a complement or an insult to address a middle aged or elderly woman as "小姐"? I'm in Taiwan here, so we don't have to worry about people thinking we're calling them prostitutes.

  • same question may be asked about addressing a 老先生(老头儿、老头子)as 小伙子,or a 小伙子 as 小朋友. – user6065 Sep 23 '14 at 20:46
  • At my level of ability, which is not very high, I would avoid both complimenting and insulting women I do not know. I would stick with the common forms of address. – Colin McLarty Sep 23 '14 at 23:28
  • 大姐 would do the trick because you really shouldn't be calling them shouldn't begin with. – Mo. Sep 24 '14 at 0:57
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Use 女士 with her family name is always safest. e.g. 李女士

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In china(中国), don't ever use 小姐 to address them (sales girl, waiters, etc.).They will totally ignore you.

Example :  'when you want to purchase something and ask for help from the shop assistance' - 对不起小姐,请问这多少钱?  
          -'even though we know that in English it is a polite sentence to call someone' - Sorry Miss, may i know how much does it cost?

Because for them(china ppl) 小姐 is represented as a Bar Girl. Therefore, you have to call them as '服务员' .

In other country, yes. You can address young women or middle aged woman by calling 小姐, for older ladies 大婶 / 阿姨,oldest ladies 奶奶. That would be more cordial

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You can adress them as 小姐 and 小伙子 only if you are much more older than them. You can just call them as 老大娘 and 老爷子, this is a better way of saluting to unknown elders.

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you can call middle age women 阿姨, old ladies 大娘,really old ladies 奶奶, and call middle age men 叔叔,old men 大爷,really old men 爷爷.

www.ycchangzhou.com

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