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I am trying to learn spanish by watching "Juego de Tronos" ("Game of Thrones").

Frequently, people say what sounds like "mi lord" or "mi lady", but the subtitles usually show "señor(a)". To a native Spanish speaker, do "lord" and "lady" sound English or just archaic?

For example, is it similar to hearing "señor" in an otherwise English sentence, or is it more similar to hearing "lord" or perhaps "caesar"?

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  • milord (you can find it in the dictionary written like that) and mi lady are frequently used in films set in or around the Middle Ages, to address someone of high status, without adding the name. So it would be "Hello, Lord Stark" or "Hello, milord". – MikMik Aug 28 '15 at 15:29
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    Also, keep in mind that sometimes films and series are not very correctly translated. For example, they often translate "ladies and gentlemen" as "damas y caballeros", whereas the normal usage is "señoras y señores" (though we've heard the wrong one so often that it doesn't sound so bad anymore). Another one is when they translate, "What were you doing? I was cleaning..." as "¿Qué estabas haciendo? Limpiaba...", when the normal answer would be "estaba limpiando..." (my guess is that it's because it's shorter and therefore easier to sync with the actor's lips). – MikMik Aug 28 '15 at 15:37
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I don't follow "Juego de Tronos", so I don't know much about it. However, checking its page in Wikipedia I see references to Lady Catelyn Stark, Lady Lysa Arryn, Lord Eddard, Lord Jon Arryn, etc. So it looks like this is the way the translators decided to keep for the Spanish version.

For the record, note that both lord and lady are accepted words in Spanish by the RAE:

lord

(Del ingl. lord).

  1. m. Título de honor que se da en Inglaterra a los individuos de la primera nobleza. También llevan anejo este tratamiento algunos altos cargos.

lady

(Voz ingl.).

  1. f. Título de honor que se da en Inglaterra a las señoras de la nobleza.

You are also asking

to a native spanish speaker, do "lord" and "lady" sound english or just archaic?

It is difficult to say. To me, "lord" and "lady" sound like (old fashioned?) titles of nobility and I don't see them as equivalent to "señor/a". Maybe I would consider "sir" as a translation of "señor". However, since Game of Trones is -apparently- based on Mid-ages time, it must make sense to use such words there.

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Despite that Game of Thrones is timeless, that kind of language is certainly in medieval style. In that case, I would use don / doña.

If you will not translate the names, it sounds unusual to say this

Doña Catelyn y Don Eddard

It is preferable to keep lady/lord.

But it would be right to say this:

Doña Catalina y Don Eduardo.

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    Although I don't approve of translating names, I'm not sure if there's a rule for it. As for don/doña, it doesn't fit in all the contexts where GoT uses the word lady. Translating my lady as mi doña sounds awkward to me regardless of whether it's medieval style or not. – Nicholas J. Aug 2 '15 at 19:08
  • @NicholasJ. because of the influence of The Lord of the Rings (whose author was very particular about its translation), the translation of fantasy-type works tends to translate names which are significant (e.g. Bilbo Baggins -> Bilbo Bolsón, Arkenstone -> Piedra del Arca). Don/doña, as you note, doesn't work all the time — it only works in 3rd person references, but not direct (2nd person) ones. Instead, you'd see "mi señor/a" or some other honoric "mi rey" / "su/vuestra excelencia", etc – user0721090601 Aug 3 '15 at 2:18
  • @guifa Still, I've watched GoT & the two "names" that I recall that are translated are those of "Jon Snow" -> Jon Nieve & "Obara Sand -> Obara Arena. But as for the actual first names, you can never tell for sure. Just take "Fred Flinstone" -> Pedro Picapiedra. – Nicholas J. Aug 3 '15 at 3:44

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