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Lector is a Latin term for one who reads, whether aloud or not. In modern languages the word has come to take various forms, as either a development or a loan, such as French: lecteur, English: lector, Polish: lektor and Russian: лектор. It has various specialized uses:
- The title lector may be applied to lecturers and readers at some universities. There is also the title lector jubilate, which is an equivalent of Doctor of Divinity. In language teaching at universities in Britain, a foreign native speaker of a Slavonic language is often called a lektor or lector.
- A religious reader is sometimes referred to as a lector. The lector proclaims the Scripture readings used in the Liturgy of the Word from the official, liturgical book (lectionary). The Roman Catholic Church has a rite by which it formally institutes men who may or may not be studying for the priesthood and diaconate as lectors.
- In Poland, a lektor is a (usually male) reader who provides the Polish voice-over on foreign-language programmes and films where the Gavrilov translation technique is used. This is the standard localization technique on Polish television and many DVDs; full dubbing is generally reserved for children's material.
- Historically, the lector or reader in a cigar factory entertained workers by reading books or newspapers aloud.