Author Topic: Non gendered pronouns in other languages  (Read 3120 times)

Kim

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Re: Non gendered pronouns in other languages
« Reply #50 on: 20 May, 2021, 01:02:12 pm »
German does this as the gendered nouns make problems in job ads, etc.

Der Sachbearbeiter
Die Sachbearbeiterin
If you want to show both you write
Sachbearbeiter*in

Ugh.  Any Informatikerin knows it should be "Sachbearbeiter(in)*"
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Kim

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Re: Non gendered pronouns in other languages
« Reply #51 on: 20 May, 2021, 01:04:12 pm »
Similarly, the Australians (supposedly at least) invented "waitron" to avoid specifying waiter/-ress. To me it sounds like some sort of robot, but it's perhaps less clumsy than "wait staff".

USAnians tend to use "server", which definitely sounds like a computer.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: Non gendered pronouns in other languages
« Reply #52 on: 20 May, 2021, 01:48:36 pm »
Ugh.  Any Informatikerin knows it should be "Sachbearbeiter(in)*"

Glad to see we're not discriminating against Sachbearbeiterinininininininins.

Salvatore

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Re: Non gendered pronouns in other languages
« Reply #53 on: 20 May, 2021, 02:00:45 pm »
German does this as the gendered nouns make problems in job ads, etc.

Der Sachbearbeiter
Die Sachbearbeiterin
If you want to show both you write
Sachbearbeiter*in

I also saw this today:
Leiter:in Kundenservice und Büromanagement

But it is very awkward in spoken usage.

Angela Merkel is the Kanzlerin, the previous ones were all Kanzler.

I remember when e.g. RadfahrerInnen (capital I) being used to include both Radfahrer and Radfahrerinnen. I don't know how widespread it was or if it is ever still used.

Edit: Here is an Austrian example https://www.radland.at/radfahrerinnen (although I saw it written by Germans).
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ian

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Re: Non gendered pronouns in other languages
« Reply #54 on: 20 May, 2021, 02:41:55 pm »
Ugh.  Any Informatikerin knows it should be "Sachbearbeiter(in)*"

Glad to see we're not discriminating against Sachbearbeiterinininininininins.

Hi, I'm Natasha and I'll be your server today!

Never ask them if they run Solaris, they just give you a blank look and start naming salad dressings. Once that process starts, you can't stop it.

I don't really get the contemporary trend to say female actor when actress worked fine (though actrix would better because x is cool).
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Kim

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Re: Non gendered pronouns in other languages
« Reply #55 on: 20 May, 2021, 03:12:04 pm »
I don't really get the contemporary trend to say female actor when actress worked fine (though actrix would better because x is cool).

I find 'actor' works fine, but that's English where the implied masculine has atrophied from lack of use.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Kim

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Re: Non gendered pronouns in other languages
« Reply #56 on: 20 May, 2021, 03:13:08 pm »
Ugh.  Any Informatikerin knows it should be "Sachbearbeiter(in)*"

Glad to see we're not discriminating against Sachbearbeiterinininininininins.

GPWM, though the '?' would mess with the grammar...
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Mr Larrington

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Re: Non gendered pronouns in other languages
« Reply #57 on: 20 May, 2021, 03:41:52 pm »
Similarly, the Australians (supposedly at least) invented "waitron" to avoid specifying waiter/-ress. To me it sounds like some sort of robot, but it's perhaps less clumsy than "wait staff".

USAnians tend to use "server", which definitely sounds like a computer.

Since USAnians cannot distinguish between a piece of network hardware and a woodworking tool their opinions may safely be discarded  ;)
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arabella

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Re: Non gendered pronouns in other languages
« Reply #58 on: 20 May, 2021, 03:46:09 pm »
Back to the original question, farsi (aka persian) uses 'ou' for she and he (or is it oun, I forget)
presumably related languages such as urdu might be similar

I quite like the idea of hen as a gender neutral pronoun as it seems a move away from androcentricism, but I can get that others mayn't
In the dark, all views are the same.

Cudzoziemiec

  • Eating all the pies and drinking all the tea.
Re: Non gendered pronouns in other languages
« Reply #59 on: 20 May, 2021, 03:50:47 pm »
Quibble: I don't think Urdu is related to Farsi other than in writing.
Riding a bike through a city is like navigating the collective neural pathways of a vast global mind.

Re: Non gendered pronouns in other languages
« Reply #60 on: 20 May, 2021, 04:19:51 pm »
I quite like the idea of hen as a gender neutral pronoun as it seems a move away from androcentricism, but I can get that others mayn't

Doesn't hen have a female conation from it being the same as a female chicken even though the usage here is not connected? Works well from a non jarring point of view though, much better than words staring with "x" or "z" which isn't common in English and really doesn't flow. Also using "z" will lead to another war between the UK and former colonies and the USA ....

Thanks for introducing me to "androcentricism" I hadn't come across that word before.
I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that.

JennyB

  • Old enough to know better
Re: Non gendered pronouns in other languages
« Reply #61 on: 20 May, 2021, 04:24:03 pm »

May I recommend this episode of the Allusionist:

https://www.theallusionist.org/allusionist/notitle

Covers things nicely.

J


Some languages with un-gendered pronouns (according to the above): Turkish,Tagalog and Maori.
Jennifer - Walker of hills

Re: Non gendered pronouns in other languages
« Reply #62 on: 20 May, 2021, 04:28:12 pm »
Back to the original question, farsi (aka persian) uses 'ou' for she and he (or is it oun, I forget)
presumably related languages such as urdu might be similar

I quite like the idea of hen as a gender neutral pronoun as it seems a move away from androcentricism, but I can get that others mayn't

The actual question was in languages with gendered pronouns, what non-gendered pronouns have speakers tried to invent or adopt.

There are plenty of languages with existing non-gendered pronouns, ie same word for for he/she etc.

Pingu

  • Put away those fiery biscuits!
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Re: Non gendered pronouns in other languages
« Reply #63 on: 20 May, 2021, 04:30:16 pm »
Similarly, the Australians (supposedly at least) invented "waitron" to avoid specifying waiter/-ress. To me it sounds like some sort of robot, but it's perhaps less clumsy than "wait staff". Logically we should then have eg "actron" but instead we seem to have adopted actor for everyone. I have heard or seen of a "conductress" (presumably train as buses haven't had them for decades) but mercifully it hasn't caught on.

The waitron is the fundamental particle of hospitality.

Cudzoziemiec

  • Eating all the pies and drinking all the tea.
Re: Non gendered pronouns in other languages
« Reply #64 on: 20 May, 2021, 04:36:55 pm »
Similarly, the Australians (supposedly at least) invented "waitron" to avoid specifying waiter/-ress. To me it sounds like some sort of robot, but it's perhaps less clumsy than "wait staff". Logically we should then have eg "actron" but instead we seem to have adopted actor for everyone. I have heard or seen of a "conductress" (presumably train as buses haven't had them for decades) but mercifully it hasn't caught on.

The waitron is the fundamental particle of hospitality.
If we could get two waitrons to collide in the Large Kitchen Collider, we'd be smashing the crockerom.
Riding a bike through a city is like navigating the collective neural pathways of a vast global mind.

Re: Non gendered pronouns in other languages
« Reply #65 on: 20 May, 2021, 04:46:53 pm »
I'm afraid I don't know what German or any other language has done but one obvious point is that not every language has non-gendered pronouns – French for example has only il and elle, masculine and feminine – and some languages, I think, have no gendered pronouns.

Ah the joys of working out the correct version to use of male & female terms too. Le chat, La chatte, the first being the cat (male) & the second being the cat (female). Add in that the same word can have a completely different meaning based on whether it is masculine or feminine, such as Le Tour or La Tour.  Then the differentiation in the world of work.. do you just add an 'e' or is it a more complicated case, such as mécanicien / mécanicienne or vendeur / vendeuse, or even facteur / factrice. It confuses me. Add in the obsteuse and ancient machinations of the Académie Française which seems to be strongly opposed to any modernisation of the language, including the use of non-gendered pronouns or any non-gendered words. It feels exceptionally conservative in its views on language.

There have been steps, recently, to de-gender the language (one reason being that occupations deemed to be 'la' are often viewed as inferior, or somehow of lesser importance to one that is 'le' but the Académie has pretty much squashed attempts.

Just a small reason, amongst many, as to why I am not better in use of French language than I find myself. Ending on a positive note, on the local radio station, there is a phone-in quiz where some of the questions are on whether a word is 'le or la' and it came as a surprise to me that so many French people get it wrong too!

There is hope for me yet.
Loving life in France (53 - Mayenne)

T42

  • Old fool in a hurry
Re: Non gendered pronouns in other languages
« Reply #66 on: 20 May, 2021, 05:13:22 pm »
Portuguese is interesting because saying "I am (adjective)" requires conjugating the adjective with the gender of the speaker, and there is no neuter gender. This extends to their equivalent of "thank you" - obrigado or obrigada for a male and female speaker.

Which means we need to know how Demi Lovato says Thank You in Portuguese. Googling suggests you use male conjugation when a gender is unknown, and that's the best you can do.

Same as French. And a table undergoes a sex-change when it goes from France to Germany.

There's a move here to render adjectives neutral by adding the feminine ending after a full stop, e.g. bon becomes bon.ne and mauvais beomes mauvais.e.

Funnily enough, merdique remains unchanged.

That raises the question of what is the difference in pronunciation of "bon.ne" versus "bonne" ? That is what does the full stop get reflected in the way its pronounced?

God.dess knows - maybe they didn't think that far. I'd favour a click as in Zulu languages.
But they never got to Carcassonne.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Non gendered pronouns in other languages
« Reply #67 on: 20 May, 2021, 05:17:32 pm »
Similarly, the Australians (supposedly at least) invented "waitron" to avoid specifying waiter/-ress. To me it sounds like some sort of robot, but it's perhaps less clumsy than "wait staff".

USAnians tend to use "server", which definitely sounds like a computer.

Since USAnians cannot distinguish between a piece of network hardware and a woodworking tool their opinions may safely be discarded  ;)

Are they pronounced differently in en_GB then?  I'm not a wood elf...
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Feanor

  • It's mostly downhill from here.
Re: Non gendered pronouns in other languages
« Reply #68 on: 20 May, 2021, 05:27:41 pm »
Similarly, the Australians (supposedly at least) invented "waitron" to avoid specifying waiter/-ress. To me it sounds like some sort of robot, but it's perhaps less clumsy than "wait staff". Logically we should then have eg "actron" but instead we seem to have adopted actor for everyone. I have heard or seen of a "conductress" (presumably train as buses haven't had them for decades) but mercifully it hasn't caught on.

Pretty sure I posted this before...

Windhoek:


Waitron by Ron Lowe, on Flickr

Re: Non gendered pronouns in other languages
« Reply #69 on: 20 May, 2021, 05:29:30 pm »
Similarly, the Australians (supposedly at least) invented "waitron" to avoid specifying waiter/-ress. To me it sounds like some sort of robot, but it's perhaps less clumsy than "wait staff".

USAnians tend to use "server", which definitely sounds like a computer.

Since USAnians cannot distinguish between a piece of network hardware and a woodworking tool their opinions may safely be discarded  ;)

Are they pronounced differently in en_GB then?  I'm not a wood elf...

English GB: A router for woodworking groove making="rowter" and inter subnet packet shifter = "rooter" (because it routes packets between subnets it doesn't make a groove in the ether)
US nonsense:  Both devices are "rowters"

I don't seem to be able to convince my contacts at Cisco that the GB pronunciation is the one true way though.
I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that.

citoyen

  • Occasionally rides a bike
Re: Non gendered pronouns in other languages
« Reply #70 on: 20 May, 2021, 06:06:12 pm »
Back to the original question, farsi (aka persian) uses 'ou' for she and he (or is it oun, I forget)
presumably related languages such as urdu might be similar

I quite like the idea of hen as a gender neutral pronoun as it seems a move away from androcentricism, but I can get that others mayn't

The actual question was in languages with gendered pronouns, what non-gendered pronouns have speakers tried to invent or adopt.

There are plenty of languages with existing non-gendered pronouns, ie same word for for he/she etc.

The original question was whether other languages have "more elegant" solutions to the problem of binary gendered pronouns than we have in English. But the singular "they/them" only seems "clunky" because it's unfamiliar, and I maintain that this is something we'll all get over soon enough as we become more accustomed to it.

This side chat about pronouns and suffixes in other languages is interesting enough but I don't think anyone has yet answered the question of what pronouns are used in other languages by individuals identifying as non-binary. I've just looked up what they do in France, and apparently many people are choosing to use "iel" - a mangling of il/elle - which feels far from elegant to me. (Of course, in French they have the additional problem that the third-person plural pronouns are also gendered.)

German apparently has "xier" among other options, and an -x suffix for nouns to indicate non-binary status (eg freundx). Again, this does not strike me as at all elegant. I'm not even sure how you would pronounce freundx.

But, you know, I can get used to it. If I need to.
"The future's all yours, you lousy bicycles."

Cudzoziemiec

  • Eating all the pies and drinking all the tea.
Re: Non gendered pronouns in other languages
« Reply #71 on: 20 May, 2021, 06:31:34 pm »
Citoyen's post above has reminded me that the word used in Polish to refer to neuter gender in grammatical terms also has a gender-ish or sexual connotation, though more often used with inanimate objects as a sort of analogy, and it's entirely negative. But I guess neuter isn't the same as non-binary anyway (for people).
Riding a bike through a city is like navigating the collective neural pathways of a vast global mind.

hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Re: Non gendered pronouns in other languages
« Reply #72 on: 20 May, 2021, 07:14:14 pm »
Similarly, the Australians (supposedly at least) invented "waitron" to avoid specifying waiter/-ress. To me it sounds like some sort of robot, but it's perhaps less clumsy than "wait staff".

USAnians tend to use "server", which definitely sounds like a computer.

It's a rooter for an English computer network and a rowter to gouge wood.
USAnians ask for a rowt to get from A to B. We ask for a root.

Since USAnians cannot distinguish between a piece of network hardware and a woodworking tool their opinions may safely be discarded  ;)

Are they pronounced differently in en_GB then?  I'm not a wood elf...

Auntie Helen

  • 6 Wheels in Germany
Re: Non gendered pronouns in other languages
« Reply #73 on: 20 May, 2021, 07:47:43 pm »
German does this as the gendered nouns make problems in job ads, etc.

Der Sachbearbeiter
Die Sachbearbeiterin
If you want to show both you write
Sachbearbeiter*in

I also saw this today:
Leiter:in Kundenservice und Büromanagement

But it is very awkward in spoken usage.

Angela Merkel is the Kanzlerin, the previous ones were all Kanzler.

I remember when e.g. RadfahrerInnen (capital I) being used to include both Radfahrer and Radfahrerinnen. I don't know how widespread it was or if it is ever still used.

Edit: Here is an Austrian example https://www.radland.at/radfahrerinnen (although I saw it written by Germans).
Yes, you still see that too.  Basically no one can decide exactly how it will be so there are loads of different options and they are all clumsy in speech.

My job title in my current company is “Key Account Manager”, not “Key Account Managerin”, so it seems they don’t do it to English-derived words.
My blog on cycling in Germany and eating German cake – http://www.auntiehelen.co.uk


Cudzoziemiec

  • Eating all the pies and drinking all the tea.
Re: Non gendered pronouns in other languages
« Reply #74 on: 20 May, 2021, 08:31:14 pm »
Perhaps because such English words don't indicate gender?^

Found an article about nonbinary language in Polish. Bits of it were surprising, eg "in Polish, non-binarity* is usually expressed by taking an androgynous name, eg Alex, and using pronouns for the sex opposite to the that ascribed at birth**". But some non-binary people try to avoid the whole problem by using circumlocutions, "my birthplace was... " rather than "I was born in..." and some are inventing neuter first person verb forms, though inevitably there is no agreement on how to form these.

This article also taught me the word enbyphobia, "irrational fear or prejudice of those who do not conform with the strict binary system of either male or female".

*non-binaryness? non-binariness?
**or in official records
Riding a bike through a city is like navigating the collective neural pathways of a vast global mind.