Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Making german gender neutral

The guardian has a nice post on how Germany wants to make its language more gender neutral.

They write that

"Predictions vary: one suggestion is that Angela Merkel will eventually no longer be die Bundeskanzlerin but a neutral das Bundeskanzler, as she would be in English. Others believe that the feminine gender, already the most common fallback form used by non-native speakers, will become the default article: a policeman would no longer be der Polizist but die Polizist."

I can't see my fellow Austrians saying die Polizist. But on a positive note: 

Austria changed the words of the National Anthem, so now we not only are the country that is the home of great sons but the home of great sons and daughters...

1 comment:

  1. Swedish has two genders, "common gender" and "neuter"; I learned these terms some time after taking Swedish from a native speaker of the language who insisted that Swedish didn't have gender because they aren't called masculine and feminine and there's no correlation with the human sexes (almost all animate nouns are common gender, e.g. boy and girl are both common gender). Getting rid of the gender grammatical construct is logically separable from removing the linguistic distinction between nouns that are construed as male and those that are construed as female.