friendlyrobotpal: (Queck)
[personal profile] friendlyrobotpal posting in [community profile] nenb
A lot of people seem to prefer/enjoy using English, which makes sense since it’s a lot less gendered than some other languages!

I’ve been wondering, though, has anyone made any attempt to modify their own languages in some way to make them fit better? I personally am really interested in this because I’ve been living in English-speaking countries for half my life so I have a lot of issues with not speaking my first language as well as I like and wanting to use it more.

So I’ve been thinking of what I could do; make up a new pronoun and endings to go with it? Mash the existing German ones together somehow? Maybe I could somehow borrow and adapt the English ‘they’ or the gender-neutral Swedish pronoun.

Has anyone ever tried anything like this? How did it go?

Date: 2013-05-13 01:39 pm (UTC)
hebethen: (Default)
From: [personal profile] hebethen
Spoken Mandarin is actually less gendered than English, both in terms of pronouns as well as many people-words, so I prefer it to English on that count -- but I can tell you trying to borrow Mandarin pronouns into English doesn't work well at all. The grammars of the two languages are sufficiently different from one another that it just messes with my brain, and then I end up speaking English words in a Mandarin structure, which only Mandarin-English bilinguals would be able to parse quickly. And if they're Mandarin-English bilinguals, why not just speak Mandarin?

Now replace "Mandarin" with "less-gendered language" and "English" with "more-gendered language" and there is the "anything like this" that I've tried.

Although, because written Chinese pronouns have become gendered due to Western hegemonic influence, I know some fellow sinophones who are interested in working around that, and one thing they've mentioned is using old, archaic pronouns that haven't had a chance to become gendered. Has German ever had anything like an animate-neuter gender or something, historically, that was applicable to people?

Date: 2013-05-14 08:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
My first language is Icelandic but I had moved away from there when I first learned about gender neutral pronouns and started identifying as trans*. I don't really know any other neutral/non-binary people there, so I came up with a translation with the help of a friend, which is a mixture of the male and female pronouns - hann and hún respectively, which became hán in my version. I use neutral endings to adjectives, which is sometimes annoying but easier than coming up with a whole different ending (both for me and for the people around me).
I assume your native language is German - what about sier or ser? :)

Date: 2013-05-15 10:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Right? Icelandic and German are sort of similar grammatically so I'd say go with neutral endings.. coming up with new ones is way too big. It feels weird at first, because you're probably used to using it to refer to objects, not people, but you do get used to it really quickly. I sometimes just switch between neutral, feminine and masculine at random too. :)

Date: 2013-11-28 09:33 pm (UTC)
sylvaine: Dark-haired person with black eyes & white pupils. (Default)
From: [personal profile] sylvaine
I've been thinking about this a lot; my preferred pronouns in English are she & they - she is easy, obviously, but "they" is... exactly the same word as "she", which is unsatisfying. Luzifer's suggestion of ser is great, it has a nice ring to it, but it's not for me bc I'm rather emphatically /not/ in-between male & female. I remember reading about another genderneutral pronoun in a German zine, but I can't find it right now - it's probably still packed up in some box or other. :/

Date: 2013-12-02 10:49 am (UTC)
sylvaine: Dark-haired person with black eyes & white pupils. (Default)
From: [personal profile] sylvaine
Found it! It's "Wer 'A' Sagt, Muss Nicht 'B' Sagen", which you can get here. It's mostly about asexuality rather than gendequeer things, though, so I dunno how useful it'll end up being for you.

Yeah, idk about "es". It feels kinda dehumanizing to me, so I'd rather not use it for myself.

ETA: Oh, and I just saw that "Wer 'A' Sagt, Muss Nicht 'B' Sagen" has a second issue, which looks like it has some articles of interest (particularly "Pronomen ohne Geschlecht" and " If gender is fluid, then why are we so rigid?")

ETA2: Also, just found this: The following text gives an example of German gender neutral pronouns like they, ze or hir in the in English language.
Edited Date: 2013-12-02 11:21 am (UTC)


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