Language question: pronoun

4 posts | Original | Recent
 
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357 Posts
Nov 22, 2014 10:54am
via Android

I live on an island right between Finland and Sweden and speak both Finnish and Swedish. In Finnish there's only a gender neutral pronoun, "hän", and in Swedish there are now three, "han", "hon", "hen" (he, she, neutral).
Is there a gender neutral pronoun in English that people know and use? I've never come across one.
You who speak another language than English, what pronouns are there in your language?

Note: I do NOT want a discussion about gender/sex in cultural, biological and/or social context, this is a strictly language related question out of curiosity! :)

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515 Posts
Nov 22, 2014 11:18am
via Android

I know about swadee kha and swadee khab it's in thai and the women greets by the first one and men use the latter lol a gender specific greeting how's that? :p

22 Nov
I know, it seems so weird! It's not uncommon though and found in other languages as well. I'm glad I can say just hej (Swedish)/hei (Finnish) and this goes for every occasion, both formal and informal.
22 Nov
If I met the president I think I'd go for something more formal though, like good evening...
23 Nov
Haha a big if lol if I ever met the president I would be like yo homey whadup brah :p atleast I would like to be on that kind of terms with him lol sorry for the late reply though I am travelling atm so I seldom find time to check this app
23 Nov
How many languages do you know?
Loghain_de_pacquet_thumb
60 Posts
Nov 22, 2014 11:49am

Hmm, gender neutral pronouns in the English language are tricky. If I remember my high-school English lessons correctly (so many years ago :( ) it can depend a lot on context.

 

They, one, you... all of these can be used as gender neutral pronouns, dependant on the context. Sometimes the word 'it' is also used as a gender neutral pronoun, but is often used more for entities not regarded as persons (animals, for instance).

 

Someone more knowledgable than me might be able to answer better, but I hope I've been some help. ;)

 

22 Nov
Talking about the word it, in Finnish it's common to use (informally) as a synonym for hän, while in Swedish it's unacceptable to use for living things. To make it even more complicated, Swedish speaking Finns often adopt the Finnish use of words and use it for animals but not for people. :D
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4 Posts
Nov 22, 2014 12:26pm
via Android

In Arabic every thing should be male or female , and male is always demonstrate

22 Nov
It's found in several European languages as well, like Italian.
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