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» babble   » right brain babble   » culture   » Not sure if this is the proper *forum*, but....

   
Author Topic: Not sure if this is the proper *forum*, but....
Crimson
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 6788

posted 30 September 2004 05:40 PM      Profile for Crimson     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
...I am currently learning a foreign language. German, to be precise (only because I already know a bit, but would really like to learn French when I'm not so pressed for time), and the gender-ing of everything is driving me a bit batty!

I've taken quite a few classes in Psych, Soc and Native American studies where issues of gender are intentionally examined as being more than binary. Not just male, female and "neuter"; but male, female, neuter, both, more of one, more of another, etc.

So, my question is this:
For those of you that have a first language that genders everything in binaries, how does that affect (and also effect) those individuals that don't easily fit into a binary gender system?

Just curious...and I have to come up with a creative persona for my class and I'd like to explore the non-gendered persona in a culture with gendered language.


From: The bug sky | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged
Agent 204
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4668

posted 30 September 2004 06:24 PM      Profile for Agent 204   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Good question. I've wondered the same thing. I'm told (maybe Tackaberry or someone else in the know can confirm or deny this) that in Japanese, some words are pronounced differently depending on the sex of the speaker. That must lead to additional complications.
From: home of the Guess Who | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
jeff house
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 518

posted 30 September 2004 06:30 PM      Profile for jeff house     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
For those of you that have a first language that genders everything in binaries, how does that affect (and also effect) those individuals that don't easily fit into a binary gender system?

That's a good empirical question, which could be answered only after years of testing.

My guess is that it doesn't affect them much. I speak a language near-natively, Norwegian. Norwegian has two genders "common", and "neuter".

So, pretty well anything living or sort-of living, like the world, will be "common", that is to say, "male-and-female". Much other stuff will be "neuter" like furniture, measurements, and so on.

Yet, despite the existence of the "common" gender in the language, I doubt very much that Norwegians have trouble keeping male and female distinguished when human gender relations are the topic. Norwegians have the same bunch of weird ideas that Canadians, Germans, Spanish, and Russians do.
-------------
Hint for learning gendered languages: ALWAYS learn the word with its article. NEVER say to yourself "Bild=picture"; ALWAYS say to yourself:

"DER bild"= "THE picture".

It becomes automatic very quickly. Then you don't have to trouble your brain with the idea that there is method in the madness. There isn't.


From: toronto | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
themorninglight
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 3050

posted 02 October 2004 08:25 PM      Profile for themorninglight   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Having spent a year in Germany many ages ago, I managed to pick up the language fluently. The only advice I can offer is to echo jeff's - memorize the gender in every case possible. As you're probably aware, the article changes in many different contexts, so to always have the gender associated with the word will help out tonnes.

Viel Glueck! Deutsch ist eine sehr schwerige Sprache! Mach's gut.


From: Toronto | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
Moderator
Babbler # 560

posted 02 October 2004 08:42 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The humanities and science forum might be a better one since this is a rather academic subject (linguistics).

Also, it would be good if the thread title were changed to reflect the subject of the thread so that people will know it's about gender in languages.

I'll move the thread to humanities and science. Maybe you could change the thread title afterwards, Crimson?


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged

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