Here in Finland, the language is completely gender-neutral—they don’t have any gender-specific pronouns like ‘he’ or ‘she’

Here in Finland, the language is completely gender-neutral—they don’t have any gender-specific pronouns like ‘he’ or ‘she’

The Finnish language is completely gender-neutral. It does not have any grammatical gender whatsoever and the language has only gender-neutral pronouns. The word hn means both 'he' and 'she'. They also do not commonly use the male or female version of an occupation like actor or actress. The basic word is used for both genders.

For occupations of which the word 'man' is necessary, like 'fireman' or 'chairman' the Finnish word 'mies' (man) is used regardless of the gender of the person filling the position. Genderless languages use gender-inclusive words like 'human being', 'person' and 'business person' instead of businessman, for instance. Because of gender-neutrality in Finnish, they sometimes refer to a man as a 'she' or a woman as a 'he' when they speak English because it is a foreign concept to them.

According to 'The Handbook of English Linguistics', generic masculine pronouns and gender-specific job titles are instances "where English linguistic convention has historically treated men as prototypical of the human species." In Old English, the word 'wer' referred to males only and 'wif' to females only, while the word 'man' was initially intended to refer to both.

There are a growing number of people who are advocating for gender-neutrality in the English language.

(Source)

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s