Germany moves toward gender-neutral language

Now, with the federal justice ministry emphasising that all state bodies should stick to “gender-neutral” formulations in their paperwork, things are changing again. Increasingly, job ads use the feminine form as the root of a noun, so that even a male professor may be referred to as der Professorin. Lecturers are advised to address their students not as Studenten but Studierende (“those that study”), thus sidestepping the gender question altogether.

For more, go here.

(Thanks, Mr Jender!)

One thought on “Germany moves toward gender-neutral language

  1. Has anyone found this piece of news in German media? I haven’t, but maybe I’ve just looked in the wrong places. I’m a bit worried about the accuracy of the Guardian piece and the fact that it makes many sweeping empirical claims (e.g. “Lecturers are advised to address their students not as Studenten but Studierende…”) without providing any references, etc. Which lecturers, where, by whom? Certainly not across the country and not very rigorously.

    The last time this issue got debated both in German and foreign news media, the discussion was riddled with misrepresentations and misunderstandings. SO, I wouldn’t crack open the champagne bottles just yet and I’d like see what actually got recommended where and to whom. I fear that the Guardian reporting may not be entirely faithful to what really is going on in Germany and it strikes me as rather sensational. (But maybe I’m just overly pessimistic of change.)

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