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Jassåå!
Hur mår hen nu?
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30 comments
 
Good move - but doesn't translate well into English... ;-)
 
"hen" is often used in English slang to mean "female"
 
English has "they" for gender-neutral 3rd person singular and plural. it's been a natural part of speech for native speakers since before Shakespeare.
 
In Finnish we just have one word for everyone, hän. No genders.
 
In English we have had this for years... it is 'person'.
 
I wonder about his / hers = In Swedish hans, hennes... Hens?
 
+Anthony Park I suppose you are right... I was replacing 'man' and 'woman' not his and her... person doesn't make sense then. We also have 'their' if it posessive. Instead of "this is her car" it would be "this is their car".
 
One thinks, what should they do, if speaking about person?
 
Isnt a hen a female chicken?
 
Yes, see 1st and 4th comments above :-)
 
Also much less complicated... if you don't want to refer to their gender, pick something else identifying. I mean, we need ways to indicate in verbal communication who you are talking about.

Why is referring to gender bad? I mean, is it going to get to the point where we can't speak about others at all... I understand in situations of dual genders, there is confusion. But, most people from the outside don't know that and can only identify with the way someone might appear to them. You might argue offense taken by the person, but how would a stranger know about the gender identity issue to start with.

EDIT: What does this even mean...
"Proponents of “hen” are eager to have a single word that describes a hypothetical person rather than the awkward “he or she.”

What is awkward about he and she?
 
+Anthony Park I hadn't thought of it that way. But, even on a more simple level... what is the problem with he and she? I mean, even bi-gender individuals visually identify with a gender, whether they intend to or not. And to me on the street, how can I know what they are 'packing' below the belt. I would never mean it in offense, but verbally referring to someone by what they look like is normal human behavior.

So going forward, until you know the physical specifications of someones genitals, we have to all refer to each other as 'hen' or whatever your language equivalent is? I with I had the kind of time it takes to push these types of 'movements'... someone has wasted a lot of time here.
 
+Nate Supplee Awkward about he an she is for example, when you want to refer to a single person, and mention a function. "Programmer" - is that a he or she? If you use only "he", some women get upset. If you use "she", then some men would start to ask questions (majority of programmers are men). If you write he/she, it sounds awkward linguistically. You can't say "it" because that would offend all humans. So, a gender-neutral pronoun used for humans, like "hen", could work.
 
+Visnja Zeljeznjak Not sure what was really awkward about your example. If you are referring to a person's abilities (such as "Programmer") why would anyone need to know the gender? Wouldn't it be redundant to include a 'hen' when identifying a programmer only?

"The programmer that made this program has done some wonderful things with Java"

No need for gender reference.

People that want to use gender in a negative connotation, which I assume you are against (me too, btw), will ignore they new words anyways.

Pointless movement is pointless?
 
This is quite a weird conversation. This already exists in English and is used every day by native speakers, for example:
"So i bumped into this friend of mine in town and they said that they were on their way to the shops ..."
Some people say that this is "bad style", but it is perfectly normal English.
 
+Nate Supplee the language dictates that you must use a pronoun sometimes, or bore the hell out of the reader by avoiding pronouns. I'll give you an example:

"We have a position open for a programmer. We're expecting of hen to be fluent in Python."

Substitute "hen" with "him" and see what women say.
Substitute "hen" with "her" and wait for men to start asking questions.

Imagine writing a book about programmers. You constantly have to weigh the usage of pronouns "her" vs. "him", so that you offend nobody.
 
+Visnja Zeljeznjak
Perhaps since I am not a member of the grammar police, I see this as less important than you make it. Maybe these possibilities aren't correct grammar, but all made with existing language and I suspect most people to have no problem understanding the intent.

"We have a position open for a programmer. We're expecting this person to be fluent in Python."

"We have a position open for a programmer. We're expecting them to be fluent in Python."

"We have a position open for a programmer. We're expecting him or her to be fluent in Python."

"We have a position open for a programmer. We're expecting her or him to be fluent in Python."

But, I do see your point in that specific argument - as a writer where exacting grammar is ideal
 
I'm not a big fan of "him or her" or "s/he" or similar, because they enforce a gender binary.
 
Thank goodness! One of the most annoying thing about any language is gender specific pronouns.
 
+Anthony Park If you wish, it's because English uses something called "natural gender" while lacking "grammatical gender" except in some rare cases ("God bless the Queen Mary and all who sail in her!"). This means that in English inanimate objects are referred to as "it" ("where's the Eiffel Tower?" "It's in Paris". In French this would be "Where is the (feminine) Eiffel Tower?" "She is in Paris", while in German this would be "Where is the (masculine) Eiffel Tower?" "He is in Paris"), as are parts of the body etc.
Also animals in English tend not to have genders except when regarded as (almost) people, or in prose or poetry. An old lady will refer to her dog as "he" or "she", but someone who has just swerved their car to miss the aforementioned dog would probably say "stupid dog! what's it doing in the middle of the road anyway?"
 
This is interesting! Would love to hear from some Swedes as to how it is actually being received by people there ... sounds like it is quite limited use so far?
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