When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

Germany

A Cold German Takedown Of Gender-Inclusive Language

There's a fundamental flaw in the case being made against certain grammatically gendered nouns.

Some studies have shown a stronger 'male bias,' for example with words that are typically associated with men, such as pilots, soldiers and terrorists.
Some studies have shown a stronger "male bias," for example with words that are typically associated with men, such as pilots, soldiers and terrorists.
Marcus Lorenz

BERLIN — Not too long ago, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung published the following sentence: "60.5 million citizens are eligible to vote in the German general election." It wasn't, perhaps, the most exciting sequence of words. But at least at first glance, there's also nothing particularly objectionable about the statement.

And yet, for one particular group, the sentence was highly offensive. Why? Because it contains the word "citizens," which in German is a masculine noun — and thus implies "men." So argue proponents of gender-inclusive language, who point to a whole array of psychological research.

Keep reading... Show less
You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Stories from the best international journalists.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
Already a subscriber? Log in

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
In The News

War in Ukraine, Day 92: Is Severodonetsk The Next Mariupol?

Russian troops are attempting to encircle Severodonetsk, the last key city remaining under Ukrainian control in the Luhansk region, as Vladimir Putin looks to claim victory in a war that is not going Moscow's way. But will the toll be for civilians?

Inside a shelter in Severodonetsk.

Meike Eijsberg, Shaun Lavelle and Cameron Manley

Severodonetsk, the last key city remaining under Ukrainian control in the Luhansk area, is now the focal point of Russia’s war. In 2014, it had been recaptured from the pro-Russian separatists in a hard-fought battle by Ukrainian forces. Now, eight years later, Moscow is launching an all-out attack to try to take it back again.

Stay up-to-date with the latest on the Russia-Ukraine war, with our exclusive international coverage.

Sign up to our free daily newsletter.

Alex Crawford, a Sky News correspondent in the region, says Russian forces have the means to conquer the city that in normal times has a population of circa 100,000 — and Moscow will be eager to cite it as the “victory”. But, Crawford wrote, “the path to victory comes – like the capture of the port city of Mariupol – strewn with the broken and battered bodies of the city's citizens.”

Keep reading... Show less

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Stories from the best international journalists.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
Already a subscriber? Log in
THE LATEST
FOCUS
TRENDING TOPICS

Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

Watch Video Show less
MOST READ