Justice ministry’s edict that state institutions must use ‘gender-neutral’ language is forcing the country to confront change.
“Der, die or das? For centuries, the seemingly arbitrary allocation of masculine, feminine and neutral gender articles in German has driven non-native speakers to despair. “In German, a young lady has no sex, while a turnip has,” the American writer Mark Twain once complained. “Think what overwrought reverence that shows for the turnip, and what callous disrespect for the girl.”
But hope may finally be in sight. Changing attitudes to gender are increasingly transforming the German language, and some theorists argue that scrapping the gendered articles altogether may be the most logical outcome.”
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