New Sex Definition?

Kinda misleading title really… :slight_smile:
When new words arrive in any language (eg ‘internet’), how does the word achieve masculinity/femininity in those languages where nouns are ascribed such? In french, is internet masculine or feminine?
(Of course pedants, you can’t tell with this example most of the time)

In French, at least, it depends largely on how the word sounds. One can generally acribe the gender of the word from its sound, i.e. if it ends with an eit is probably feminine… etc. If not, then the Académie Français will deal with it. I would like to call attention to the fact that I got the é and the ç on the first try. Peace.

“C’mon, it’s not even tomorrow yet…” - Rupert

If you need a graphic solution, http:\\Piglet

Well, if the new word is a compound of an old word, i.e., if the French for ‘Internet’ were a compound word having its final portion as the French word for ‘net’, the the new word would have the same gender as the word for ‘net’ had. My pocket French dictionary says ‘net’ is filet (masculine). However, Babelfish gives Internet as the French equivalent of the English ‘Internet’, which is, after all, a proper noun coined in English. I don’t know whether this result is because Babelfish knows the French for ‘Internet’ or whether it simply has no equivalent and so simply puts out what it got in. If the French actually use the term Internet, La Académie is probably most unhappy about it, but it’s probably more or less given up on worrying about such things by now. The French don’t dig the 'Net much anyhow. (I can understand that, from the standpoint of having to type all those silly extra letters to say anything. :wink: )

If ‘Internet’ had come from a language in which the ‘net’ part had had a gender, the French equivalent would probably have taken up the gender of that part in that language. If the new word referred to something in a category that had traditionally been associated with a certain gender in French, French probably would’ve carried over that gender to the new term.

I know, in Spanish, words of Greek origin ending in ‘-ema’ (I don’t know the gender in Greek of this ending.) are all regarded as masculine, even though words ending in ‘-a’ are otherwise almost all regarded as feminine. I also believe most nouns in Spanish that are taken from languages where these words have no gender, such as English, are given the masculine gender where nothing else influences the choice.

Ray (All androids take the neuter. :wink: )

BTW, the comment at the end of my last post is a response to your ‘Now that I have your attention, . . .’ approach to a title for this thread.


Might I draw your attention to: MoosieGirl, who does French Translation for a living.


The Legend Of PigeonMan - By Popular Demand! Enjoy, enjoy!

I did notice in the news a few weeks ago that there’s some debate about the gender of the new EC unit of currency, the Euro. Anybody up to speed on that?

For people use the word ‘sex’ & for words, use ‘gender.’

The genderization of american sign language is based on the shape of the female or male body & there specific social purpose.

Handy, for impact, use ‘Sex’, for information, use ‘Gender’.

But you flubbed the gender. C’est l’Académie française.

Dee da dee da dee dee do do / Dee ba ditty doh / Deedle dooby doo ba dee um bee ooby / Be doodle oodle doodle dee doh

<joshing>You swine! This topic title is false advertising! I’ll sue!</joshing> :smiley: :stuck_out_tongue: :smiley: :stuck_out_tongue:

With magic, you can turn a frog into a prince. With science, you can turn a frog into a Ph.D, and you still have the frog you started with.


Dang!! I always do that. I debated over the gender of the academie, but no matter what word it is, I always get it wrong.
Ah well.

As for the Euro… it’s not really ALL that important, as the article is usually shortened (i.e. l’Euro) although it does matter for acording adjectives and whatnot.

“C’mon, it’s not even tomorrow yet…” - Rupert

If you need a graphic solution, http:\\Piglet