Gender neutral language in German

From Nonbinary Wiki

See also: Glossary of German gender and sex terminology

See also: Pronouns#German neutral pronouns


Gender neutral language

Gender neutral language in German is more difficult than gender neutral language (also called gender inclusive language) in some languages, because German's grammatical gender is pervasive. See the main article on gender neutral language for general reasons to use neutral language, common problems in using it, and its use for nonbinary people.

Nouns, Adjectives etc.[edit | edit source]

See also: Geschlechtsneutrale Sprache at Nichtbinär-Wiki

Asterisk, Underscore, Punctuation

Pronounced as a pause or glottal stop. In between "feminine" and "masculine" ending, the most common version:

  • mein_e beste*r Freund:in

Either after the stem - or more realistically at the next best place that has nothing to do with feminine/masculine forms but makes sense for pronunciation:

  • mei:ne bes_ter Freun*din

At random places:

  • mei*ne best:er Freundi_n

Can be used consistently or mixed up like in the example above.

X[1]

Pronounced like iks.[2]

  • meinx bestx Freundx

(or e.g. Befreunx to avoid basing it on the masculine form) Or write it as -iks.

  • meiniks bestiks Freundiks

Shortened Words and Nonsense Forms [3]

Fairly well known -i words:

  • der_die Studi, dix Touri

New words by the same pattern:

  • dier Mitbewohni, der*die Kollegi

Use the short -i forms or make up new endings and treat the word as neutrum.

  • mein bestes Freundi
  • mein liebes Mitbewohnsi

Use -mensch, -menschi, -person:

  • das Postmenschi
  • meine Liebhabperson
  • der liebe Katzenbetreu-Mensch

Or just random words that you think are cute.

  • Ich will Fotografierflausch werden.

Pronouns[edit | edit source]

See main article at German neutral pronouns.

Personal pronouns: dominant usage?
Paradigm 'dey/dej'[4][5][6] 'sier' Version 2.1[7] 'xier' Version 3.3[8] 'hän'[9][10] NoNa-System[11][12] g-Genus[13] De-e-System[14]
prosodical features unstressed stressed unstressed stressed unstressed stressed unstressed stressed unstressed stressed
Nominative dey/dej sier [zi:ɐ̯] dier [di:ɐ̯] xier dier hän hen dai hen dio en de [de(:)]
Accusative dey/dej; dem(m) [dɛm] sien dien xien dien sin hen dai hen dio en de [de(:)]
Dative denen; demm[15] siem diem xiem diem sim hem dam hem dero em derm
Genitive derer sieser - xieser - sirer henser - - - enser -
'hen' paradigms
dey[edit | edit source]

The German translation of Starfield vom Bethesda Games Studios uses 'dey'/'demm' pronouns to refer to nonbinary protagonists. Some German speaking influencers use them as their pronouns (cf. @kai.isaiah_jamal) and so do other numerous Instagram users (i. e. search for the key words 'dey/dem' in the Instagram search engine). As for series, Star Treck Discovery uses 'dey' pronouns for their nonbinary/genderless characters.[16]

sier[edit | edit source]

Ravna Marin Siever, author of the book Was wird es denn? Ein Kind! Wie geschlechtsoffene Erziehung gelingt, uses pronouns from the sier-paradigm for people to refer to them.[17] Boyfriend dungeon uses 'xier' as nonbinary pronoun in their German version.[18][19]

Some examples of books that use the 'sier' pronoun (for an exhaustive list, see Xier Pronomen in Texten, Serien, Filmen und Video Games from Illi Anna Heger):[20]

  • Ein göttliches Paar from Amalia Zeichnerin;
  • Code X – Das Erwachen der Cybertechs from Lucinda Flynn;
  • Das Orakel in der Fremde – Die Chroniken von Beskadur 2 from James A. Sullivan;
  • Bus 57 – Eine wahre Geschichte from Dashka Slater;
  • Mädchen, Frau, etc. from Bernardine Evaristo;
  • Gänseblümchen. Eine sehr queere Geschichte from Elias Finley;
  • Die Götter müssen sterben from Nora Bendzko.
xier[edit | edit source]

In the second episode (1:02) of the series City of Ghosts, i. e. Stadt der Geister in German, Thomas states that their pronoun is 'xier'. The blogger Frau Papa Nina tells in an interview from the podcast Das gewünschteste Wunschkind — hosted by Danielle Graf and Katja Seide — that they use the pronoun 'xier' for themselves.[21]

Books that use the 'xier' pronoun:[20]

  • Gründämmerung from Alice Hagenbruch;
  • Camp — Queerfeldein führt auch ein Weg from L. C. Rosen;
  • Look from Luka Holmegaard;
  • Laylayland from Judith and Christian Vogt;
  • Blind and Blau from Annette Juretzki;
  • Ace in Space from Judith Vogt, Christian Vogt and Stephan Urbach;
  • Humbug über Xenosol from Tino Falke;
  • Dies ist mein letztes Lied from Lena Richter;
  • Auf einem Sonnenstrahl from Tillie Walden

Some examples of series that use 'xier' pronouns in the German version (for an exhaustive list, see Xier Pronomen in Texten, Serien, Filmen und Video Games from Illi Anna Heger)[19]:[16]

  • Transparent from Joey Soloway;
  • One Day at a Time from Gloria Calderón Kellett and Mike Royce.

Some examples of video games that use 'xier' pronouns in the German version (for an exhaustive list, see Xier Pronomen in Texten, Serien, Filmen und Video Games from Illi Anna Heger):[19]

  • Harmony: the fall of reverie[22];
  • Dead Space[23];
  • Wylde Flowers[24];
  • Rainbow Six Siege[25].
hen[edit | edit source]

In the German version from Kivi & Monsterhund from Jesper Lundqvist and Bettina Johansson, the protagonist Kivi, who is referred to with the Swedish gender neutral pronoun 'hen', is referred to with the same pronoun in the German translation from Jochen Barthel.[26] 'hen' also seems to be used by some bloggers[27] and to be currently perceived as popular.[28][29]

en[edit | edit source]

An important number of the members of the Verein für Geschlechtsneutrales Deutsch, that is currently growing, uses the en/em forms from the De-e-System as their pronouns.[30]


For a complete list of all existent neopronouns, see https://nibi.space/pronomen#pronomen or https://de.pronouns.page/pronomen.

Personal pronouns: peripheral usage?
Paradigm SYLVAIN-Konventionen[31] 'sir' [zi:ɐ̯][32][33] 'hen'2[34] 'el'[35][36] 'ey'[37][38]
prosodical features unstressed stressed unstressed stressed
Nominative nin din sir dier hen el ey
Accusative nin din sihn dien han en emm
Dative nim dim ihrm derm ham em emm
Genitive nimser - sihrer - - emser eyser
(almost) Indeclinable personal pronouns
Paradigm 'ens'[39][40] 'en'[29][41] 'iks'[42]
Nominative ens en iks
Accusative ens en iks
Dative ens en iks
Genitive enser enser ikser

Titles[edit | edit source]

Instead of Frau/Herr

  • Frann[43] - nonstandard
  • Ind.[43] von "Individuum", nonstandard
  • Mau[43] - nonstandard
  • Per - nonstandard

Professional & Academic Titles

  • Doctorx[43] - nonstandard
  • Professorx[43] - nonstandard
  • Professx[44], abgekürzt Prof. oder Profx. - nonstandard

Family terms[edit | edit source]

See also: Nichtbinäre Wörter at Nichtbinär-Wiki

Parent

  • Elter - nonstandard, will sound awkward but be recognised
  • Mapa - nonstandard
  • Pama - nonstandard

Child

  • Enbie, Enby - instead of Mädchen/Junge/Bub, nonstandard
  • Großes - standard
  • Kind - standard
  • Kleines - standard

Aunt/Uncle

  • Tankel - nonstandard

Niece/Nephew

  • Nibling - nonstandard

Grandparent

  • Großelter - nonstandard, will sound awkward but be understood

Sibling

  • Bruderin, Bruder*in - nonstandard
  • Brüderin, Brüder*in - nonstandard
  • das Geschwister - nonstandard, will sound awkward but be understood
  • Geschwisterchen - standard, but old fashioned and usually used for very young siblings
  • der/mein Schwester - nonstandard

Partner

  • Freund*in
  • Herzmensch - literally heart person, used as a term of endearment
  • Eheherzmensch - married to the heart person
  • Eheperson
  • Eheherzperson
  • Liebschaft
  • Partner*in

See also[edit | edit source]

Main resources[edit | edit source]

  1. Nichtbinär-Wiki (2024): Geschlechtsneutrale Sprache. Online at: https://nibi.space/geschlechtsneutrale_sprache.
  2. Pronouns.page (2024): Liste bekannter Pronomen. Neopronomen. Online at: https://de.pronouns.page/pronomen.
  3. Pronouns.page (2024): Wörterbuch für geschlechtsneutrale Sprache. Online at: https://de.pronouns.page/substantive.
  4. Illi Anna Heger (2022): Pronomen wie sier und xier. Online at: https://www.annaheger.de/pronomen/.
  5. Verein für geschlechtsneutrales Deutsch e. V. (2024): De-e-System. Online at: https://geschlechtsneutral.net/gesamtsystem/.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. http://feministisch-sprachhandeln.org/leitfaden/kapitel2/ Archived on 17 July 2023
  2. http://feministisch-sprachhandeln.org/leitfaden/kapitel4/ Archived on 17 July 2023
  3. http://nomthecatsaid.tumblr.com/post/124574373381/kennst-du-eine-gute-seite-auf-der-man-sich-%C3%BCber Archived on 17 July 2023
  4. Anonym (2017): Q: Ein [...] gegeben. Online at: https://nonbinarytransgermany.tumblr.com/post/148742824641/ein-befreundeter-mensch-von-mir-hat-sich-mal (retrieved 09.02.2024).
  5. Pronouns.page (2024): dey/denen/demm. Online at: https://de.pronouns.page/dey/denen/demm?erweitert (retrieved 09.02.2024).
  6. Pronouns.page (2024): dej/denen/dej. Online at: https://de.pronouns.page/dej?erweitert (retrieved 09.02.2024).
  7. Heger, Illi Anna (2022): Version 2.1: sier Pronomen ohne Geschlecht. Online at: https://www.annaheger.de/pronomen21/ (retrieved 09.02.2024).
  8. Heger, Illi Anna (2022): Version 3.3: xier Pronomen ohne Geschlecht. Online at: https://www.annaheger.de/pronomen33/ (retrieved 09.02.2024).
  9. zweisatz (2011): HIGH ON CLICHÉS. Glossar. Online at: https://web.archive.org/web/20230531034450/https://highoncliches.wordpress.com/2011/12/11/glossar/ (retrieved 09.02.2024).
  10. Pronouns.page (2024): hän/sim. Online at: https://de.pronouns.page/h%C3%A4n?erweitert (retrieved 02.09.2024).
  11. Pronouns.page (2024): hen/hem. Online at: https://de.pronouns.page/hen?erweitert (retrieved 09.02.2024).
  12. Moro, Jona/Frank, Noah (2024): Das NoNa-System. geschlechtsneutrale deutsche Grammatik. Online at: https://geschlechtsneutralesdeutsch.com/ (retrieved 09.02.2024).
  13. Dominik Jahre (2018): Das g-Genus. Merkmale des g-Genus. Online at: https://www.geschlechtsneutral.com/index.html (retrieved 09.02.2024).
  14. Verein für Geschlechtsneutrales Deutsch e. V. (2024): De-e-System. https://geschlechtsneutral.net/gesamtsystem/ (retrieved 09.02.2024).
  15. Nichtbinär-Wiki (2024): Pronomen. dey. Online at: https://nibi.space/pronomen#dey (retrieved 09.02.2024).
  16. 16.0 16.1 Heger, Illi Anna (2022): Darunter und darüber — "they" Pronomen in Filmen/Serien Deutsch übersetzen. Online at: https://www.annaheger.de/darunterdarueber/ (retrieved 10.02.2024).
  17. Siever, Ravna Marin (2022): Was wird es denn? Ein Kind! Wie geschlechtsoffene Erziehung gelingt. Weinheim: Beltz, 97.
  18. Reinke, Eleen (2021): Boyfriend Dungeon im Test: Scharfe Dates und dröge Dungeons. In: Gamepro. Online at: https://www.gamepro.de/artikel/boyfriend-dungeon-im-test-scharfe-dates-droege-dungeons,3372598.html (retrieved 10.02.2024).
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 Heger, Illi Anna (2022): Xier Pronomen in Texten, Serien, Filmen und Video Games. Online at: https://www.annaheger.de/pronomentexte/ (retrieved 10.02.2024).
  20. 20.0 20.1 Heger, Illi Anna (2022): DiverserLesen. Online at: https://www.annaheger.de/diverserlesen/ (retrieved 10.02.2024).
  21. Frau Papa Nina in conversation (2019): Transsexualität und Diversität. In: Graf, Danielle/Seide, Katja (hosts): Das gewünschteste Wunschkind. Der Podcast. Online at: https://plus.rtl.de/podcast/das-gewuenschteste-wunschkind-3r427sdoc4dw2/transsexualitaet-und-diversitaet-cbin4vimtsr1p (retrieved 09.02.2024).
  22. Wetterau, Sören (2023): Test: Harmony: The Fall of Reverie. In: 4Players - das Spielemagazin. Online at: https://www.4players.de/4players.php/dispbericht/PC-CDROM/Test/44253/85341/1/Harmony_The_Fall_of_Reverie.html (retrieved 10.02.2024).
  23. guts (2023): Okay ich bin auf den ersten xier-gespickten Textlog gestoßen und danach war mir ziemlich schwindlig xD. Online at: https://forums.consolewars.de/threads/dead-space-ea-motive.73420/page-33 (retrieved 10.02.2024).
  24. Nintendo (2024): Wylde Flowers. Online at: https://www.nintendo.ch/de/Spiele/Nintendo-Switch-Download-Software/Wylde-Flowers-2271735.html (retrieved 02.10.2024).
  25. UBISOFT (2015): Sens. Online at: https://www.ubisoft.com/de-de/game/rainbow-six/siege/game-info/operators/sens#:~:text=Xier%20bezeichnet%20sie%20als%20die,Gelegenheit%20ihre%20EDM%2DSets%20spielt. (retrieved 10.02.2024).
  26. Lundqvist, Jesper/Johansson, Bettina (2019): Kivi & Monsterhund. Berlin: Maria Benson Verlag.
  27. Annat75pyz (2023): Benutzt du das Pronomen "hen"?. Online at: https://www.gutefrage.net/sprache-literatur-raetsel/deutsche-sprache/grammatik-rechtschreibung/frage/nenutzt-du-das-pronomen-hen (retrieved 09.02.2024).
  28. Erhardt, Melissa (2022): Dey, Xier, Hen: Was es mit genderneutralen (Neo-)Pronomen auf sich hat. In: radio FM4. Online at: https://fm4.orf.at/stories/3025024/ (retrieved 09.02,2024).
  29. 29.0 29.1 von Usslar, Maria (2019): Er, sie, they, hen: Wie wollen Trans- und Interpersonen bezeichnet werden? In: Der Standard. Online at: https://www.derstandard.de/story/2000106804139/er-sie-they-hen-wie-wollen-trans-und-interpersonen-bezeichnet (retrieved 10.02.2024).
  30. Verein für Geschlechtsneutrales Deutsch e. V. (2024): r/geschlechtsneutral. Online at: https://www.reddit.com/r/geschlechtsneutral/ (retrieved 09.02.2024).
  31. de Sylvain, Cabala/Balzer, Carsten (2008): Die SYLVAIN-Konventionen — Versuch einer "geschlechtergerechten" Grammatik-Transformation der deutschen Sprache. Online at: https://www.geschlechtsneutral.com/lit/Liminalis-2008-Sylvain-Balzer.pdf (retrieved 09.02.2024).
  32. Nichtbinär-Wiki (2024): sir. Online at: https://nibi.space/pronomen#sir (retrieved 09.02.2024).
  33. Berliner Morgenpost (2017): Das sagen Berliner Experten zum Streit ums dritte Geschlecht. Online at: https://www.morgenpost.de/berlin/article212586881/Das-sagen-Berliner-Experten-zum-Streit-ums-dritte-Geschlecht.html (retrieved 09.02.2024).
  34. Catboy Jaebeom/Fliederfuchs (2023): ASTRI'FA | THE BEARER OF STARS. Online at: https://catboy-jaebeom.tumblr.com/about (retrieved 09.02.2024).
  35. Pronouns.page (2024): el/em. Online at: https://de.pronouns.page/el?erweitert (retrieved 09.02.2024).
  36. Nichtbinär-Wiki (2024): el. Online at: https://nibi.space/pronomen#el (retrieved 09.02.2024).
  37. Pronouns.page (2024). ey/emm. Online at: https://de.pronouns.page/ey?erweitert (retrieved 10.02.2024).
  38. Nichtbinär-Wiki (2024): ey/em. Online at: https://nibi.space/pronomen#eyem (retrieved 10.02.2024).
  39. Lann Hornscheidt in conversation (2021): Debatte um Gendersprache: Sie oder er oder wie? „Ich wünsche mir, dass alle erst mal ens sind“. In: Berliner Zeitung. Retrieved 28.04.2021.
  40. Pronouns.page (2024): ens/ens. Online at: https://de.pronouns.page/ens?erweitert (retrieved 10.02.2024).
  41. Pronouns.page (2024): en/en. Online at: https://de.pronouns.page/en?erweitert (retrieved 09.02.2024).
  42. Pronouns.page (2024): iks/iks. Online at: https://de.pronouns.page/iks?erweitert (retrieved 09.02.2024).
  43. 43.0 43.1 43.2 43.3 43.4 Nonbinary Trans Germany, "Language." http://nonbinarytransgermany.tumblr.com/language Archived on 17 July 2023
  44. http://www.spiegel.de/unispiegel/wunderbar/gendertheorie-studierx-lann-hornscheidt-ueber-gerechte-sprache-a-965843.html Archived on 17 July 2023