Same-sex marriage

Discussion in 'Русский (Russian)' started by gentilhom, Nov 5, 2013.

  1. gentilhom

    gentilhom Senior Member

    Girona Espagne
    français
    In my manual, I read that the word for "marriage" is different according to sex, but there seems to be a single word for the ceremony. So how is one to refer to same-sex marriage in Russian ? It seems to me that Russian is such a sexist (no derogatory meaning attached) language, it makes it very difficult for people to accept dubious gender theories coming from a language, English, which has almost no sex-related grammar at all.

    With the verb to get married, the situation is even more complicated since to get married in Russian contains the word "husband" or "wife" according to the sex of the one who gets married...:confused::)

    In Wikipédia, the word браки is used, which seems to be a plural.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2013
  2. FreedomOfFire Junior Member

    Russia (Moscow)
    Russian
    "однополый брак". "Брак" is singular.
    If you mean "marriage ceremony", then "однополое бракосочетание" or "вступление в однополый брак" can be used.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2013
  3. Maroseika Moderator

    Moscow
    Russian
    Actually the English word "marry" also contains the word "husband" (Latin maritus - married man, husband).
    However you are right and this is really a problem in modern Russian - adapting old words for the new reality. Unfortunately there is still no neutral colloquial term, so probably the best choice is using formal брак (однополый брак), like FreedomOfFire suggested.
    However "однополое бракосочетание" seems to be somewhat clumsy, as if there can be двуполое or разнополое бракосочетание.
     
  4. ahvalj

    ahvalj Senior Member

    And what's wrong with the word «свадьба» in this context? By the way, that all is the minor problem for the vocabulary. I prophesy that the next wave of emancipation will deal with polygamy, and this will shake the society and the vocabulary much stronger (parent # 1, parent #32, grandparent #765)...
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2013
  5. ahvalj

    ahvalj Senior Member

    But the concept of the grammatical gender is historically based not on the family role but on the biological sex after all. Leaving aside the most extreme cases, that anatomical aspect can be identified for most human beings (as of 2013 at least), and the grammatical gender should be used accordingly.
     
  6. ahvalj

    ahvalj Senior Member

    Sorry, can't stop. The Russian language possesses the third, neuter gender, to which unspecified subjects in principle may belong: «дитя, привидение». The activists may start promoting this as the most politically correct approach. The only drawback is that in this way they will have to do something the Accusative since in the neuter it is normally identical to the Nominative and thus the distinction between subject and object is lost. On the other hand, there is a word «подмастерье» with Acc=Gen as in animated masculine nouns, so the language may follow this pattern for animated neutra as well. Plenty of choices for the freedom fighters...
     
  7. Maroseika Moderator

    Moscow
    Russian
    Looks like we all have lost the subject of the thread.

    Gentilhom, would you like to specify what is the word you are looking for? Is it the ceremony name (wedding) or the name of the institute (wedlock)?
    The former is свадьба, the latter is брак (супружество), both are not sexually determined. A problem appears only when we refer to the verb "to get married".
     
  8. learnerr Senior Member

    Russian
    I don't see any problem. Георгий Константинович и Алексей Валерьевич вступили в брак/создали семью. Георгий Константинович взял в мужья Алексея Валерьевича. Funny? Yes it is. But it's their choice.
    There are many real problems instead that indeed need be addressed.

    Однополый брак sounds official & needlessly precise and thus derogatory.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2013
  9. Maroseika Moderator

    Moscow
    Russian
    The problem is that there is no everyday (colloquial) term like жениться or выйти замуж. "Вступить в брак" is a formal term and is not always suitable.
    However I still not sure this is really what is meant in the topic. Let's wait for the clarification.
     
  10. learnerr Senior Member

    Russian
    There are lots of suitable expressions to be used in various contexts (including even "поженились"), and there's no problem and no wonder that they are not everyday words for this, since the event is not everyday either.
    Ok, let's wait.
     
  11. FreedomOfFire Junior Member

    Russia (Moscow)
    Russian
    I don't think that we need any special terms like "выйти замуж", at least for political correctness. Same-sex marriages are not officially recognized in Russia.
    And you may say that Russia is a "sexist country", it doesn't change the matter.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2013
  12. learnerr Senior Member

    Russian
    This does not matter; language should not consider any juridical laws, especially so local ones. Nobody called here Russia a "sexist country", there's a need to be precise. But we do indeed veer off-topic, I feel, that is outside the topic of language use in relation to same-sex marriages.
     
  13. gentilhom

    gentilhom Senior Member

    Girona Espagne
    français
    Well, I was actually asking my question from the point of view of the two different words in Russian for "marriage" : женитьба and замужество. I was wondering if gay males would resort to замужество (making themselves into females) and lesbians to женитьба (making themselves into males). In both cases, they would probably make themselves perfectly laughable in the eyes of the rest of society, I guess.
    The fact that very formal words have to be used to talk about same-sex marriage seems to indicate that the Russian language simply won't be manipulated to fit the new foreign-imposed paradigm.
     
  14. learnerr Senior Member

    Russian
    I understand. To me, the other way around would be more natural ("женитьба" for males and "замужество" for females). "Они много играли в теннис до женитьбы" if males, "они много играли в теннис до замужества" if females (sorry for the silly example, it's the first that I thought of). But there is a difference: "женитьба" is the event, "замужество" is the state.
     
  15. Maroseika Moderator

    Moscow
    Russian
    Actually there is a difference between the words женитьба and замужество, they are not like plus and minus. Женитьба have two meanings - generally marriage and particulary marriage of a man, but marriage as a process (i.e. actually wedding).
    And замужество means only marriage of a woman, but marriage as condition (i.e. married life of a woman).
    So even people of same sex may say женитьба about their marriage. The real problem is what verb they should use - жениться or выходить замуж.
     
  16. gentilhom

    gentilhom Senior Member

    Girona Espagne
    français
    According to my manual, both женитьба (for males) and замужество (for females) are the state of being married:confused:
     
  17. Maroseika Moderator

    Moscow
    Russian
    This is not correct, женитьба is not the state.
    We may say: В замужестве она расцвела.
    But we cannot say: В женитьбе он стал более серьезным:cross:. We should say: Он стал серьезнее, когда женился.
    I'd say женитьба is a change of status. But not the new status itself.
     
  18. learnerr Senior Member

    Russian
    If someone says "во время женитьбы", it means for me "during the event" (possibly before the ceremony).
     
  19. gentilhom

    gentilhom Senior Member

    Girona Espagne
    français
    But for a gay male it must be strange to use a word which contains the term for wife within it. In English, the word marriage is derived from husband, but fery few people know it. For Russian, it is very obvious.
     
  20. learnerr Senior Member

    Russian
    In the word "женитьба" the root is not readily obvious either, so it's alright. In the word "жениться" it is more obvious, but this is, I suppose, only because the presence of this root in the word is what they say about to every child in elementary schools or even before.
     
  21. gentilhom

    gentilhom Senior Member

    Girona Espagne
    français
    On the other hand жених is the male fiancé. I Wonder what the common root of жена and жених is.
     
  22. willem81 Senior Member

    Russia
    Russian
    I think, it is all about physiology, not about language. Consider another example - from Spanish: 'mis padres' means 'my parents', literally 'my fathers'. ))
     
  23. Maroseika Moderator

    Moscow
    Russian
    The common root is жен-, cognate of gen, genetics (from I.E. 'to beget').
     
  24. ahvalj

    ahvalj Senior Member

    I would say, «женитьба» for a gay man would sound out of context since it would imply a heterosexual marriage — whereas «замужество», while rather comic and derogatory, will indicate precisely that it is not an ordinary marriage for him. The opposite will be true for a Lesbian. From the point of view of the couple, the proper word will be «брак» in all of the three cases (m+f, m+m, f+f).
     
  25. ahvalj

    ahvalj Senior Member

    The cognate of IE *g'en- in Russian is either missing or represented by the word «зять», while «жена» is cognate to the Greek «gyne» and the English "queen" (all from *gwen-).
     
  26. gentilhom

    gentilhom Senior Member

    Girona Espagne
    français
    But then how come that жених is a male?:confused:
     
  27. ahvalj

    ahvalj Senior Member

    жена (wife) -> жениться (get a wife) -> жених (the one ho gets a wife)
    петь (to sing) -> петух (the one who sings -> cock)
     
  28. gentilhom

    gentilhom Senior Member

    Girona Espagne
    français
    But then you would have to give «брак» an extended meaning, more than just the ceremony.

    Our marriage is a success (meaning our married life) =наш брак ?
     
  29. gentilhom

    gentilhom Senior Member

    Girona Espagne
    français
    Ok, this is a very enlightening comment, thank you.
     
  30. Maroseika Moderator

    Moscow
    Russian
    So my memory played me false. Thanks for correction.
     
  31. learnerr Senior Member

    Russian
    But it indeed has. For example: "наш брак удачен". It's the most neutral word to use here.
     
  32. Maroseika Moderator

    Moscow
    Russian
    Actually брак doesn't mean ceremony, this is a state (быть в браке, заключить брак, брак распался, неудачный брак, счастливый брак). The ceremony is вступление в брак.
     
  33. ahvalj

    ahvalj Senior Member

    That's a common issue: IE had three "g" sounds (plain, palatalized and labialized), plus the current reconstructions tend to insert laryngeals wherever the author feels necessary (and the laryngeals also come in three), so these almost homonymous forms are a constant source of confusions.
     
  34. ahvalj

    ahvalj Senior Member

    There is also an extremely official word «брачующиеся» for those getting married.
     

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