Estonian: male vs female in professions, statuses, titles

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  • halfminded

    Estonian, Estonia
    Althought kristlanna/luterlanna/katoliiklanna/muhameedlanna sound quite nice, I have never ever heard these words in use. I think that you can patent these words :).

    Yes, -lanna is indicator of femine, but it is rarely used. You can say that "Ines on lauljanna", but mostly we say "Ines on laulja" and we can also say that "Ines on naislaulja" ("Ines is a female singer" (Although it should be obvious because her name already indicates that))
    In some sentences -(l)anna can be useful. Like when someone has a very jealous husband, then she might tell him to avoid some misunderstandings that "ma lähen sõbrannaga pittu" ("I am going to a party with a (female) friend") instead of saying "ma lähen sõbraga pittu" ("I am going to a party with a friend" ( not specified if this friend is a man or a woman)). And sometimes -lanna is used when talking about occupations (õpetajanna, teenindajanna, müüjanna) and nationalities (eestlanna, inglanna, hispaanlanna etc) but never religion.
    But you can always leave -lanna out. Ma olen eestlane ja ma ei näe mingit vajadust öelda enda kohta eestlanna :)

    I just started to think (look, what your question did to me!) that these days to distinct between men and woman in professions (but not in nations or somewhere else), we often use mees- and nais-. Meesnäitleja ja naisnäitleja, meesõpetaja ja naisõpetaja, meespolitseinik ja naispolitseinik and so on.
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