human female vs. animal female

Discussion in 'All Languages' started by rusita preciosa, May 21, 2010.

  1. rusita preciosa

    rusita preciosa Modus forendi

    USA (Φιλαδέλφεια)
    Russian (Moscow)
    In AE it is normal to use the same word female for animals and humans:
    female police officer
    female giraffe

    In Russian we have two separate words:
    женщина /jenshina/ - woman
    самка /samka/ - female animal
    To call a woman "samka" is extremely derogatory.

    As I remember correctly, French in this aspect is similar to Russian.

    How about your language?
    - do you have sepapate words for female animal and woman?
    - if so, is it insulting/derogatory to call a woman the same word as "female animal"?
    Last edited: May 21, 2010
  2. Calambur

    Calambur Senior Member

    Buenos Aires (Capital)
    Castellano (rioplatense) - Lunfardo
    En español:
    una mujer policía
    una jirafa hembra
    una jirafa macho

    Referido al sexo de los animales no humanos: hembra / macho.
    Sexos de los humanos: femenimo / masculino. (También se puede decir hembra / macho, pero resulta poco "elegante").
  3. rusita preciosa

    rusita preciosa Modus forendi

    USA (Φιλαδέλφεια)
    Russian (Moscow)
    Es un insulto de llamar una mujer "hembra"? (lo se que no es un insulto de llamar un hombre "macho" :D)
  4. phosphore Senior Member


    ženka=female animal

    Using "ženka" for a woman would be somewhere between funny and derogatory in the sexual way.
  5. jazyk Senior Member

    Brno, Česká republika
    Brazílie, portugalština
    In Portuguese we normally use fêmea (Br.)/fémea (Port.) (female) only for animals. For women, we say mulher or we put the noun or adjective in the feminine form.
  6. enoo Senior Member

    French - France
    Yes, indeed, calling a woman "femelle"/female in French would be extremely derogatory.
    female animal : "femelle" (e.g "giraffe femelle")
    female/woman : "femme" (e.g "femme officier de police")

    (On the other hand, calling a man "mâle"/male could almost be a compliment to his manhood... Well, almost. I could also be a way to say he's the dumb macho kind, depending on the context.)
  7. Orlin Banned

    Bulgarian is very similar: жена is woman and женска (and rarely самка - mainly scientific) is a female animal. Женска/самка for a woman have quite the same meaning.
    The adjective женски is normally used to denote female animals unless we have separate words for the male and the female of the particular species; we don't normally use any words to determine femininity before nouns showing occupation and not gender specific (e. g. министър, професор, съдия etc. - usually "prestigious" occupations are gender neutral and gramatically masculine and the "female" equivalents are substandard - *професорка, *министърка, *съдийка etc.).
    Last edited: May 21, 2010
  8. Encolpius

    Encolpius Senior Member

    Praha (Prague)
    magyar (Hungarian)

    female police officer = rendőr [police officer + female put at the end]
    female giraffe = nőstény zsiráf

    So, we have two words and we never use nőstény even as a derogative expression for women, we have other words. :)
  9. apmoy70

    apmoy70 Senior Member

    In Greek we too use two separate words:
    «γυναίκα» (ʝi'neka, f.)-->woman (noun)
    «θηλυκός, θηλυκή (-κιά), θηλυκό» (θili'kos, m., θili'ci or θili'ca [very colloquial], f., θili'ko, n.)-->female (adj.). E.g: «θηλυκός γορίλλας» (θili'kos ɣo'rilas, m.)-->female gorilla; «θηλυκό κουνούπι» (θili'ko ku'nupi, n.)-->female mosquito.
    Using «θηλυκή (-κιά)» or even the neuter «θηλυκό», would be derogatory in the sexual way (especially the neuter one).
    A female Police Officer is «γυναίκα (woman) αστυνομικός» ((ʝi'neka astinomi'kos)

    [ʝ] is a voiced palatal fricative
    [θ] is a voiceless dental non-sibilant fricative
    [c] is a voiceless palatal plosive
  10. DanyD

    DanyD Senior Member

    Italiano, Italy

    femmina = preferably for animal females
    donna = human female

    There are contexts where "femmina" would be sexist to use and others where it would not. For example:

    "I maschi hanno maggior forza, le femmine maggiore elasticità" =
    "Males are stronger but females are lither" :thumbsup:

    "Femmina, vieni qui!" :thumbsdown::thumbsdown::thumbsdown: "Female, come here!" (this sentence doesn't make much sense in English, but it's a litteral translation)

    There are very many Italian "variants", though, so maybe another Italian forero from a different Italian region may think differently.

    Hope that helps!
  11. Encolpius

    Encolpius Senior Member

    Praha (Prague)
    magyar (Hungarian)
    Ciao DanyD e benvenuta al foro, grazie per il commento. Speriamo di trovarti al foro frequentement, perché abbiamo bisogno anche di commenti italiani. :)
  12. merquiades

    merquiades Senior Member

    USA Northeast
    Calambur. ¿No dirías varón y mujer para los seres humanos? Saludos
  13. Rallino Moderatoúrkos

    In Turkish there is not much distinction either. Rarely in some profession names, women tend to differ themselves, for example:

    adam: man
    kadın: woman

    iş adamı = business man

    If a woman is a business man, then she'd probably introduce herself as: iş kadını.
  14. Elvus Member

    In Polish we say kobieta to name a female human and samica while speaking of a female animal. I wouldn't dare to say so about any woman. But it might be suitable for some erotic stories perhaps (e.g. "She was acting like a mature samica following her wildest instincts, she was like an animal") . ;)
  15. OneStroke Senior Member

    Hong Kong, China
    Chinese - Cantonese (HK)

    For humans: Male is 男 nán, female is 女 nǚ

    For animals: Female is 雌 cí, male is 雄 xióng

    For whatever reason, in its usual order, male precedes female for humans, and female precedes male for animals.
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2014
  16. rusita preciosa

    rusita preciosa Modus forendi

    USA (Φιλαδέλφεια)
    Russian (Moscow)
    So my question was, is it acceptable to call a woman (human) 雌 cī or it would be an insult?
  17. Gavril Senior Member

    English, USA
    In English, another option for female animals is to use she- as a prefix: she-goat, she-wolf, she-donkey, etc.

    A woman is not normally called a "she-person", but I don't think it sounds offensive to call someone that, just strange.
  18. AutumnOwl Senior Member

    Human: kvinna - woman, kvinnlig - female, feminine; man - man, manlig - male
    Animal: hona - female; hane - male

    En kvinnlig polis - a female police officer
    En kvinnlig klänning - a feminine dress
    Hon är mycket kvinnlig - she is very feminine

    I would say that it would be insulting to call a woman for hona (although the word for she is hon and the word for he is han)
  19. marrish

    marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    For animals and also for plants in Urdu مادہ maadah is used; I have never heard or read it with respect to any woman nor I can imagine it would ever be possible to be used. For e.g. names of professions, I believe it is the same as in Russian: خاتون ڈاکٹر xaatuun DaakTar = a lady doctor = female doctor (not a gynaecologist!), خاتون پولیس اہلکار xaatuun poliis ahl~kaar etc.

    Of course many a times there are separate nouns to call male animals and female ones. Most of the time they are differentiated by their grammatical gender which is inherent to the noun: a horse: گھوڑا ghoRaa, a mare: گھوڑی ghoRii. A cat: بلی billii, a he-cat: بلا billaa. Not always they need to be differentiated but mostly they have different names. In the scientific language, maadah is and should be used but I have also noticed that sometimes words which belong traditionally to the grammar lingo tend to be used: مذکر مؤنث muzakkar (m.)/mu'annas (f.) but I consider it wrong. You can use it only when talking about nouns, not about the animals they are called by those nouns. Of course, female police officers are not called by "feminine".
  20. OneStroke Senior Member

    Hong Kong, China
    Chinese - Cantonese (HK)
    It's acceptable, but very weird. There are a handful of words in which 雌 cí (I made a mistake typing the tones last night, sorry) indicates a feminine quality rather than a female animal, such as 雌弱, although they are not common words. In the yuefu about Hua Mulan (the story of whom was popularised by Disney), Hua was compared to a rabbit at the end and the author, whoever he or she may have been, used 雌雄 when he/she said Mulan's gender could not be easily identified.

    PS I know this is not part of your question, but 雄 can describe males - in fact, it has very positive connotations.
  21. Radioh

    Radioh Senior Member

    Sydney, Australia
    There's a song "she-wolf", now I understand what it means.
    Back to the original question, we do have two seperate words used for female animal and woman. "Nữ" for woman and "cái" for animal.
    Nữ cảnh sát/ cảnh sát nữ = female police.
    Hưu cái = female giraffe.
    And it is very very offensive to use "cái" for a woman.

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