talking about occupation of males and females in one group

kesiyi

Senior Member
English
Hi, I'm wondering which gender Germans would choose when talking about the occupation of a group where males and females are present.

Let's say there are 10 people and 9 of them are males and 1 is female. Should I say, "Sie sind Lehrer." or "Sie sind Lehrer und Lehrerinnen."
One the other hand, if 9 of them are females and 1 is male, should I say, "Sie sind Lehrerinnen und Lehrer"?
 
  • Kajjo

    Senior Member
    of a group where males and females are present.
    The simple grammar rule is the "general masculinum". This is used in all normal situations, both for singular and plural.

    Only people concernced about political correctness or gender ideology would phrase the sentence more complicated. In formal situations many people nowadays tend to find neutral words for the sake of combining political correctness and proper language.

    general masculinum, meaning both men and women:

    1990 kamen auf 200 Schüler immerhin noch zehn Lehrer.
    Wir brauchen dringend mehr Ärzte in Deutschland!
    Politiker sind nur an ihrem eigenen Wohl interessiert.

    possible replacement:

    An dieser Schule arbeiten zehn Lehrer. <correct; anyone assumes both male and female teachers>
    An dieser Schule arbeiten zehn Lehrkräfte. <politically correct, more formal, noun replaced>

    "Sie sind Lehrer und Lehrerinnen."
    That doesn't work and sounds awkward. No matter which is named first.
     

    bearded

    Senior Member
    Standard Italian
    In the Swiss-German teletext I always read expressions like ''Luzerns Einwohner und Einwohnerinnen / Besitzer und Besitzerinnen von Hunden...
    Are the Swiss basically more concerned about 'political correctness' than the Germans?
     

    Frieder

    Senior Member
    Perhaps they have yet to discover the possibilities of the present participle. Maybe then they'd use Bewohnende and Besitzende instead ...

    No, seriously: I don't think that any nation can outperform Germany when it comes to political correctness concerning gender. We are home to so many gender-zealots that I can't see the Swiss overtaking us (yet).
     

    bearded

    Senior Member
    Standard Italian
    Luzerns Bewohnende..:p
    But seriously: in the German teletext (I can receive also ZDF here) it's usually ''die Einwohner Berlins'' or ''die Schweizer'' (including also females), whereas the Swiss always write ''Schweizer und Schweizerinnen'' and similar, therefore I was asking myself some questions..
     
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    Hutschi

    Senior Member
    bearded:
    "In the Swiss-German teletext I always read expressions like ''Luzerns Einwohner und Einwohnerinnen / Besitzer und Besitzerinnen von Hunden...
    Are the Swiss basically more concerned about 'political correctness' than the Germans?"
    Hi,

    such way of addressing is common in Germany, too.
    In the GDR it was the default way of addressing.
    I am not sure how widespread it is now.

    Viele Grüße
    Bernd
     

    Kajjo

    Senior Member
    This is just about political correctness and gender ideology. There more concerned or, more likely, the more hypocitrical the author is, the more he will favor lengthy double-noun and crazy participle replacements. The more rational and normal an author is, the more he will stick with established, grammatical German.

    You can easily see the hypocrisy: It is crazy to state something about "Besitzer und Besitzerinnen von Hunden" instead of the simple, established compound noun "Hundebesitzer", but so far I have never seen "Raser und Raserinnen erwischt" (speeding) or "Telefonbetrüger und Telefonbetrügerinnen". All this idiotic gender stuff just makes me shake my head. This is not established, fluent, easily comprehensible German anymore.

    Luckily enough, in real life no one uses this stuff. All people I know just talk about Hunderhalter, korrupte Politiker, zu wenig Ärzte and so on. Normal people.
     

    Hutschi

    Senior Member
    I do not think so. In earlier times when nobody thought about this, the addressing was also "Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren!"
    So "Sehr geehrte Lehrerinnen und Lehrer" has this tradition. It was said long before the gender problematic.

    "Sehr geehrte Besitzer und Besitzerinnen von Hunden", however, sounds like a parody of the gender problem.


    Luckily enough, in real life no one uses this stuff. All people I know just talk about Hunderhalter, korrupte Politiker, zu wenig Ärzte and so on. Normal people.
    True. Indeed nobody speaks bad about woman ...

    More serious: There is a difference between speaking to people and about people.
    When speaking about people, I fully agree to Kajjo's argumentation (at least in default situations). When speaking to people I would make it explicit.

    In some professions it is assymetric.
    So we had "Krankenschwestern" - they renamed them to "Arzthelferinnen".
    "Arzthelfer" could exist; but the male profession does not exist (at least I never heared it or saw one). The nearest is "Krankenpfleger".
     

    Frieder

    Senior Member
    So we had "Krankenschwestern" - they renamed them to "Arzthelferinnen".
    That is not correct: they renamed them to "Gesundheits- und Krankenpfleger/-in". You find them in hospitals.

    "Arzthelfer" were renamed to "Medizinische/r Fachangestellte/r" and you can find them in practitioners' offices.
     

    Hutschi

    Senior Member
    May be, in the West part of Germany you are right, in the East Krankenschwestern became usually Arzthelferinnen.
    About 3 or 4 years ago, they renamed again officially, in the way you wrote.
    "Arzthelfer" were renamed to "Medizinische/r Fachangestellte/r" and you can find them in practitioners' offices.
    But this is almost unknown, and you will find in many places "Arzthelferin" alone. They do not want to employ a (male) man there.
    Example: Arzthelferin Dresden | Jetzt Ausbildung finden
    Arzthelferin Dresden - alle freien Plätze

    ---
    Nevertheless, they usually use the female form rather than both forms in this special case.
    At some places you can find both "Arzthelfern" and "Arzthelfer".
    Arzthelfer / Arzthelferin Ausbildung – Infos und Stellen auf Ausbildung.de
    Ausbildung zum/zur Arzthelfer/in

    ---
    I hope considering the genders it is not off topic. But it is a a special case.

    ---
    Also in case "Raumpflegerin" you have often only the female form, in case of "Putzfrau" the male form does just not exist.
     

    Kajjo

    Senior Member
    they renamed them to "Gesundheits- und Krankenpfleger/-in". You find them in hospitals.

    "Arzthelfer" were renamed to "Medizinische/r Fachangestellte/r" and you can find them in practitioners' offices.
    Indeed, and that is true for West and East Germany. Honestly, Hutschi, you are wrong here.
     

    Hutschi

    Senior Member
    Indeed, and that is true for West and East Germany. Honestly, Hutschi, you are wrong here.
    I did not say that this is not the case. It was the case much later than 2000


    I spoke about "Krankenschwester" after unification. And it was not only renaming, but status, too.

    My wife luckily refused it. After privatisation, she kept her title. She is "Sprechstundenschwester". And she remained it until now. This is Krankenschwester+additional Sekretärin.
    The most became "Arzthelferin" after 1990, loosing parts of their recognition. Some had to repeat the education, because "Schwester" was another profession than "Arzthelferin".

    Much later long after 2000, "Arzthelferinnen" became "Medizinische Fachangestellte", but this is the official name. The most Doctors and institutions kept the title "Arzthelferin".

    Over this way many of east German Krankenschwestern or Sprechstundenschwestern in practioner's offices (with 3 years "Fachschulstudium") became "Medizinische Fachangestellte".


    "Moskau ist weit!", wie das Sprichwort sagt.

    It is a difference in Language which became reality.

    And I never heared that a man became "Medizinischer Fachangestellter" in any of the practices I visited. They were always woman.

    Renaming Schwester to Arzthelferin was a kind of discrimination, while the other way from Arzthelferin to Medizinische Fachangestellte was a way to higher reputation and appreciation.
    You can can see that it is not a question of feminism to use proper titles and names. It is more than political correctness, but a question ofappreciation.
    Political correctness is a largely misused concept. It is often used as discussion stopper.

    I think in several situation you should use both male and female forms to shop appreciation of both.

    ---
    My summary
    Hi, I'm wondering which gender Germans would choose when talking about the occupation of a group where males and females are present.
    In this case I'd usually use the general form, but when I greet them, I would use both forms.
    In special cases only one form is available.

    In some cases there is no general name or I would avoid.

    Compare also the difference between
    Liebe Geschwister
    Liebe Brüder und Schwestern
     

    bearded

    Senior Member
    Standard Italian
    All this idiotic gender stuff
    I found a further example in the Swiss teletext this morning. Under the title ''Callfilter für Swisscom-Handys'' the text starts with the following sentence:
    Kundinnen und Kunden der Swisscom können unerwünschte Werbeanrufe auf ihre Handys ab sofort blockieren.
    I don't think that such a formulation would be normal/usual in Germany's teletexts, would it?

    (By the way: is Anrufe auf ihre Handys fully correct?)
     

    Dymn

    Senior Member
    Does anybody use "general Femininum"? E.g. sie sind Lehrerinnen, meaning both male and female teachers. Some far-left groups in Catalonia do so.
     

    Hutschi

    Senior Member
    It is used in following forms:
    LehrerInnen. Note the uppercase I.
    But mostly by left or green groups.
    I am in the Green Party, but I do not use it, because I think the essential part is not I but equal chances, equal payment etc.

    Another form is like Lehrerl*nnen to include people with both genders or without genders.
    There are also other signs (I%), I am not sure about them, however.
    More details and variants are in Wikipedia.
    Binnen-I – Wikipedia
     

    Hutschi

    Senior Member
    I got a letter not long ago with this very special form.
    But there is more.
    Even if I do not prefer the language changing this way, it had in the long term some positive consequences. So in new planning socuments about the development of Dresden (and I suppose this is true in other towns, too) there is a special point about gender and equal rights for all. It includes more than language and more than only man and woman. It includes als people who have deseases, and so there are now ways additionally to stairs, including elevators/lifts in train staitons and many more of such things ways behind the male-female problems.
    But the explicit male-female discussion was a starting point for such positive developments.
     

    Gernot Back

    Senior Member
    German - Germany
    Even if I do not prefer the language changing this way, it had in the long term some positive consequences.
    So now that we've made all these achievements, I think it is time to return to a normal kind of language, speakable and understandable for 99.9 % of the people, instead of butchering our language even further with asterixes to represent less than .1 % of the people who, otherwise, don't even know which gender they are.

    Unfortunately I guess, the next version of the German LID-Test (required when applying for German citizenship) will torture participants with even these gaga asterixes.
    LID-Test said:
    Was ist richtig?
    Die deutschen Gesetze verbieten ...
    • Meinungsfreiheit der Einwohner und Einwohnerinnen.
    • Petitionen der Bürger und Bürgerinnen.
    • Versammlungsfreiheit der Einwohner und Einwohnerinnen.
    • Ungleichbehandlung der Bürger und Bürgerinnen durch den Staat.
    http://www.bamf.de/SharedDocs/Anlag...eamtkatalog.pdf?__blob=publicationFile#page=3
     
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    Hutschi

    Senior Member
    We can see that they use both forms here. I think this is better than EinwohnerInnen or EinwohnerI*nen.

    PS:
    There was indeed a year about 10 or 20 years ago, some institutions used the female form as in #19 - meaning "Studentinnen" for both genders.
    But I did not see or hear this for a long time, it seems to be out of fashion now.
     

    Gernot Back

    Senior Member
    German - Germany
    We can see that they use both forms here. I think this is better than EinwohnerInnen or EinwohnerI*nen.
    But still: This kind of gender-splitting gaga talk is not understandable. I'm so glad, the founding fathers and mothers and *s of our Grundgesetz had no clue about gender-gaga talk yet. Can you imagine what article 65 would read otherwise?
    www.gesetze-im-internet.de/gg/art_65 said:
    Der Bundeskanzler bestimmt die Richtlinien der Politik und trägt dafür die Verantwortung. Innerhalb dieser Richtlinien leitet jeder Bundesminister seinen Geschäftsbereich selbständig und unter eigener Verantwortung. Über Meinungsverschiedenheiten zwischen den Bundesministern entscheidet die Bundesregierung. Der Bundeskanzler leitet ihre Geschäfte nach einer von der Bundesregierung beschlossenen und vom Bundespräsidenten genehmigten Geschäftsordnung.
    Art 65 GG - Einzelnorm
     

    Kajjo

    Senior Member
    Many do not understand Binnen-I.
    I utterly hate and despise the Binnen-I. It is unpronouncbale when speaking or reading and does not convey both genders properly. It tends to be pronounced like only female and that is contrary what it was supposed to achieve, i.e. representing both genders.

    The general masculinum is understood perfectly well by all native speakers and there is simply no need to butcher the German language to make politcal points.
     

    Dymn

    Senior Member
    It's always interesting to see how PC adapts to language.

    This Binnen-I looks weird. If I saw it for the first time, I don't think I would immediately understand that it's supposed to be a gender-neutral alternative. For me, capitalizing this I is even like emphasizing that we're talking about women. If I were for language-engineering I'd prefer a slash or parentheses, or using both forms simultaneously, unless it gets too cumbersome.

    But then I understand generisches Maskulinum is the simplest and most natural option, so that's probably the one to go. I may not be a native speaker at all but this is an ongoing debate as well in Spain.

    From Hutschi's link in #20.
    Nach Meinung einiger Kritiker werden in Texten zwar positiv oder „weiblich“ konnotierte Personenbezeichnungen mit Binnen-I geschrieben, negativ oder „männlich“ konnotierte (wie „VerbrecherIn“, „MörderIn“ oder „TerroristIn“) jedoch seltener
    That rings a bell, for example...
     

    Hutschi

    Senior Member
    Generisches Maskulinum is generally replaced by the female form now, if there is only one gender.
    Example: Frau Merkel ist Bundeskanzlerin.
    In GDR Time, profession was used in the generic form.
    Frau Günter ist Ingenieur. This was appropriate. It isn't anymore. She is Ingenieurin now.
    This is a kind of discrimination, because it implies somehow that there is a difference caused by gender. But many think it is showing equal rights. In my opinion equal rights is more than making gender explicit.
     

    Dymn

    Senior Member
    I am all for making gender less explicit. An engineer is an engineer, whatever their gender, there is no need to specify it unless one wishes. That's something I envy about English, most person-related names are gender-neutral. That's not the case for most continental European languages.

    I thought that in German the female form always had to end in -in. According to what you say, this was not so in GDR. Were all job names in the generic form, with the masculine (grammatical) gender?
     

    L'irlandais

    Senior Member
    Ireland: English-speaking ♂
    I found a further example in the Swiss teletext this morning. Under the title ''Callfilter für Swisscom-Handys'' the text starts with the following sentence:
    Kundinnen und Kunden der Swisscom können unerwünschte Werbeanrufe auf ihre Handys ab sofort blockieren.
    I don't think that such a formulation would be normal/usual in Germany's teletexts, would it?

    (By the way: is Anrufe auf ihre Handys fully correct?)
    Mobile phones in Switzerland are generally (generically?) called Natel, rather than Handy.
     

    Hutschi

    Senior Member
    Hi, the female name existed for many professions, but it was seldom used, only if it was essential.
    I heared or read following: After unification when feminists spoke with women in the GDR they where astonished that these women used the generic form.
    So the woman said "Ich bin Schlosser" rather than "Ich bin Schlosserin". This was no problem, she could also use "Ich bin Schlosserin.", however.

    By the way: In The GDR "Frau Professor" meant that the woman was Professor herself. I read but cannot really believe, that in the western part "Frau Professor" meant "wife of a professor" - I think this is out of fashion now.
    I know however that this is an old form generally used in Germany - but vanished before I was born.

    Nobody says "Frau Professorin", at least I never heard it. Maybe it is established now. What is the status of this?

    I think that equal rights mean that a woman can become professor as easy or complicate as a man.

    Otherwise in a description where the gender is essential, it would be used: "Die Professorin kam zur Tür herein." "Die Dreherin schaltete die Drehmaschine ein."
    ---The strange profession "Hausfrau" has not a real male equivalent, only in some cases a man says with blinking eye "Ich bin Hausmann".
    "Hausmann" has another meaning in standard language. Wikipedia: "männlicher Vorstand eines (ländlichen) Haushalts im Sinne von Pater familias;" hausmann - Google Search

    ---

    PS: In Steuerfragen ist noch heute in der BRD in Steuerdokumenten nur die männliche Form relevant. "Steuerpflichtiger" - aber das ist ja kein Beruf.
     
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