"The child is eating all her food."
Translation:Barnet spiser all maten sin.
Is there any way to tell the gender of the child from this sentence or could it be used for any gender? Just wondering why the English translation uses "her." Could it also be translated "his" ?
The english translation uses "her" because in english, possessives have gender ( at least for she an he )
In norwegian, for he and she, the possessive is the same "sin" for both.
So in this sentence, the english part must decide if the kid is weither a boy or a girl ( here a girl) while in norwegian, it will depend on the context !
No, in Norwegian "Barnet spiser all maten hennes" means that the child is eating the food belonging to some (other) girl not otherwise mentioned in the sentence. Sin points back to Barnet (genitive barnets or barnet sin) but takes the form sin (masculine) from maten (masculine), no matter the actual sex of the child or the gender of child (neuter).
A "famous" example to this ambiguity in the English language is He is kissing his wife. You don't know whose wife unless from context. In Norwegian it can't be confused, as his is replaced either by Sin (kissing his own wife) or Hans (kissing another man's wife) Han kysser sin kone vs Han kysser hans kone.