https://www.duolingo.com/bergenhopps

Gender neutral pronouns in Norwegian?

The Swedish word "hen" has been being used to refer to someone in a gender neutral way. I was wondering if the same word is used in Norwegian society, or if there's an alternate word that's an equivalent?

May 26, 2016

5 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Luke_5.1991

"Hin" would be the word you were looking for according to this article. That said, it's more of a curiosity than a word that's taken seriously, and it's not widely understood to be a gender-neutral pronoun. Much like in English, no gender-neutral pronoun has really taken hold, except for perhaps "den" which would refer to either gender in a non-specific context.

  • Den som har lyst til å bli med bør sende oss en e-post.
  • He/She/Whoever wants to come along should send us an email.
May 26, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/fveldig
Mod
  • 241

Språkrådet regarding 'hen' (2016-03-18, nynorsk):

  • They encourage its use for people not wanting to identify as 'han' or 'hun'.
  • They don't encourage its us as a gender-neutral pronoun, as 'vedkommende', 'han/hun' [and 'den'] are already common.
  • They're unwilling to add it to the dictionary as it's not widely in use and pronouns are considered a closed word class.

Fun fact: 'hen' was inspired by the Finnish word 'hän', which is a gender-neutral pronoun. Finnish has no gender-specific pronouns. (source)

May 26, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/annika_a

Wow, I didn't know hen was inspired by hän! :-) Although in colloquial Finnish, people tend to refer to other people as se = "it"... (But that's really colloquial!)

May 26, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Setsuko670458

hungarian also has no gender-specific pronouns and instead has ő. this is also the case in estonian with ta on. this is the case in armenian with նա. azerbaijani also has no gender-specific pronouns and instead has o. Cebuano has siya as a gender-neutral pronoun. chichewa has iye. Filipino shares siya with Cebuano. In haitian creole, li is a gender-neutral pronoun. Hindi has वह. There are many more. While Japanese does have gender-specific pronouns,it also has gender-neutral pronouns ano hito,ano kata,yatsu,koitsu,soitsu,and aitsu. the last three are very informal and imply contempt.

February 26, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Stigjohan

I have seen 'hen' in print in newspapers, but it sees limited use. I think it's somewhat common in feminist circles. Alternatives that are more widely used are 'han/hun' or the rather elaborate 'vedkommende'.

Additionally, you cannot use 'de' as a singular pronoun the way 'they' is used in English.

May 26, 2016
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