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Gender neutral French pronouns, cool!

Gender Nenutral French pronouns came to my attention today.

However, I don't speak French. Would someone be willing to translate the information in these images for me? And, if you have anymore information about these pronouns, please share it in the comments so we can learn more. Thank you!!

French gender neutral pronouns

Update Thanks to Iris Robin for providing the full French version of the infographic and and full English version!

April 23, 2017



Meanwhile, the Chinese have been using gender-neutral pronouns for millennia.


Yeah, my mother always complains about English when she mixes up her pronouns and says that Chinese is simpler and more inclusive.


Thank you for posting this!! I am an LGBTQ+ supporter and want to get people's pronouns correct!


This honestly confuses me... there's 4 pronouns I've never seen there so I'm guessing those are the gender neutral ones, but why would there be 2 sets?


It looks like there are actually several sets to choose from. You can use "ol" and "lo", "ul" and "lu", or "iel" and "li". It's probably because this is not standardized and they were developed by different people independently of each other. The point is that people may introduce themselves with one of these pronouns and you must be familiar with whichever one they prefer.


These are the bits I could make out.

Neutral Pronouns and Gendered Pronouns:

Gendered Pronouns: Gendered pronouns are the pronouns used when addressing someone in the 3rd person. Transitioning people can choose to change the pronouns used to address them.

Ask: You cannot know the name or pronoun of a person just by looking at them.


Thank you for your translations. I tried to translate, but with the picture, when you enlarge it, it is too blurry. I've been trying to find this doc online though, but so far I can't find it.


Thank you so much for posting this.


Apparently there's a lot more to the process, because French is so thoroughly gendered as a language http://uniqueensongenre.eklablog.fr/petit-dico-de-francais-neutre-inclusif-a120741542

What I don't quite understand when it comes to creating new pronouns (probably because I'm Finnish) is why make the system even more complicated by creating new categories instead of just collapsing the existing ones into one neutral category. Wouldn't the simplest solution be to pick half of the masculine pronouns and half of the feminine ones and start using them for everyone as a neutral option? I'd be really interested in hearing what the significance of creating new words is to non-binary people. I'm sure it exists even though I don't see it right now. Actually this reminded me of Superfruit channel on Youtube where they mix pronouns all the time, which is interesting as it strips the words their gendered meaning.

(I don't have time right now to find out what's the point for proposing a neutral and an inclusive category in French, I'll have to read the article properly later. Maybe it even has an answer to my question.)


Ok, I had a little time to read the beginning of the article I linked and it starts by defining the neutral and inclusive categories:

  • neutral is used for non-binary people
  • inclusive is for unknown, or when talking about mixed groups (where masculine has traditionally been used).


The first of the two pages in French is also available as a pdf:


Found at: http://www.the519.org/education-training/creer-des-milieux-authentiques/pronoms-neutres

When I try to search for text specific to the second page, I come across a 404 page not found: http://www.the519.org/media/download/2674

The search engine duckduckgo has an option just below the search bar for setting the region; it is possible to set it to France for the following search terms to find out more: https://duckduckgo.com/?q=ol+lo+iel+pronoms+neutres (the link doesn’t set the search region).


Super helpful, thanks. A background/source note for others: the organization that created the poster is in Toronto, Canada, so it would be used among Canadian French speakers. (I'm curious what the situation for non-gender-binary language is in France - they have the Academie Francaise to deal with!...)

One other comment: one or two writers on this comment thread are politicizing the suggestion of using pronouns that suit trans-gender people, but I see it as simple civic politeness towards someone who is different. Some sub-cultures that I move in the United States (where I'm a native speaker) use "they" for trans people when they ask and it seems totally natural - other sub-cultures are not as aware of trans issues.

Anyway, Usagi, thanks for giving us the information and the option!

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