Fischerin means fisherman?

Is "eine Fischerin" really translated as "a fisherman"? Fisherman seems too masculine to me.

April 16, 2012


I probably wouldn't call her fisherman but just simply fisher, which you could use for male and female.

April 17, 2012

Isn't there a whole discussion around this just a few posts up in this section? Honestly, I've never heard the term "fisherwoman" before - though I don't live by the sea, so that's not saying much. Seems a bit contrived to me, though.

April 17, 2012

Honestly, I don't think there is a correct translation. Imagine if someone asked you "What does your sister do for a living", what would you say? She's a fisherman, fisherwoman, fisher, fisherperson? She fishes? None of those sound right. Its so uncommon, its probably depends on whatever the person chooses at the time. But fisherwoman would still be closest direct translation.

February 5, 2013

You'd generally just say "fisherman" for both sexes in English, but if (around here) we wanted to emphasize both sexes, we might say "fishermen and fisherwomen." It's rare, though, because "fishermen" just covers it fine and dandy. A PC "fisherperson" would sound really weird, and "fisher" honestly doesn't even sound like a real word for a job to me. More like a term that would cover animals. "Pelicans are fishers."

January 22, 2013

I find the google translator quite useful if you want to grasp the basic meaning of a text in a language you don't know. But, for direct (and correct) translations of words or sentences, it is not something I would rely on.

April 18, 2012

There is another discussion about this problem indeed. I did not notice it before I posted this. Maybe my question is still useful.

Google translates "Fischerin" to "fisherwoman". I do not know if that is enough evidence to say that "Fischerin" does not mean "fisherman" in English. In this case I prefer "fisher" to "fisherman", just as grantangi says.

Btw am I writing correct English?

April 17, 2012

Yes, your English is 100% correct. In fact, I was surprised to see the "Btw am I writing correct English" because I thought you were a native English speaker with merely a slight difference in preference for using "fisher." I as a native (born in Texas in the USA) do not like using "fisher" as a word for the job. It feels wrong in some way. Probably because I don't think I've ever met a woman who had the job before, so "fisherman" has always been a 100% correct word in my past usage. If really pressed, I might just say "They fish" instead of "They are fishers." If I met a woman who fishes for a living, I would probably instinctively say "the fisherwoman" or cross sex and call her a "fisherman." I would not say "fisher."

Other native speakers in other regions of the US/England/etc. might disagree. There is no firm rule as far as I can tell. Although the "politically correct" people might object to using -man and -woman and say "fisher" is a better word. Gender neutral.

This article at the CBC suggests even professional writers and reporters do not like the word "fisher" but prefer "fisherman" for both sexes.

There's a quote in the Bible that Jesus says "fishers of men," but that is easily explained away as a rhetorical flourish playing on the word "fishermen."

Anyhoo, just my two cents.

Edit: But a note that words like "chairperson" or "chairwoman" feel OK to me alongside "chairman." Same for "policewoman" (although I think "police officer" is the preferred gender-neutral term).

Perhaps it is related to the job of fishing being a very hard, gruff, difficult job. It almost feels like a sin to think of political correctness when considering a job whose worker would be stereotyped as conservative and unconcerned with political correctness. Of course a chairperson in an executive boardroom would be much more concerned with political correctness (hence the full adoption of "chairperson" over "chairman" as the PC term).

January 22, 2013

Thanks for your extensive answer. Especially the discussion on CBC made clear to me that the term "fisher" has not a very contemporary sound. When even women in the fishing industry prefer to be called "fisherman" over "fisher" I do not see any reason to use the word "fisher" anymore.

January 22, 2013

I couldn't tell that English is not your first language. It's very good!

April 18, 2012
Learn German in just 5 minutes a day. For free.