Han, Hon. But what about Hen?

I was wondering, why the gender neutral personal (or as you say "natural") pronoun hen it not included in this course?

November 18, 2014


Mostly because it's not a common word outside of certain social groups (young people at university), and because if you know how to use "hon" and "han", one will have no problem exchanging those words for "hen".

November 18, 2014

My 9 year old son (English speaking) loves animals and gets offended for them when people refer to an animal as 'it'. As their gender is not often easy to tell, he prefers that people talk about 'hen'! He liked the idea when I told him about the use of 'hen' in Swedish.

September 22, 2015

It is like used to replace she or he when the gender is not given. It is kind of like if someone were to say "My friend fell off a tree", you would not automatically assume that the friend is a guy or a girl. So you would say "I feel bad for them". I am guessing Hen is like "them" but it does not literally translate to that.

November 18, 2014
November 18, 2014

Even if it is artificial as some say, I feel it should still be an option. So much of "well-established" language was once "artificial" whim or novel constructs meeting a need in a society. I think they should incorporate "hen" and let people make their own decisions about how to use or promote the language.

September 19, 2015

If anyone gets here from a link or so, I'd like to point you to a newer topic about this subject which explains everything in a very clear fashion:

June 6, 2016

Is there an equivalent of "hen" in english? Is there anything to translate to or from?

November 18, 2014

Some school kids in Baltimore are using "yo" as a gender-neutral pronoun, apparently.

April 5, 2015

Not really; “they” is the usual I-don't-know-what-your-doctor's-gender-is substitute, though (also being the third-person plural) some consider it to sound clunky, and there have been attempts to introduce a gender-neutral pronoun (such as “ve”) over the decades (and, indeed, since the late 19th century at least); they have all had little success, to the point that, some years later, someone else would propose a new gender-neutral pronoun. Though in this day and age, when there are more cases in which you might not know a person's sex (you only communicate with them by email, they're from a foreign country and their first name doesn't signify a gender to you, they're genderqueer/transgendered/intersex, they're artificially intelligent software that's sufficiently humanlike to think of in human terms but hasn't been given a masculine/feminine identity, &c.), perhaps gender-neutral pronouns' time will come?

March 20, 2015
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The main reason why we don't teach "hen" is because it isn't really accepted by all Swedes. I use it a lot (most of my friends do too) and I believe that there is a need for "hen". However, I usually don't use it in the "queer" way, unless we're talking about Conchita Wurst or something.

A natural way to use it could be:

"I talked to the doctor this morning." "- Oh, what did "hen" say?"

In this case I do not know the gender of the person "hen" is referring to and here "hen" fits perfectly.

November 30, 2014

Thanks for you answer :)

November 30, 2014

There is a good old gender neutral pronoun in Swedish: "Vederbörande". I higly recommend it.

October 6, 2015
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