Best translated as the attendant which is gender neutral. anyone that attend to you. even a paramedic.
Agreed for use in Ireland. Attendant in Ireland refers primarily to a role where some degree of public duty is implied, eg male health care assistants on psychiatric wards used to be called attendants and so was the none-driving assistant to an ambulance paramedic; it was used extensively in the care sector, but also in cemeteries, health facilities like swimming pools and other roles that had a suggestion of skilled assistance plus duty.
'Waiter' in Ireland was once used only for trained 'front of house' restaurant staff. It can now mean anyone in any type of cafe who takes orders from tables but not anyone who serves just at the counter.
America is different in this regard and they can use waiter and attendant in similar ways. They have attendants in hotels.
Note that the term bangharda is officially defunct - the rank of Bangharda was done away with over 30 years ago, and all recruits, to An Garda Síochána, both male and female, now start at the rank of Garda.
The higher ranks never used gender specific designations.
Irish also avoids the chairman/chairwoman/chairperson confusion in English with the use of cathaoirleach.
What do you mean? I looked up definitions of 'masculine' to see what the definition is within the context of gramma, but could only find references to 'attributes of men and boys' etc and other clearly gender based definitions. Is this none gender based definition something specific to Gaeilge grammar?
Yes, I get that it can be difficult to detect why certain words have been attributed to masculine or feminine, but the definition of masculine and feminine is still linked to gender.
The degree to which individual people define their individual gender(s) is separate to definitions of genders themselves.
The same surely goes for words? How much a ship could be referred to as 'she' in English is subjective, but the definition of feminine is based on gender.
No, the use of the term "gender" in grammatical terms is not related to human sexuality, for the simple reason that the vast majority of nouns in languages are things that have no "natural gender", for the simple reason that shoes, chairs, bottles, books, shovels, wheels, etc simply don't copulate. Things that do have a natural gender mostly sort themselves into appropriate grammatical genders, but there are plenty of exceptions, and they are not minor things hidden away in the dark recesses.
The classicists who formalized the study of grammar decided to call these categories "gender". There is enough overlap with natural genders for those things that have natural gender that it was a fairly reasonable thing to do, but they could have come up with a completely different label, and it wouldn't have made any difference to the study of grammar, because in grammatical terms, there is no inherent contradiction in the fact that cailín is a masculine noun.
The rule is simple:
- a (= his) lenites consonants that can be lenited.
- a (= her) has no effect on consonants.
- a (= his) has no effect on vowels.
- a (= her) prefixes h to a vowel.
His father and mother = a athair agus a mháthair.
Her father and mother = a hathair agus a máthair.