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https://www.duolingo.com/MeredithNa

Thank you DL for including the feminine!

MeredithNa
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One of the things I have encountered in while learning Spanish is how often the use of the feminine is ignored or not entered as an acceptable answer.

I cannot tell you how many times I have had to refer to myself as a male to pass a quiz. It is frustrating as I am female and I need to learn how to call myself by the correct gender. Although not perfect in DL, at least you give us women the opportunity to say "soy una maestra" or "es una amiga", and the feminine is often accepted fairly quickly after being reported (although I have noticed that animals are often only in the gender neutral - which is male).

I especially want to bring to your attention the question "the actor likes the arts".

In the multiple choice, it asks you "la actriz" and "el actor". English has made "actor" gender neutral, and if you only tick "el actor" you get this as an incorrect answer. This has caused a big debate in the comments section and many people are angry about this saying "DL is wrong! It should only be 'el actor'!"

This anger has confused me. A fairly quick Google search "can the word actor be used for females?" will come up with the answer which is "yes". Wikipedia even does an explanation of the etymology of the word. Before you tell me I'm wrong and the word "actor" only applies to men, take 5 minutes and have a look yourself.

I beg you please not to change this and keep up the good work in including the feminine. I really hope one day that all online resources include automatically the feminine as I don't want to continue being punished for being grammatically correct.

Thanks again DL.

3 years ago

15 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/TatianaBoshenka

You can tell they're making an effort, and that matters. But it's a long way from perfect, so we need to keep reporting those default-male lessons when we find them!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Taloua
Taloua
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Yes I noticed it too. Sometimes I like to answer with different genders and Dl gives me correct answers for both.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Luxerne
Luxerne
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Not all animals are default male, such as la jirafa (giraffe), la araña (spider), la abeja (bee), and la tortuga (turtle), but the majority definitely are male by default.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/patoquac
patoquac
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Those you mention have no default gender because they have only one option, so there is nothing possible to change there.

Some words referring to animals are grammatically masculine and some of them grammatically feminine regardless of the biological sex of the animal. If you want to specify it one possibility is to add "macho" or "hembra" to the name. La araña macho, la araña hembra, etc.

She is talking about the animals with natural gender: those where the grammatical gender of the word carries information of the biological sex of the animal. It seems in some cases Duolingo doesn't accept both genders when it should.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MusingThoughts

Yes I am sick of language learning resources assuming everyone is male

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rspreng

grammatical gender is not the same as a person's sex. Check out the spanish words for dentist and victim, for example.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MusingThoughts

Hmm that's interesting!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/J.R.Nogal
J.R.Nogal
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In spanish nobody would use the word 'actor' for females...

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MeredithNa
MeredithNa
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That is true, but English uses the word "actor" for females, which is what I was talking about. I was really happy when it was accepted to be both male and female.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/superdaisy

There are also phrases like "his boyfriend" and "her wife"! (I've mostly seen them in the Swedish tree, but I think they're in other trees now too.

Some reading for y'all:

examples of male as neutral

why male as neutral is not innocuous

a study about the effects of gendered language on society

some resources about the effects of gendered language on individuals

and a little bit about white as default, while we're at it

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/--J--jr.

Maybe I'm just old, but I thought (and use) the word "actress" was correct for feminine??

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/superdaisy

It's kind of like "waitress" or "stewardess," or "comidienne": yeah, you'll find it in the dictionary and some people use it, but it's fairly old-fashioned.

Point is, "actor" can refer to both a man and a woman, so "la actriz" and "el actor" are both valid answers.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JMPisme

I know what you mean! Even the basic profile is a guy!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/pseudocreobotra

Could also be a female with short hair? It's just a humanoid shape without a clear gender... I like it a lot better than a stereotypical "girl image" with pigtails!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/superdaisy

As a woman with short hair--whose father and a few male friends have hair longer than their earlobes--I still read it as a male. It's great that modern western society allows for occasional deviations from the norm, but there are more actually-neutral ways to make that silhouette. This is our societal context, after all.

3 years ago