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  • Grammatical gender is the concept, found in about a quarter of the world's languages.

    全世界四分之一的語言都有語法上的「性別」。

  • That you can sort all nouns into male or female. La or le in French. Der, die, or das in German -- the das is for neuter.

    也就是可以把名詞分為陽性或陰性。例如法文的 le 或 la;德文的 der、die 或 das—— das 是中性的。

  • In Zande, which is found across a few countries in Central Africa, there are four grammatical genders: human male, human female, animate, and inanimate.

    許多中非國家使用的贊德語,則有四種語法性別:男性、女性、有生命、無生命。

  • There are even occasional languages.

    甚至有些語言。

  • With even more complicated systems than that.

    還有更複雜的系統。

  • Now, I'm a descriptivist linguist. I am not meant to judge whether language features are good or bad.

    我是描述性語言學家,因此我的職責不在於判斷語法好壞。

  • I'm just meant to describe what they do. But grammatical gender is just such a stupid concept.

    我只是描述語言的特性而以。可是語法性別真的是一個很蠢的概念。

  • I sort-of hate myself for saying that, but it's really silly.

    我很討厭自己這麼說,可是真的很沒意義。

  • Oh, that's a computer, (in) French? So it's male. All computers are male.

    噢,那個法文的電腦是陽性的,所以所有的電腦都是陽性的。

  • And that's a bottle, is it French? So it's female? All bottles are female? Really? Should I dress it up in a friggin' pink apron and give it a rolling pin as well?

    然侯那個瓶子是陰性的,好喔。我應該幫它穿上一件粉紅色的圍裙,然後給它一個桿麵棍?

  • (Descriptivism. Don't judge).

    (描述主義。不要評斷)。

  • I'm exaggerating, but I genuinely have tried searching the literature for any advantages of grammatical gender.

    我知道我有點誇大其詞,可是我真的有去找過文獻,探究語法性別到底有沒有好處。

  • There's only one vaguely convincing argument, which is that it can help clear up ambiguities and speeds up recognition of words by a small amount.

    只找到一個只有一點點說服力的解釋。這個觀點認為語法性別能夠解決雙關的問題,也能稍微加速學習新字詞的速度。

  • Okay. But three-quarters of the world's languages manage just fine without it. And meanwhile, grammatical gender causes a heck of a lot of problems.

    好的,可是全世界四分之三的語言沒有語法性別也運作得很好。同時,語法性別也帶來很多問題。

  • First problem: it affects the way you think. When asked to describe a key, German speakers -- who classify key as male -- were likely to associate it with "hard," "heavy" and "jagged".

    第一:它會影響你的思考方式。當們被要求形容一把鑰匙的時候,德語母語者——在德文鑰匙是陽性的——會用「堅硬的」、「沉重的」和「鋸齒狀的」來形容。

  • Whereas Spanish speakers -- who classify key as female -- were more likely to say it was "golden," "intricate," and "little". That also says a lot about gender roles in society, but my word, that's something I ain't qualified to talk about.

    可是西語母語者——在西文鑰匙是陰性的——則會傾向說是「金色的」、「繁複的」、「嬌小的」。這也對一般社會的性別刻板印象具有指標性,可是這不是我能評斷的。

  • Second problem: it's really clunky. Job adverts in languages with grammatical gender have to either use both terms or a half-assed marker to clarify that they're asking for anyone.

    第二個問題:它真的很冗長。用那些有語法性別的語言刊登求職廣告必須同時使用兩種形式,或是用一些沒誠意的附加詞彙讓大家知道他們沒有限定特定群體。

  • Which brings me to English. English doesn't have grammatical gender -- it used to, in Old English.

    這讓我想到英文。英文沒有語法性別——曾經有,在古英文階段。

  • We've still got a couple of words like blond and blonde that change depending on gender, but we don't have to worry about having to file everything into one box or another.

    我們還是有一些遺留的詞彙跟隨描述的性別改變,像是「金髮的」,可是我們不必煩惱究竟一個事物是屬於這一組詞彙,還是那一組。

  • But what we do have is the third-person pronouns "he", "she", and "it". And that's a problem.

    可是第三人稱代名詞有「他」、「她」和「它」,這是個問題。

  • If I want to refer to you, the viewer, I have to use the pronoun "he or she".

    如果我要指稱你,也就是我的觀眾,我必須使用「他或她」。

  • Which is ludicrous for several reasons: one, it's an unwieldy three syllables, and it sounds awful.

    這很可笑,原因有很多:第一,三個音節真的很冗,也很難聽。

  • Two, there are folks who don't fit into, or don't want to declare as, either of those categories, and if that surprises you, you need to get out more.

    第二,有些人不是用這種二分法,或不想被分進這兩種類的任一種,如果你對此感到驚訝,我只能說你該多出去見見世面。

  • Since "it" is a bit dehumanising.

    而因為「它」感覺有點羞辱人。

  • There's really no suitable pronoun to use.

    所以在這種情形下真的沒有適合的選項。

  • Except. English does have a solution. And lots of people are using it.

    但其實有,而且很多人都在用。

  • And a lot of old stick-in-the-mud folks hate it. The answer is "they".

    很多保守人士對此厭惡至極。答案是「他們」。

  • Facebook is using "they". I signed up to Facebook before they started asking for gender.

    臉書也有在用。我在臉書還沒要求選性別時就加入了。

  • And I've never actually told them that I'm a guy. So my friends will see "Tom Scott updated their profile picture".

    所以我從來沒告訴他們我是男性。所以我的朋友們會看到:「 Tom Scott 更新了他們的大頭貼」。

  • And you know what? That sounds absolutely fine to me.

    而你知道嗎?對我來說這根本不是問題。

  • It just seems normal now. It's going to depend on your dialect whether it sounds good to you, but brace yourself, 'cos singular they? It's spreading fast.

    現在這很正常。當然你的接受度跟你使用的方言有關,可是你應該準備好使用單數的「他們」了,因為這是很明顯的趨勢。

  • I bet you didn't even notice.

    我相信你根本沒發現。

  • When I used it in the very first sentence of this video. And it's got history. Even Shakespeare used it.

    我在影片中的第一句就有使用了。而這是有利是淵源的。就連莎士比亞都是用單數的他們。

  • Better yet, because "they" sounds natural, it gets around the problem of trying to force invented pronouns into English -- which, let's be honest, has never actually worked.

    更好的是,因為「他們」聽起來很自然,所以就沒有要再發明一個新的代名詞的問題了。而且你憑良心自問,這根本行不通。

  • So there you go. I've gone against my descriptivist training, and said that one linguistic trait is better than another.

    所以就是這樣。我違背了我的描述主義背景,表達了一種語法現象優於另一種。

  • And I'm okay with that. Because... some people are "they". Get over it.

    我也覺得這沒什麼大不了,因為有些人就是「他們」,你只能接受。

Grammatical gender is the concept, found in about a quarter of the world's languages.

全世界四分之一的語言都有語法上的「性別」。

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B1 中級 中文 美國腔 性別 陽性 代名詞 語言 描述 詞彙

【性別平等】中性代名詞:不可抵抗的趨勢 (Gender Neutral Pronouns: They're Here, Get Used To Them)

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    Rachel Kung 發佈於 2019 年 02 月 18 日
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