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The Genders of *Robots* and *Computers* in Different Languages

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  • Cora Chen
    Dear Friends, I am going to create an online reading & vocabulary lesson about The Genders of Robots and Computers in Different Languages. I just created
    Message 1 of 5 , May 30, 2007
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      Dear Friends,

      I am going to create an online reading & vocabulary lesson about "The Genders of Robots and Computers in Different Languages." I just created this survey to get some information from you, speakers of languages that have genders for nouns as well as speakers of languages that lack a gender system.

      I would like to find out if the nouns "robot" and "computer" have different genders such as "masculine", "feminine" or "neuter" in different languages. Do you tend to think of a robot or a computer as having a corresponding biological gender with the grammatical gender in your native language(s)? If your native language lacks a gender system, do you perceive objects like robots and computers as "masculine", "feminine", "neuter", "common", etc.?

      Also, I would like to find out how your languages evolve as technologies develop.
      Are there any new coined words that have different genders from their original words in the dictionaries?

      http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=ADciR9xboERwJ46Knw48BQ%3d%3d

      I hope my questions in this survey make sense. Please let me know if there are questions that need to be modified (including the title of this survey). Suggestions are welcome.

      Look forward to learning from you!

      Many thanks in advance for your time and help!
      Cora Chen
    • Nina Lyulkun
      Hi Cora, The gender system in Ukrainian and Russian is absolutely different from that of English. Sometimes it causes difficulties for students to define a
      Message 2 of 5 , May 31, 2007
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        Hi Cora,

        The gender system in Ukrainian and Russian is absolutely different from
        that of English. Sometimes it causes difficulties for students to define
        a gender of English nouns which are always tend to be neutral in
        English. I have filled the survey you offered.

        The best of luck,
        Nina Lyulkun

        Cora Chen wrote:
        > Dear Friends,
        >
        > I am going to create an online reading & vocabulary lesson about "The Genders of Robots and Computers in Different Languages." ...
        >
        > http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=ADciR9xboERwJ46Knw48BQ%3d%3d
        > ...
        > Cora Chen
        >
      • Elizabeth Hanson-Smith
        Hi Nina-- While nouns do tend to be neutral in English, there are a few interesting exceptions, e.g., boats and cars are usually thought of as female,
        Message 3 of 5 , May 31, 2007
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          Hi Nina--
          While nouns do tend to be neutral in English, there are a few
          interesting exceptions, e.g., boats and cars are usually thought of as
          "female," perhaps because of their reputation for having mind of their
          own. B-)
          A dear friend of mine always names her cars, e.g., the latest is "Mabel."
          Looking forward to your survey, Cora, but it will have to be next
          week--I'm on a slippery wireless connection here in Ashland at the
          Shakespeare Festival. Weather and plays are wonderful! If anyone is
          looking for wome interesting African American work, August Wilson's
          series of 10 plays about the A-A experience in the US is powerful stuff.
          --Elizabeth

          --- In evonline2002_webheads@yahoogroups.com, Nina Lyulkun
          <nina.lyulkun@...> wrote:
          >
          > Hi Cora,
          >
          > The gender system in Ukrainian and Russian is absolutely different from
          > that of English. Sometimes it causes difficulties for students to
          define
          > a gender of English nouns which are always tend to be neutral in
          > English. I have filled the survey you offered.
          >
          > The best of luck,
          > Nina Lyulkun
          >
          > Cora Chen wrote:
          > > Dear Friends,
          > >
          > > I am going to create an online reading & vocabulary lesson about
          "The Genders of Robots and Computers in Different Languages." ...
          > >
          > > http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=ADciR9xboERwJ46Knw48BQ%3d%3d
          > > ...
          > > Cora Chen
          > >
          >
        • Michael Shade
          CompaƱeros, Spanish has 2 words for computer (maybe more?): un ordenador (masc) - used in Spain una computadora (fem) - used in Latin America (not sure if
          Message 4 of 5 , May 31, 2007
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            CompaƱeros,

            Spanish has 2 words for computer (maybe more?):

            un ordenador (masc) - used in Spain
            una computadora (fem) - used in Latin America (not sure if exclusively)

            I've no idea whether there's any significance in this - are there any
            Spanish speakers here who could enlighten us? I must say I'm always
            dubious about sociological interpretations of m/f attributions. I'll
            be intrigued to know the results of your survey!

            Regards,

            Michael


            --------------------
            Michael Shade
            michael@...
            http://www.michalska.net
            http://blog.michalska.net/


            On 31 May 2007, at 05:11, Cora Chen wrote:

            > Dear Friends,
            >
            > I am going to create an online reading & vocabulary lesson about
            > "The Genders of Robots and Computers in Different Languages." I
            > just created this survey to get some information from you, speakers
            > of languages that have genders for nouns as well as speakers of
            > languages that lack a gender system.
            >
            > I would like to find out if the nouns "robot" and "computer" have
            > different genders such as "masculine", "feminine" or "neuter" in
            > different languages. Do you tend to think of a robot or a computer
            > as having a corresponding biological gender with the grammatical
            > gender in your native language(s)? If your native language lacks a
            > gender system, do you perceive objects like robots and computers as
            > "masculine", "feminine", "neuter", "common", etc.?
            >
            > Also, I would like to find out how your languages evolve as
            > technologies develop.
            > Are there any new coined words that have different genders from
            > their original words in the dictionaries?
            >
            > http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=ADciR9xboERwJ46Knw48BQ%3d%3d
            >
            > I hope my questions in this survey make sense. Please let me know
            > if there are questions that need to be modified (including the
            > title of this survey). Suggestions are welcome.
            >
            > Look forward to learning from you!
            >
            > Many thanks in advance for your time and help!
            > Cora Chen
            >
            >
            >



            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Jane Petring
            On the topic of gender, job has made its way into French on both sides of the Atlantic, but in France its le job and in Quebec la job . Go figure. Jane
            Message 5 of 5 , Jun 2, 2007
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              On the topic of gender, "job" has made its way into French on both sides of the Atlantic, but in France its "le job" and in Quebec "la job". Go figure.

              Jane


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