MediaWiki:Yourgender/de and "geschlechtsneutrale Anrede"

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Revision as of 25 August 2015 at 18:06.
This is the thread's initial revision.

MediaWiki:Yourgender/de and "geschlechtsneutrale Anrede"


I am really not sure whether this is the right place for raising the following question about the German localization. If there is a more appropriate place, please point me to it.

On d:de:Spezial:Einstellungen#mw-prefsection-personal-i18n, there is the question: Welches Geschlecht hast du?

I think the wording of this question is misleading. We do not want to know the users' gender. That is something a commercial data miner would want to know, but not Wikimedia. What we want to know is how a user wishes to be referred to.

I propose changing MediaWiki:Yourgender/de to: Wie soll auf Wikipedia über dich berichtet werden? Accordingly, I would change MediaWiki:Gender-female/de and MediaWiki:Gender-male/de to short examples such as: Benutzerin ... sie ... auf ihrer Diskussionsseite ... and: Benutzer ... er ... auf seiner Diskussionsseite ...

Now with regard to the third option, "geschlechtsneutrale Anrede" (MediaWiki:Gender-unknown/de), I think this is deeply flawed in the current implementation. Choosing this option is exactly equivalent to choosing the option "gender-male". There seems to be no difference in the vast majority of cases because the magic word GENDER either has only two options or – worse – the third option is identical to the first option.

This is very misleading to the users' intentions. If someone chooses this option because they wish not to give away any hints regarding their gender, then they will be very disappointed when they find out that Wikipedia disregards this choice and refers to them as if they were male.

I propose:

  • we either start writing real gender-neutral messages – changing messages such as MediaWiki:Group-user-member/de to something like {{GENDER:$1|Benutzer|Benutzerin|Benutzer/-in}}
  • or we be honest about MediaWiki:Gender-unknown/de and explicitly state that this option is equivalent to choosing the masculine form.

I am well aware of the generic masculine form. However, there is no formal difference between generic and non-generic masculine. They have exactly the same grammatical form: the masculine, which is certainly not a "geschlechtsneutrale Anrede". Giving a choice between a) generic masculine, b) non-generic masculine and c) feminine makes no sense, because a) produces exactly the same outcome as b).

    J. 'mach' wust (talk)18:06, 25 August 2015