MediaWiki:Yourgender/de and "geschlechtsneutrale Anrede"

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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
    Now with regard to the third option, "geschlechtsneutrale Anrede" (MediaWiki:Gender-unknown/de), I think this is deeply flawed in the current implementation...

    No. This may be so for the German translation that you refer to. In the Colognian translation, teh masculine grammatical gender and the unknown grammatical gender are never identical. Translated to German, the masculine grammatical gender is rendered e.g. like:

    • M: "der username hat ..."

    while the unknown grammatical gender is always rendered like:

    • U: "der Mitmacher username hat ..."

    I believe your criticism of the German wording is valid. I suggest trying to convince German translators. I am one but very inactive on German. Try the talk page of Portal:de. If you get no replies at all, let me know on my talk page, please.

      Purodha Blissenbach (talk)04:47, 4 September 2015

      This is Portal talk:De ☺. I am indeed specifically referring to the German translation. Your reply is the only one I got so far.

      The Colognian translation appears to suffer from the same problem as the German translation. The default option gender-unknown consistently gives you the masculine form. Therefore, the option gender-unknown does not keep the promise that it will conceil your gender (MediaWiki:Gender-unknown/ksh: “ohne dorschblecke ze lohße, ov de ene Kääl udder e Weesch bes”). Instead, the MediaWiki messages will refer to you as if you were male.

      For example, in MediaWiki:Group-user-member/ksh, the option gender-unknown will give you the “generic” masculine form Metmaacher (Mitmacher) which is identical to the masculine form and different from the feminine form Metmaacherėn (Mitmacherin); or in MediaWiki:Group-arbcom-member/ksh, it will give you the “generic” masculine form Schiedsmann which is identical to the masculine form and different from the feminine form Schiedsmannfrau (really ☺?). As an exception, the German equivalent MediaWiki:Group-arbcom-member/de does not suffer from this problem because it uses the form Mitglied des Schiedsgerichts which does not reveal the user’s gender.

      When the option gender-unknown of the Kölsch translation puts dä Metmaacher in front of the user name (e.g. in MediaWiki:Flow-notification-mention-email-subject/ksh), it will give you something else than the option gender-male, but again, the “generic” masculine form dä Metmaacher is identical to the masculine form and different from the feminine form. This means the MediaWiki messages will still refer to you as if you were male.

        J. 'mach' wust (talk)08:39, 4 September 2015