History Main / PronounTrouble

16th May '16 11:15:12 AM mcgrew
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* In ''Series/HowIMetYourMother'', Marshall got himself into this because he didn't want to reveal to Lily than Marshalls co-worker Jenkins is a woman, and not a man, as Lily assumed. As he puts it himself, he just had to avoid pronouns (que flashback in which Marshall tels Lily about how a superior chose people for a job: "him, him, her, him, him, {{Beat}}... Jenkins")

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* In ''Series/HowIMetYourMother'', Marshall got himself into this because he didn't want to reveal to Lily than Marshalls that his co-worker Jenkins is was a woman, and not a man, as Lily assumed. As he puts it himself, he just had to avoid pronouns (que (queue flashback in which Marshall tels tells Lily about how a superior chose people for a job: "him, him, her, him, him, {{Beat}}... Jenkins")
25th Apr '16 1:03:24 AM Divra
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* In ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'', Harry Dresden finds himself facing this problem when trying to talk about [[strike:the skinwalker]] Shagnasty in ''Turn Coat''. Leads to a CrowningMomentOfFunny when he accidentally describes this trope as "gender issues" in front of [[LoveableSexManiac Bob the]] [[DeadpanSnarker Skull]].

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* In ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'', Harry Dresden finds himself facing this problem when trying to talk about [[strike:the skinwalker]] the skinwalker Shagnasty in ''Turn Coat''. It turns out there are few ways to adequately gender a sexless demigod of suffering. Leads to a CrowningMomentOfFunny when he accidentally describes this trope as "gender issues" in front of [[LoveableSexManiac Bob the]] [[DeadpanSnarker Skull]].Skull]].
** There is also Capiocorpus, the Corpsetaker. Corpsetaker was probably human at one point, but has existed solely as a body-stealing mind for so long it's unclear what its original gender was, or if it's applicable at this point.
23rd Apr '16 3:55:18 AM Lightice
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Added DiffLines:

* Natani in ''TwoKinds'' is a troublesome case because she was originally female forced conceal her gender due to misogynistic attitudes of her peers, but after having her soul damaged by a magical attack parts of it were repaired with her brother's soul, leaving him/her perceiving himself as a male in female body. What's even more troublesome, it appears that the female part of him isn't as dead as previously thought.
15th Apr '16 1:38:11 AM Arcorann
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#For some words, masculine and feminine forms are the same.
#Some words have a fixed gender, regardless of the real one (e.g. victim, person, pop star, technician, most animals; depending on the speaker, medic, judge, and client). Adjectives and articles referring to this noun will match the "fake" gender.
#When describing parties of mixed gender, or people of unknowable or irrelevant gender, one may use a mass noun with arbitrary gender, or default to masculine plural. (An increasing number of people dislike this last option and will use constructs like "Actors and actresses, kings and queens", or more radical solutions). However, using masculine forms to refer to someone you know is a woman is still impolite.
#Adjectives can be used omitting the noun they describe — useful if they happen to belong in one of the previous categories.
#You can just RefugeInAudacity and use words from another language to cover your rear. All of these loopholes have their own bizarre quirks, but you'd need a greater-than-average knowledge of Spanish (or at least skill with it) to know them all.[[/labelnote]]. French, on the other hand, changes almost all adjectives, pronouns, and even verbs to agree with gender, making this method difficult.

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#For 1. For some words, masculine and feminine forms are the same.
#Some 2. Some words have a fixed gender, regardless of the real one (e.g. victim, person, pop star, technician, most animals; depending on the speaker, medic, judge, and client). Adjectives and articles referring to this noun will match the "fake" gender.
#When 3. When describing parties of mixed gender, or people of unknowable or irrelevant gender, one may use a mass noun with arbitrary gender, or default to masculine plural. (An increasing number of people dislike this last option and will use constructs like "Actors and actresses, kings and queens", or more radical solutions). However, using masculine forms to refer to someone you know is a woman is still impolite.
#Adjectives 4. Adjectives can be used omitting the noun they describe — useful if they happen to belong in one of the previous categories.
#You 5. You can just RefugeInAudacity and use words from another language to cover your rear. All of these loopholes have their own bizarre quirks, but you'd need a greater-than-average knowledge of Spanish (or at least skill with it) to know them all.[[/labelnote]]. French, on the other hand, changes almost all adjectives, pronouns, and even verbs to agree with gender, making this method difficult.
10th Apr '16 10:14:41 AM Eievie
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This can be difficult to translate convincingly into other languages, as rules for grammatical gender are all over the place in languages of the world. For example, in Spanish it's much harder to pull off, but in some cases can be done, and even be easier than English. [[labelnote:short breakdown]]Most pronouns aren't gender-marked, and pronouns functioning as subject can be omitted; verbs give away number and person, but not gender. Technically all nouns, adjectives and articles are gender-marked, and all the words modifying a noun must always match their gender and number with it, if able. Now, the loopholes: 1) For some words, masculine and feminine forms are the same. 2) Some words have a fixed gender, regardless of the real one (e.g. victim, person, pop star, technician, most animals; depending on the speaker, medic, judge, and client). Adjectives and articles referring to this noun will match the "fake" gender. 3) When describing parties of mixed gender, or people of unknowable or irrelevant gender, one may use a mass noun with arbitrary gender, or default to masculine plural. (An increasing number of people dislike this last option and will use constructs like "Actors and actresses, kings and queens", or more radical solutions). However, using masculine forms to refer to someone you know is a woman is still impolite. 4) Adjectives can be used omitting the noun they describe — useful if they happen to belong in one of the previous categories. 5) You can just RefugeInAudacity and use words from another language to cover your rear. All of these loopholes have their own bizarre quirks, but you'd need a greater-than-average knowledge of Spanish (or at least skill with it) to know them all.[[/labelnote]]. French, on the other hand, changes almost all adjectives, pronouns, and even verbs to agree with gender, making this method difficult.

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This can be difficult to translate convincingly into other languages, as rules for grammatical gender are all over the place in languages of the world. For example, in Spanish it's much harder to pull off, but in some cases can be done, and even be easier than English. [[labelnote:short breakdown]]Most pronouns aren't gender-marked, and pronouns functioning as subject can be omitted; verbs give away number and person, but not gender. Technically all nouns, adjectives and articles are gender-marked, and all the words modifying a noun must always match their gender and number with it, if able. Now, the loopholes: 1) For loopholes:
#For
some words, masculine and feminine forms are the same. 2) Some same.
#Some
words have a fixed gender, regardless of the real one (e.g. victim, person, pop star, technician, most animals; depending on the speaker, medic, judge, and client). Adjectives and articles referring to this noun will match the "fake" gender. 3) When gender.
#When
describing parties of mixed gender, or people of unknowable or irrelevant gender, one may use a mass noun with arbitrary gender, or default to masculine plural. (An increasing number of people dislike this last option and will use constructs like "Actors and actresses, kings and queens", or more radical solutions). However, using masculine forms to refer to someone you know is a woman is still impolite. 4) Adjectives impolite.
#Adjectives
can be used omitting the noun they describe — useful if they happen to belong in one of the previous categories. 5) You categories.
#You
can just RefugeInAudacity and use words from another language to cover your rear. All of these loopholes have their own bizarre quirks, but you'd need a greater-than-average knowledge of Spanish (or at least skill with it) to know them all.[[/labelnote]]. French, on the other hand, changes almost all adjectives, pronouns, and even verbs to agree with gender, making this method difficult.



Some languages, such as Finnish or Hungarian, have the opposite problem - there are no gender specific pronouns at all, just neutral ones. When translating English works into these languages, it's ''too easy'' to ignore someone's gender, so when it becomes a plot point that really has to be revealed, the translator is forced to use the less natural "that woman" or "that man" equivalents.

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Some languages, such as Finnish or Hungarian, have the opposite problem - there problem--there are no gender specific pronouns at all, just neutral ones. When translating English works into these languages, it's ''too easy'' to ignore someone's gender, so when it becomes a plot point that really has to be revealed, the translator is forced to use the less natural "that woman" or "that man" equivalents.



* ''Manga/DeadmanWonderland'''s Toto Sakigami mixes up his pronouns and has to correct himself - usually female (atashi) to neutral (watashi) or male (boku or ore). Yep, he runs the whole spectrum. [[spoiler: This is important foreshadowing, for later it's revealed the verbal mix-up is due to him actually being [[BigBad Rinichirou Hagire]], a mad scientist and the [[TheManBehindTheMan Chairman]] of the titular prison. The real Toto having had his personality overwritten once he was GrandTheftMe'd.]]

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* ''Manga/DeadmanWonderland'''s Toto Sakigami mixes up his pronouns and has to correct himself - usually himself--usually female (atashi) to neutral (watashi) or male (boku or ore). Yep, he runs the whole spectrum. [[spoiler: This is important foreshadowing, for later it's revealed the verbal mix-up is due to him actually being [[BigBad Rinichirou Hagire]], a mad scientist and the [[TheManBehindTheMan Chairman]] of the titular prison. The real Toto having had his personality overwritten once he was GrandTheftMe'd.]]



* A minor example for most English speakers, but an obvious one for folks who speak Japanese, is the way in which Hazumu refers to herself/himself in ''[[Manga/KashimashiGirlMeetsGirl Kashimashi ~Girl Meets Girl~]]'' - most notably the use of the 'boku' (male reflexive) pronoun, also referenced in a similarly [[GenderBender gender-bending]] series, ''VisualNovel/OtomeWaBokuNiKoishiteru''.

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* A minor example for most English speakers, but an obvious one for folks who speak Japanese, is the way in which Hazumu refers to herself/himself in ''[[Manga/KashimashiGirlMeetsGirl Kashimashi ~Girl Meets Girl~]]'' - most Girl~]]''--most notably the use of the 'boku' (male reflexive) pronoun, also referenced in a similarly [[GenderBender gender-bending]] series, ''VisualNovel/OtomeWaBokuNiKoishiteru''.


Added DiffLines:

*'''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'': Sweets, a minor character who's a {{hermaphrodite}}, is referred to with alternatingly pronouns; "he" one paragraph, "she" the next.
29th Mar '16 2:30:14 PM Pichu-kun
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* Because of his gender neutral style of speaking, Lopmon in ''Anime/DigimonTamers'' could have gone any which way. By the time Shiuchon was trying to teach him male pronouns, it was a case of ShesAManInJapan in the dub.

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* ''Anime/DigimonTamers'':
**
Because of his gender neutral style of speaking, Lopmon in ''Anime/DigimonTamers'' could have gone any which way. By the time Shiuchon was trying to teach him male pronouns, it was a case of ShesAManInJapan in the dub.



* Yellow in ''Manga/PokemonSpecial''. It's possible that it was because she wanted to keep the ruse up, but why would her ''uncle'' refer to her as "he"?

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* Yellow in ''Manga/PokemonSpecial''. ''Manga/PokemonAdventures''.
**
It's possible that it was because she Yellow wanted to keep the ruse up, but why would her ''uncle'' refer to her as "he"?



* A meta example occurs with ''Manga/WanderingSon'' as there's been discussion on the wiki about whether to refer to the transgender characters by their assigned gender (Shuuichi is "he" and Yoshino is "she") or by their desired gender (Shuuichi is "she" and Yoshino is "he"). The general consensus is to simply match what's used in-story (Shuuichi "he" / Yoshino "she"). Yuki is more straightforward, as she presents as a woman and everyone in-story refers to her as "she".
* [[DudeLooksLikeALady Kurapika]] in ''Manga/HunterXHunter'' presents translators with plenty of trouble. Again, in Japanese with no gendered pronouns, it's just not mentioned. Ambiguous tribal clothing, a female voice actor, and a tendency to wear female disguises don't help matters. At this point the English-speaking fandom has pretty much settled on him being a guy, since all the dubbers went with that pronoun, but the initial promotions released about the manga specifically stated, "Kurapika's gender has not been revealed." Meanwhile, the Japanese half of the fandom seems to have a pretty even split, so fan art featuring female Kurapika is as common as male.

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* A meta example occurs with ''Manga/WanderingSon'' as there's been discussion on the wiki about whether to refer to the transgender characters by their assigned gender (Shuuichi is "he" and Yoshino is "she") or by their desired gender (Shuuichi is "she" and Yoshino is "he"). The general consensus is to simply match what's used in-story (Shuuichi "he" / Yoshino "she"). Yuki is more straightforward, as she presents as a woman and everyone in-story refers to her as "she".
"she". By the end of the manga almost all fans concretely use "she" for Shuuchi but Yoshino is a more difficult case. [[spoiler:Yoshino decides to not transition however there is a [[AmbiguousGenderIdentity vagueness]] to whether they're cisgender or not. This leaves fans stumped on what pronoun to use, especially since it would be a huge spoiler if you didn't use "he",]]
* ''Manga/HunterXHunter'':
**
[[DudeLooksLikeALady Kurapika]] in ''Manga/HunterXHunter'' presents translators with plenty of trouble. Again, in Japanese with no gendered pronouns, it's just not mentioned. Ambiguous tribal clothing, a female voice actor, and a tendency to wear female disguises don't help matters. At this point the English-speaking fandom has pretty much settled on him being a guy, since all the dubbers went with that pronoun, but the initial promotions released about the manga specifically stated, "Kurapika's gender has not been revealed." Meanwhile, the Japanese half of the fandom seems to have a pretty even split, so fan art featuring female Kurapika is as common as male.
18th Mar '16 8:00:38 PM AaronFromToronto
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Added DiffLines:

* Paul Quarrington's ''Home Game'' provides a rare example of number- rather than gender-related pronoun trouble: The conjoined twin dogs who share everything except their two heads are referred to as a singular dog (named "Janus") by some characters, and as two dogs (named "Fido" and "Rover") by others.
11th Mar '16 10:06:08 AM gunslingerofgilead
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* ''VideoGame/DarkSouls'' gets hit by this occasionally, thanks of course to the fact that the series was developed in Japan and thus Japanese genderless pronouns were used to refer to a great many characters. When translated to English, the default pronoun is pretty much always "he", so a lot of female characters are referred to as "he" (such as Guthry and the Throne Watcher in ''VideoGame/DarkSouls2''), ''especially'' in the [[FlavorText item descriptions]] which are tied to female characters. This isn't helped by the fact that the series is fond of [[GenderBlenderName Gender Blender Names]], making things even more confusing for translators.



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22nd Jan '16 8:47:52 AM PDL
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* For Brazilian translators, the English word "friend" is a nightmare. The word, as most denotative nouns in the Portuguese language, has a version for men ("amigo") and another for women ("UsefulNotes/{{Amiga}}" (gives a whole new meaning to the term "motherboard", doesn't it?)). So whenever an animated show wants to use the neutral meaning to create a plot-point, confusion ensues. A particular example in ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'' comes to mind - Aang asks Waterbending Master Paku if he can bring a ''friend'' to practice with them. When it turns out the friend is a ''girl'', Paku denies it. In the Brazilian dub, Aang immediately referred to Katara as his "amiga", already giving out that she's a girl... yet the rest of the scene plays the same way. The only possible explanation is that Paku has bad hearing...

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* For Brazilian translators, the English word "friend" is a nightmare. The word, as most denotative nouns in the Portuguese language, has a version for men ("amigo") and another for women ("UsefulNotes/{{Amiga}}" ("Amiga" (gives a whole new meaning to the term "motherboard", doesn't it?)). So whenever an animated show wants to use the neutral meaning to create a plot-point, confusion ensues. A particular example in ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'' comes to mind - Aang asks Waterbending Master Paku if he can bring a ''friend'' to practice with them. When it turns out the friend is a ''girl'', Paku denies it. In the Brazilian dub, Aang immediately referred to Katara as his "amiga", already giving out that she's a girl... yet the rest of the scene plays the same way. The only possible explanation is that Paku has bad hearing...
12th Jan '16 5:19:14 PM NXTangl
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** Note that this includes ''[[UpToEleven second-person]]'' pronouns as well as the standard pronouns. Additionally, LOTA seems to identify LOTAself as male, [[spoiler:given that LOTA takes on the role of ''King'' of Credomar]].

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** Note that this includes ''[[UpToEleven second-person]]'' pronouns as well as the standard pronouns. Additionally, LOTA seems to identify LOTAself as male, [[spoiler:given [[spoiler:considering that LOTA takes on the role of ''King'' of Credomar]].
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