Thursday, 9 October 2008

Sexism Estilo Espagnol

Have started taking Spanish lessons mes amigos and thought I'd pass on an interesting little snippet. As with most languages there are male and female forms of many words. Allow me to give you an example.

To say "welcome to Madrid" you would say "bienbenita a Madrid" but only if you're talking to a female. If talking to a male, you say "bienbenito a Madrid" - with an O on the end of the word for welcome, rather than an A.

If, however, you are addressing mixed company, even if there are 99 women and 1 man in the company, you use the masculine! Can you believe that? Yes of course you can, it's not surprising really.

I'm not doing it however. I have informed my tutor that I just won't recognise that particular rule and when she stopped laughing and realised that no, I wasn't joking, she got to quite like the idea.

It reminded me of a driving lesson I had when the instructor said "at the roundabout ahead ...". He got no further as I interjected with: "no, sorry, I don't do roundabouts"! (I won't tell you how he responded but I don't think he learned that technique at instructor training school!)

Of course the driving lesson was a bit different to the Spanish lesson as realistically, I had no choice but to "do" the roundabout seeing as it was less dangerous than reversing off of it. I'm not the only one however who is unhappy about having to use the masculine for a male/female group. Apparently politicians in Mexico now address males and females individually to save causing offence. Good move. Stops me being a trendsetter but I like it!


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qadzbork aka BERT said...

¿Cuanto cuesta aquél perrito que está en el escaparate?

PS No hay "G" en la palabra "español"