May. 6th, 2009

myblackeyedfire: (Wolf in transcendent isolation)
German and Spanish speakers were asked to describe toasters and bridges in three adjectives. Depending on how their language gendered them, the subjects called the bridge either something like delicate and graceful, or strong and sturdy. Russian has masculine, feminine and neuter words, while English makes no distinctions. When I began learning French it did not seem to jar me though, for instance, 'table' is masculine in Russian and feminine in French. It made sense to me that other languages would not use the same genders for objects. This podcast from the NPR post talks more about this and some of its implications.

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myblackeyedfire

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