SSi Forum

Gender-neutral language in Welsh?


#61

Hi @chris-43, thanks for posting. I have looked at this thread before because I am non-binary too and have wondered how this works out with Welsh. I never really found the strength to post anything here before, especially since the post has been dormant so long, but I’m so glad you did! You’ve given me the courage, so thank you! I never feel all too comfortable with personal pronouns in English to start with, I’ve never felt like a he or a she, and I find they to be really lovely when other people request it, but for me… who knows? I am curious to see how this will affect my journey with Cymraeg as well.


#62

Thanks for saying hello @sasha-lathrop! :smile: The more who say hello the more comfortable and confident we’ll be carving out our spot!


#63

Hi @chris-43 and @sasha-lathrop! It’s so cool to see this thread helping other non-binary people, so thanks very much for resurrecting it :grinning:

If either or both of you would ever like to talk (in Welsh or in English) about handling non-binary-ness in Welsh, I’d definitely be up for that! For me I’m fairly settled in my approach, which in theory is to use “nhw” and not use any gendered mutations (as with “nhw” normally), but I’ve barely put it into practice because I don’t get the opportunity to use my Welsh very much. Feel free to PM me to chat and/or exchange Skype/Slack details, if you’d be interested!


#64

Thank you so much! I’m keeping tabs on this thread and will certainly keep this offer in mind, especially for when I know the language a little better :slight_smile:
And good to see you’re still part of SSiW!


#65

Also keeping tabs on this, since my partner is likewise an enby.


#66

I’m fascinated by this old string, and I’d like to hear views from other native Welsh speakers about the use of “ti” or “chi” as a marker of social position - much like “tu” and “vous” in French. I’ve lived outside Wales for about 50 years, so things may be different now (and a difference for the better), but this was a big though subtle issue of social nicety: address Nain as “ti”, and you’d be in big trouble. I think that’s why the “they” formulation makes me uncomfortable: the plural pronoun is a marker of social distance, at least in my head, and to use it to refer to a friend (who is close enough to be “ti”) who prefers a neutral pronoun makes me want to (though I don’t) apologise for rudeness.

So this issue isn’t quite the same in Welsh, as it is in English. Or am I an anachronism?


#67

Last year, a petition was submitted to Senedd asking it to introduce a non-gendered pronoun “ŵ”:

Introducing a new pronoun into the Welsh language, “ŵ”, would allow people who identify as a third gender to be referred to in a way that reflects their identity.
Far a possessive, “Ei” still being used, but causing no mutation. For prepositions, the 3rd person ending could be used, but with “w”, rather than “o” or “i”. For example: “Arnw”.
For gendered professions, such as “Athro”, “y” could be added to the end, forming “Athry”, “Adeilady”, and “Meddygy”. (https://petitions.senedd.wales/petitions/200009)

It was rejected because the Senedd can’t legislate on grammar, essentially, but if enough people use it, it might catch on… “ŵ” of course is also not that far off from “nhw” so it might work nicely.

Just to add, though, in my workplace we are encouraged to add a bilingual pair of the following to our e-mail signatures:

English:
My pronouns are She/Her
My pronouns are pronouns He/Him
My pronouns are pronouns They/Them
Welsh:
Fy rhagenwau i yw Hi/Ei
Fy rhagenwau i yw Fe/Ef
Fy rhagenwau i yw Nhw

So ‘nhw’ seems perfectly fine.


#68

Interesting! I didn’t know about that petition, but it seems quite a lot of thought has gone into it. It probably needs some reasonably big Welsh organisation to start offering it as a possibility, then it would become more debate amongst Welsh speakers. Personally, I wouldn’t have a problem with it.