Hot answers tagged political-correctness
You are falling into the trap laid out carefully by German Gender Mainstreaming throughout the years. No, in German a noun does not have a gender. It has a genus. This genus is a purely grammatical property defined by tradition. By default, it has nothing to do with biological sex or sociological gender. The word der Student is a masculine noun describing ...
"Jawohl" is a normal German word, used as a strong affirmative. It doesn't have a specifically Nazi background, but one of its main uses has always been in the military, including the Wehrmacht. Wiktionary says: drückt unbedingte Zustimmung aus (expresses unconditional agreement) Google NGram shows it has been in use during all times since 1800. I'd ...
I think that depends on your definition of "taboo". The words you cite in your question are still used in German, but when the context is too reminiscent of Nazi times, it feels uncomfortable and is avoided. So, for example, you can use "entartet" when talking about degenerate curves and you can use "Lebensraum" when talking about animals, you can use ...
I wouldn't say it carries the "N-word" with it but it definitely has a military connotation to it. It is sometimes used ironically or tongue in cheek, like e.g.: Kid: "Ich will ein Eis!"Dad: "Jawohl! Kommt sofort." ;-)
If you know the name, use the name. That’s the easy part. You can often still get away with ‘generisches Maskulinum’, i.e. Studenten, but in a university setting, i.e. where you’d actually use Student and Studentin to refer to students (instead of Schüler and Schülerin ‘pupil’ in a school or most other courses), it’s becoming rather common to use ...
"Jawohl" in General Answering "Jawohl" in an everyday conversation with Otto Normalverbraucher would probably seem awkward, but not because of associations with Nazi Germany but because of its formal / militaristic connotations. Jawohl, mein Kommandant! "Jawohl, mein/Herr/Frau Kommandant" could be used in a joking way though there is no guarantee everyone ...
The usage of "Lebensraum" is widespread in Germany and usually not connected to the Nazi period of German history, although it is mainly used for an animal's territory. "Endlösung" on the other hand are absolutely connected to the Nazi period and should be avoided when talking about a final solution in German.
"Behindert" is perfectly fine. It's often good to qualify the kind of handicap by saying "geistig behindert" or "körperlich behindert" (in your case the first). If you don't and there is no further indication, I'd say most people assume the former which might be incorrect.
The noun has its own Genus. For "Student" it's masculinum, so you should use masculinum. Der Student is "the student" - both male and female Die Studentin is "the female student" - only female In Indoeuropean languages, genus is the property of the noun, and there is only one "correct" grammar gender to refer to that noun. English is a special case, ...
Der Duden beschreibt die Bedeutung des Wortes wie folgt: [naiver] Mensch, der sich in einer als unkritisch, übertrieben, nervtötend o. ä. empfundenen Weise im Sinne der Political Correctness verhält, sich für die Political Correctness einsetzt Kein Wunder also, dass Rechtsradikale das Wort für Widersacher verwenden. Wikipedia beschreibt daher auch, ...
I'm 26 years old and I'd say No It's no taboo and also mostly used in animal context.
"Jawohl" is the more formal version of "Ja" used very commonly in the Bundeswehr without any connotation. It is also used as shorter version for "zu Befehl" (as you order / at your command) when accepting an order, which is rarely used nowadays. Some examples in military context can be found here. As Germany has had general conscription for quite a while, ...
If you go for the grammatically correct version, use "die Studenten". That's the generic masculine form. But: Over the last few decades, there have been some people (mainly feminists / gender mainstreamers) who felt excluded by that use, so they invented quite a few ways to overcome that. If you speak to a crowd, you can't go wrong with "Studentinnen und ...
Often for large groups of people of unknown or mixed gender the plural of the masculine form is used: "die Studenten" etc. This is known as the "Generisches Maskulinum". Of course, just using the masculine form is problematic as it ignores the women and there is an ongoing discussion about what a better alternative should be. Also often used, especially ...
Other words could be: Schürzenjäger Weiberheld Frauenheld (similar to Weiberheld) Casanova: this was actually a man that had many sexual relationships. But we use his name to call someone (in a more positive than negative way) who behaves like Casanova did. Duden also suggests Charmeur, Ladykiller, Weiberer and Womanizer as synonyms for Frauenheld.
The usage of the "Binnen-I" in german spelling occured from the 1980ies (e.g. KollegInnen, MitarbeiterInnen). It is frequently used but similarly often it is rejected. These short forms are not consistent with present spelling rules where capitals within words are not allowed. Duden - Richtiges und gutes Deutsch, 6. Aufl. Mannheim 2007
I'm almost 60 and for me Lebensraum in current contexts is just the German word for biotope.
(Geistig) behindert is the correct term but somewhat blunt. Be aware that, as with "retarded", it is also used as an insult. Wikipedia says the correct medical term is mentale Retardierung, but nobody uses that. Maybe it'll go the same way Idiot has gone in both English and German: From a diagnosis to a pure insult. Unlike English, German doesn't have a ...
Die Gesellschaft für deutsche Sprache schreibt dazu: Unser Erstbeleg zu Gutmensch stammt aus dem Jahr 1985: In der US-amerikanischen Zeitschrift Forbes wurde Gutmensch auf den damaligen Gewerkschaftsführer Franz Steinkühler (IG Metall) bezogen. [...] Weithin bekannt wurde Gutmensch durch das sprachkritische Wörterbuch des Gutmenschen aus dem ...
In German we often use the male form of the job titles although we don't mean explicitely one gender (ein Student). In plural this is used really often (Studenten). But both uses depend on the context. You can use it this way if it's a general statement. If you refer to certain people then use exact expressions. In the ages of feminism there came a few ...
As an American who lived in Germany (because I come from an Air Force background, but actually attended a small, local German school) I can affirm that saying "jawohl" does not carry any Nazi associations whatsoever. The word is simply a strong affirmative statement, close to when you hear what a friend is saying and say "yeah!" quickly in agreement. It is ...
You got it right - this form is called "Binnen-I", and it is used as a "neutral" form to cover both genders. It can be used generally in contexts where you are not bound to the "official" orthography rules, since it is not part of them.
"Jawohl!" comes from a military context. It is the equivalent of "Yes, sir!".
Ich habe es jedenfalls schon häufig außerhalb der rechtsextremen Szene gehört. Vielleicht kannten die Nutzer die von Dir genannte Herkunft nicht, oder sie stimmt nicht. In jedem Falle ist es kein besonders nettes Wort.
The special term for this is mentale Retardierung (that is what a physician would use). But most people use geistig behindert, mental beeinträchtigt or geistig zurückgeblieben. Also gehandicapt is possible, but colloquial. kognitiv beeinträchtigt or kognitiv behindert is possible, but is not used very often. During my education as what I would translate to ...
Yes, this is the P.C. way, instead of using just "Besucher" (visitors), which traditionally encompassed both genders. Many people don't like it, but it's becoming more and more frequent. Personally I prefer "Besucher and Besucherinnen", instead of using the so-called Binnen-I.
Neutral and modern: 'Sehr geehrte Studierende'
Most people don't care so much about what is politically correct an use "geistig behindert". When it comes to being involved in any way, e.g. personally or as a family member, people tend to use phrases that would not point to the fact, like "beeinträchtigt" or even only "anders". In professional contexts we place emphasis on the eductional needs with ...
I was born (not too long) after World War II and here's what I think: Used in an animal context, the word is fine. But it could be dangerous in any context involving "people," particularly defined as "Volk." The implication might be that more "living space" for some people means less for others, the idea that brought about the war.
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