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#1 Posted by Noval (132 posts) -

So I'm busy getting rid of my old game "collection" on ebay and since me and most of my games are german I'm obviously doing that on german ebay.

Also, I'm lazy as fuck and just copy/pasting my descriptions on every article while sometimes swapping out adjectives and, somewhat surprisingly, gender pronouns.

Seriously I've never actually thought about this but now I can't stop and need answers, let me give you some examples:

Sony's entire lineup: feminine (die Playstation, die PSP, die PS Vita)

Microsoft's entire lineup: feminine (die Xbox, die 360(360 being pronounce as "three-sixty" same as in english))

Nintendo: I'm... not a hundred percent sure? Masculine Gameboy, DS and Gamecube for sure (der Gameboy, der DS, der Gamecube). Feminine Wii, Wii U and Switch. Oddly I kinda feel like it's masculine NES/SNES too but only when abbreviated, if you'd call it the Nintendo Entertainment System it would definitely be neutral (das).

You're seeing my point right? Is it just german that's weird here? Am I just crazy? Is it regional? Random?

Who get's to decide this? The media? The populace? Elected officials?

Yes, it's probably the local arm of whichever PR department is in charge and it's not remotely important but please help me get some closure.

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#2 Posted by frytup (1250 posts) -

Based on my very limited definitey-not-a-native-speaker knowledge of German, isn't this just down to common grammatical gender patterns?

E.g., most nouns with the suffix "tion" will be feminine, most with the suffix "em" (or just the German word System) would be neuter. Foreign words tend to take the gender of the word translated into German (cube, boy).

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#3 Posted by Shindig (4837 posts) -

Thanks for bringing back terrible memories of my German exams.

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#4 Posted by Cameron (1051 posts) -

French isn't my native language, but I think consoles are feminine. It's definitely la Playstation, la Xbox One, and la Switch. Though I wouldn't be surprised if that's not true everywhere French is spoken.

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#5 Posted by kadaju86 (77 posts) -

In Norwegian the consoles would be masculine while just saying a game, without specifying which game it is, would be a neutral. Not sure that helps much for someone who is German though as German genders don't really fully match Norwegian :P

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#6 Posted by Manhattan_Project (2324 posts) -

In spanish all the consoles have male (El) pronouns. Computers have feminine (La) pronouns. No idea why.

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#7 Posted by uhtaree (944 posts) -

Ou est L'Xbox?

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#8 Posted by Darknorth (238 posts) -
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#9 Edited by NickM (1169 posts) -

In Russian, the words console (приставка, preestavka) and game (игра, eegra) are feminine. However Playstation and Xbox of any generation are male, so it changes depending if you're calling the console by name or not. Also, a lot of people affectionately call Sony's platforms Son'ka, which is female. The Nintendo Switch, from my experience is always female and PC or computer is male. Good question, by the by.

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#12 Posted by soulcake (2649 posts) -

I always though it was le console, but my french is garbage ( thanks 2 years of garbage french i got at school). so it's male?

After doing some digging it's "La Console" so it's female, for some odd reason you can say le or la Nintendo Entertainment system, so it's genderless ? let's face it words shouldn't have genders bloody Latin languages. Germanic languages make much more sense.

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#13 Edited by Quipido (1548 posts) -

In Czech language the three consoles are male gendered. I guess the gender gets derived from the words themselves, how they naturally bend in different sentences, that puts them firmly to a specific "model" word which is gendered.

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#14 Posted by Splodge (2740 posts) -

Mein Deutsches Grammatik ist schlect. Ich bin kein Hilfe.

Seriously though I lived for nearly three years in Germany and learned the language as I went. I pretty much gave up on the grammar. My broken German was definitely enough to get by and I gradually improved, but German is a fucked up language grammar-wise.

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#15 Posted by qrdl (441 posts) -

Interesting question. In Polish:

computer – m komputer

console – f konsola

Three major consoles on the market right now are as follows:

Playstation - neutral

XBox - masculine

Switch - masculine

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#16 Posted by kadaju86 (77 posts) -

@soulcake: Uh, I think you might be a bit confused about gendered words in languages then as Germanic languages have three genders; masculine, feminine and neutral, so if anything we have it more complex than French (or other Romantic languages) :P

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#17 Edited by Froghourt (179 posts) -

There are only two genders in my native Danish, common (denoted by the article en: en mand, manden in English a man, the man) and neutral gender (denoted by the article et: et æble, æblet English an apple the apple). Just going through it in my head, game console (spillekonsol) is common, the same for games (spil) and of the current consoles they are all common as well: Playstaionen X-boxen, Switchen, 3DSen.

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#18 Posted by kblosnack (350 posts) -

In portuguese they all use masculine pronouns because electronics use masculine pronouns.

The only confusing part with all this is Steam, they say people should use masculine but a lot of people use feminine (because steam is a store and stores are feminine).

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#19 Posted by TobbRobb (6569 posts) -

@froghourt: Is en/ett en/et considered gendered? I was going to say Swedish was one of the germanic languages that didn've have any. But I barely know any grammar outside of intuition.

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#20 Posted by totsboy (493 posts) -

Not my native language, but since I'm living here, in Greek, things are usually neutral, so you say "To Playstation", but console is feminine, so it's "την κονσόλα". Also they don't tend to use greek characters for the console names.

And just to add to @kblosnack, in Brazil we don't have neutral, only F/M.

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#21 Posted by Froghourt (179 posts) -

@tobbrobb:I believe it is technically considered a gender, even if it doesn't really follow the rules like in other languages with feminine/masculine/neutral https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Danish_grammar

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#22 Posted by littlegirl (37 posts) -

@cameron said:

French isn't my native language, but I think consoles are feminine. It's definitely la Playstation, la Xbox One, and la Switch. Though I wouldn't be surprised if that's not true everywhere French is spoken.

Console itself is femine, but for the individual consoles themselves it varies, the Switch is definitely feminine, but the Nintendo 64 is masculine. The playstation is kinda weird because I almost always hear the PS4 referred to as "Une PS4" but the PS3 as "Un PS3" This is in quebec, I'd definitely be curious to hear from other french speakers how they gender the playstation.

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#23 Posted by kon1312 (100 posts) -
@noval said:

So I'm busy getting rid of my old game "collection" on ebay and since me and most of my games are german I'm obviously doing that on german ebay.

Also, I'm lazy as fuck and just copy/pasting my descriptions on every article while sometimes swapping out adjectives and, somewhat surprisingly, gender pronouns.

Seriously I've never actually thought about this but now I can't stop and need answers, let me give you some examples:

Sony's entire lineup: feminine (die Playstation, die PSP, die PS Vita)

Microsoft's entire lineup: feminine (die Xbox, die 360(360 being pronounce as "three-sixty" same as in english))

Nintendo: I'm... not a hundred percent sure? Masculine Gameboy, DS and Gamecube for sure (der Gameboy, der DS, der Gamecube). Feminine Wii, Wii U and Switch. Oddly I kinda feel like it's masculine NES/SNES too but only when abbreviated, if you'd call it the Nintendo Entertainment System it would definitely be neutral (das).

You're seeing my point right? Is it just german that's weird here? Am I just crazy? Is it regional? Random?

Who get's to decide this? The media? The populace? Elected officials?

Yes, it's probably the local arm of whichever PR department is in charge and it's not remotely important but please help me get some closure.

Native German speaker here:

In my experience the consoles aren't gendered at all. It's just the public deciding whatever the fuck they think sounds better.

For example: A couple of my friends call the N64 "die Nintendo 64" others call it "das Nintendo 64". I think it always depends on your peer group and the dominating pronoun is picked up in the language as a whole.

Of course there are the marketeers trying to brand their console in a specific way but considering German is a crazy fuck all language with specific rules for the smallest thing in the world, trying to merge English into German... is kind of impossible to get right. Wenn Sie wissen was ich meine (that's a perfect example for German crazyness and a specific thing for me: I can't stand the formal address "Sie" wich basically is just "you" wich means "Du"... our native language man...)
Anyway: I wouldn't think about it too much. Who cares about the preceived "gender" of any given console.

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#24 Posted by Ravelle (3291 posts) -

@shindig said:

Thanks for bringing back terrible memories of my German exams.

Giving words a gender AND capitalizing letters for certain words, German class was a nightmare.

We don't really have a set rule here in the netherlands but everyone most just use the "him" to refer to objects.

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#25 Posted by soulcake (2649 posts) -

@kadaju86: Yeah i was :D, i was thinking of Dutch and English witch don't gentrify there words all that much.

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#26 Posted by Cameron (1051 posts) -
@cameron said:

French isn't my native language, but I think consoles are feminine. It's definitely la Playstation, la Xbox One, and la Switch. Though I wouldn't be surprised if that's not true everywhere French is spoken.

Console itself is femine, but for the individual consoles themselves it varies, the Switch is definitely feminine, but the Nintendo 64 is masculine. The playstation is kinda weird because I almost always hear the PS4 referred to as "Une PS4" but the PS3 as "Un PS3" This is in quebec, I'd definitely be curious to hear from other french speakers how they gender the playstation.

When I was reading more about this (because I apparently don't value my time), it seems like this is a quirk of Québecois French. The Nintendo 64 is feminine in France French, so are all the Playstations. It's interesting how this kind of thing can vary by region.

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#27 Posted by Shindig (4837 posts) -

So ... does this mean we should treat console launches like ships? Cracking a bottle of champagne off the Switch's hull and such?

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#28 Edited by tatsuyarr (244 posts) -

@cameron: Native french speaker here, I can confirm that every console in French, and at least in France, are considered feminine. Even the Nintendo 64 is called la Nintendo 64.

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#30 Posted by MonkeyKing1969 (7484 posts) -
No Caption Provided

I wonder what you would call PlayStation 4 in First-Century Latin? ...Ludere instrumentum IV

I don't know Latin, so feel free to correct my grammar...

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#31 Posted by Berserk007 (320 posts) -

You spent time on this.....just letting you know.

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#32 Posted by Carlos1408 (1635 posts) -

In spanish and french they're all feminine. La Gameboy, la Xbox, la Playstation, la Switch, la Wii, etc. I imagine italian would be the same, as it's based on latin too.