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Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Latinx

What bugs me about this is that it is an application of English-language concepts of gender to a word in Spanish.

So in Spanish you would say: "literatura latina." That would be literature written by Latinos and Latinas: the adjective modifies the noun, which happens to be feminine in gender. The x is a way of neutering the gender. If the noun happened to be feminine, then you would say "feminismo latino."

From the perspective of speaking English, gender is only applied to persons and animals with a designated sex. So people think of Latino / Latina as only applying to people. Hence you need to say "Latinex" to keep things gender neutral. The word was invented by someone who doesn't think in Spanish.

1 comment:

Leslie said...

Yes but there are native speakers of both Spanish and French trying to get gender out of their languages, or get more of it in to make things more equal. There was a big fight about it in France during Jospin's government because he was appointing women to positions none had occupied before and it raised grammar questions! http://www.economist.com/node/139954