English: Dealing with Gender

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Liallan
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Joined: 26 May 2014, 07:01

English: Dealing with Gender

Post by Liallan »

I did try to search for this, but what I found didn't really specifically answer my questions, and was kind of old and possibly outdated. Maybe the discussion needs refreshed anyway. :)

First, would trying to fix gender issues be considered fixing the English, or changing a choice a developer made? In other words, are we even allowed to do this? Because it's not technically grammatical.

Just as an example, I only recently learned Puerto Rico and it's full of a lot of "his" this and "his" that. I'm not offended over it, and also realize this same issue doesn't necessarily exist in other languages and that no one meant any offense. But, it does sound pretty silly that "Liallan finished placing his colonists." :mrgreen: I can certainly try to find a way to fix all these, assuming it's considered "translating."

Based on the assumption I'm allowed, what might it screw up? One of the options is using the neutral "their" and "them." While this is not grammatically correct when referring to a singular specific person, it is commonly acceptable use when trying to avoid gender issues like this. Most discussions I've seen on this seem to find this acceptable. Like "Liallan finished placing their colonists." That also sounds a little silly but can be used as a last resort. Better options are "Liallan finished placing colonists," or sometimes using "a" or "the" can work. (Like "the indigo barrels" rather than "his indigo barrels" works fine.)

So the issue then becomes, if a good way to do it cannot be found and we have to resort to "their," how does that translate? Will people doing translating understand that usage and know how to deal with it? Another option is "his/her" but I don't like that too well and I don't know what that would do to translations either. But I could do that if it were preferred. (Again, I'd rather find something to avoid gender but it doesn't always work.)
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Een
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Re: English: Dealing with Gender

Post by Een »

Well, I actually introduced something recently to try to fix that by replacing his by her on the fly in the game logs according to the player gender.
But I just checked and it doesn't seem to work... :roll: I must have missed something somewhere, I'll need to look at it again.

Anyway, the idea for English text in games would be: do not use pronouns where it works well without; use "his" elsewhere, and it'll get substituted with "her" when appropriate (some day when I manage to make it work :D ).

(note that this replacement will not/cannot work in game replays, as the context of the gender of current players is not available during replays).
Liallan
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Joined: 26 May 2014, 07:01

Re: English: Dealing with Gender

Post by Liallan »

Thanks for your response. I'll see how creative I can get. :D

I wonder how difficult it is to try to substitute in the correct pronoun based on the gender someone has chosen, when so many people have not chosen one. I discovered how high the percent was when I was trying to avoid this problem making a tutorial - every game I looked at, at least one person had no chosen gender, sometimes two.
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Een
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Re: English: Dealing with Gender

Post by Een »

Ok, on the fly replacement of "his" by "her" when needed in games is now working. 8-)

This should solve most of the cases of wrong pronouns for English in games. If you see some places where it doesn't work, please tell me so that I can take a look.
Liallan
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Joined: 26 May 2014, 07:01

Re: English: Dealing with Gender

Post by Liallan »

I just had a look at Puerto Rico, where I noticed this as a big problem, and I can already see the "her" on my stuff. A nice change and does solve a lot of problems. :D If everyone on here had a specified gender, this would work well.

I hate to drag this through the mud, but my concern is that unfortunately a fair amount of people here have not specified any gender, and it will automatically go male which doesn't totally fix the problem. I think it is still a good idea to make the priority to try to find a way to say it that need not include a gender, as long as it sounds fine. There's no reason "Player A stored his corn barrels" can't be "Player A stored corn barrels."

If that's difficult to do or sounds too weird, then it can be kept male, and I guess some people will just have to stay offended.
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Een
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Re: English: Dealing with Gender

Post by Een »

Do you really think that people not taking the (very small) time and effort needed to set their gender would still feel offended that we can't guess it? That feels pretty absurd to me :D
Liallan
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Joined: 26 May 2014, 07:01

Re: English: Dealing with Gender

Post by Liallan »

Een wrote:Do you really think that people not taking the (very small) time and effort needed to set their gender would still feel offended that we can't guess it? That feels pretty absurd to me :D
I would agree with you. My guess is this is more of an issue in the U.S., so I'm right in the middle of a whole country that is offended over everything, and it doesn't have to make any sense. Someone doesn't want to be a gender cause they don't feel like identifying with one, and sometimes it's those same people who get annoyed that everything says "him" cause it means "you believe only males play here." I didn't say it made sense, was just trying to save the headache of listening to them.

Hey, since you think it's absurd, maybe you can get blocked like I did. :mrgreen:
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Een
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Re: English: Dealing with Gender

Post by Een »

Liallan wrote:I didn't say it made sense, was just trying to save the headache of listening to them.
Overall, that subject doesn't come up so often to be a real headache, and I feel that the response "you can define your gender in your preferences and it will be taken into account" is adequate (and it's a good thing that we finally managed to do it).
Liallan wrote:Hey, since you think it's absurd, maybe you can get blocked like I did. :mrgreen:
If I remember well, that happened because you were perceived as being "overly argumentative for the sake of argument". And no offense intended, but you can be ;)
Liallan
Posts: 1221
Joined: 26 May 2014, 07:01

Re: English: Dealing with Gender

Post by Liallan »

Een wrote:
Liallan wrote:Hey, since you think it's absurd, maybe you can get blocked like I did. :mrgreen:
If I remember well, that happened because you were perceived as being "overly argumentative for the sake of argument". And no offense intended, but you can be ;)
Actually, it was because of my "poorly formed thoughts" (an exact quote), related to my perceived insensitivity and general ignorance of gender issues. :P (Yes, she mentioned the arguing, but her real detestation of me was the gender issues. But, I'm not being paranoid about what the game log says because of her. ;) )
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