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German gender neutral "er" pronoun-antecedent agreement

English translation: to add to the confusion--here are my comments:

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08:45 Oct 12, 2000
German to English translations [PRO]
Law/Patents - Law: Contract(s)
German term or phrase: German gender neutral "er" pronoun-antecedent agreement
A German franchise contract uses "er" to refer to the franchisor and franchisee. I overlooked the British and American gender/sexism issue and used "he" in a translation. An editor has changed the pronoun to "it." The following is an excerpt from the revised contract concerning transferring the franchise to someone else: The franchisor will provide the franchisee with its decision, whereby it will take the franchisee's interest into consideration. It may deny its consent, if the franchisee does not give it sufficient time to evaluate the the transferee, specifically its personal qualifications and its financial stability, etc., etc. Question: would you feel comfortable with this? What would your solution be?
Kim Metzger
Mexico
Local time: 03:48
English translation:to add to the confusion--here are my comments:
Explanation:
The "it" is fine, but it can be very confusing. Especially, when you have a
sentence like this: It may deny its consent, if the franchisee does not give it sufficient time to evaluate the the transferee, . . .
The "it sufficient" will sound confusing. Usually in US English--because of the sensitive issue
of polital correctness--you use he/she,
or better she/he, her/his etc.
The plural is a good way to go around the whole subject, but in contracts it
can not be used most of the time, because the party the contract talks about is a legal entity just like the first one (I think) who answered your question said. But, the bottom line is, that I would disagree with the editor on the "it" issue, because of the possibility of confusion. I would opt for the she/he, her/his solution.

Good luck,
Lis
Selected response from:

Elisabeth Moser
United States
Local time: 04:48
Grading comment
Thank you Lis. I was beginning to wonder if the world had gone mad.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
nato add to the confusion--here are my comments:
Elisabeth Moser
na_he_ or _she_ if a person, _it_ if a company
Tom Funke
naSee belowRandi Stenstrop
naor use the plural
Dr. Sahib Bleher
nas/he he/she
Dr. Sahib Bleher
naYes
Mats Wiman


  

Answers


27 mins
Yes


Explanation:
Franchise-Geber is masculine in German but to use 'he' in English sounds far too human. The Franchisor is normally a juridical person (probabale in this case) and not a person. The same reasoning goes for the franchisee.


    MMI
Mats Wiman
Sweden
Local time: 10:48
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in SwedishSwedish
PRO pts in category: 4
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28 mins
s/he he/she


Explanation:
We usually use the clumsy s/he or he/she his/her in the UK.

Dr. Sahib Bleher
Local time: 09:48
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman
PRO pts in category: 4
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

29 mins
or use the plural


Explanation:
just to add. Sometimes you can avoid gender specific pronouns by using the plural, so you can refer to a company as they.


Dr. Sahib Bleher
Local time: 09:48
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman
PRO pts in category: 4
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1 hr
See below


Explanation:
I second Mats Wiman. It is customary to use "it" in English legal documents even if you are talking of a person or persons.

Randi Stenstrop
Local time: 10:48
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in DanishDanish
PRO pts in category: 14
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4 hrs
to add to the confusion--here are my comments:


Explanation:
The "it" is fine, but it can be very confusing. Especially, when you have a
sentence like this: It may deny its consent, if the franchisee does not give it sufficient time to evaluate the the transferee, . . .
The "it sufficient" will sound confusing. Usually in US English--because of the sensitive issue
of polital correctness--you use he/she,
or better she/he, her/his etc.
The plural is a good way to go around the whole subject, but in contracts it
can not be used most of the time, because the party the contract talks about is a legal entity just like the first one (I think) who answered your question said. But, the bottom line is, that I would disagree with the editor on the "it" issue, because of the possibility of confusion. I would opt for the she/he, her/his solution.

Good luck,
Lis

Elisabeth Moser
United States
Local time: 04:48
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman
PRO pts in category: 34
Grading comment
Thank you Lis. I was beginning to wonder if the world had gone mad.
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

6 hrs
_he_ or _she_ if a person, _it_ if a company


Explanation:
The issue is simple. A franchisee (individual, real person) has a gender. A company doesn't. Not even Victoria's Secret -- though it comes close :)-- let alone General Motors).
Confusion is avoided by properly restructuring the sentence in English.

HTH Tom

Tom Funke
Local time: 04:48
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in category: 12
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