March 25, 2011

Architektin - Gender neutrality in Google.

When you google "Architektin"- the female noun of architect - the German google asks if you mean "Architekt" - the masculine noun. Why - because Google creates the suggestions based on their search index. Accordingly, the noun "Architektin" appears so rarely in the databases that the search engine assumes a spelling error: "Do you mean Architekt?"  The German language makes gender equality difficult, the Duden (the standard German dictionary) however, suggests to use the exact female or male noun, especially in official (governmental) documents and job titles. No "generic masculine" anymore.  Consequently, it should say "Architektinnen und Architekten" - it's a matter of gender neutrality in languages. But nobody seems to care.

Who will tell Google?
(thanks, Annegret and Heike for the tip)

Update (2004-april-11 on twitter): "@byearchitecture We try our best to have google work well in all langs, sometimes gender does trip us up. Spelling team is working on a fix." jackm