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Is Microsoft .NET "he" or "she"?

Mapraputa Is
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Sheriff

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I wouldn't ask the stupid question, but in Russian all nouns have gender and they, as well as subordinated adjectives and verbs, take endings accordingly. I need to know .NET's sex in order to translate the following:
"It almost seems as if Microsoft .NET doesn't fill a single customer need, it only fills Microsoft's need to find something for 10,000 programmers to do for the next 10 years."
("Microsoft Goes Bonkers")
- verb's form depend on it...
First I thought that "he" would be more offensive, because
1) Microsoft for unknown reasons is "she";
2) "fills need" will be "satisfies needs" - only one verb "satisfies" satisfies all needs for expressing the idea of "satisfying needs" in Russian, in full variety of all possible situations.
You see that "he" would be a better fit here. But later in the text we have 10,000 programmers that need something to do for the next 10 years, so perhaps, after all, "she" is more appropriate...


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Michael Ernest
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Male. No question in my mind, anyway.
Gregg Bolinger
GenRocket Founder
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    6

I would think that filling the needs of 10,000 programmers would make .NET be a "she". At least for me I would hope so. Of course, all the women programmers out there would probably prefer a "he" to fill all thier needs.


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Mapraputa Is
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Sheriff

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Michael, why are you so certain? Seems that there are compelling reasons for any variant.
Randall Twede
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Joined: Oct 21, 2000
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    2

map,
english just doesnt work that way...nouns dont have a gender associated with them
ok you have to decide because you are translating
i cant help... i tried but im american...why (in spanish) are cats el gato? even female cats are el gato...i just cant seem to think that way.
im guessing microsoft is female because it has soft as part of its name
gender references really make no sense...perhaps someone that speaks a language that does give nouns a gender can be more helpful
[ September 30, 2002: Message edited by: Randall Twede ]

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Michael Matola
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    2
Microsoft is feminine in Russian probably because of a silent firma before it.
Mapraputa Is
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Sheriff

Joined: Aug 26, 2000
Posts: 10065
This is an interesting question. As a base rule, I suppose names take gender after their "base" noun. For example, MS-DOS and Windows are operating systems, and system is feminine, so they both are females. :roll: However, Java is a language (masculine) but I am almost sure nobody would refer to it other than "she"... Because grammatically if a noun ends in a vowel it is feminine (there can be some exceptions).
Hm... "Alatavista" is definitely "she" but Yahoo is he, I am sure, never mind they both are search machines and a machine is "she".
The same goes about cities. I was reading about translating Antoine de Saint-Exup�ry's "Letter to a Hostage" where he compares Lisbon to a mother. In French Lisbon is feminine but how do you compare it to a mother in Russian if in Russian it is "he"? What they did, they replaced references to Lisbon with "the capital", fortunately enough "capital" is feminine.
Cindy Glass
"The Hood"
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Joined: Sep 29, 2000
Posts: 8521
MicroSoft -
Trying to conquor the world.
Thinks the world revolves around them.
Wants their users to be exclusive to them.
Masters of one-up-manship.
Great at seducing the user, but somehow in the follow-through . . .
Offers the world on a platter, but delivers something somewhat less
hmmmmm . . .


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Ashok Mash
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Joined: Oct 13, 2000
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I didn't read all of the posts above, but Microsoft is more this http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/2288337.stm


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Shura Balaganov
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Definitely It. There's nothing human about it.


Any posted remarks that may or may not seem offensive, intrusive or politically incorrect are not truly so.
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Mapraputa Is
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Sheriff

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Originally posted by Randall Twede:
map,
english just doesnt work that way...nouns dont have a gender associated with them

In case you think it's cool, it's not!
My first impression was, how much more logically it is that in English nouns do not have gender! Well, back side is that in English world everything is male. By default. For my husband, all animals of unknow sex are males - without doubt. Even a fly he killed is "he"!!! I would never think about a fly as "he", because the Russian word for it is femine. You may think, to think about a fly as "she" is no better than to think about the same fly as "he", but the net effect is different. Due to my observations, American society is more oppressive toward women than Russian.
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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I thought a fly was "it"!


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Mapraputa Is
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Sheriff

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The one my H. killed was "he", perhaps he talked to the fly before killing it, to gather some statistics, I do not know.
Michael Matola
whippersnapper
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    2
Thomas Paul's absolutely right.
(Is your husband a native speaker of (American) English?)
Nonhuman (nondomesticated) animates of unknown or irrelevant sex are strongly default to "it." I'm trying to think of a scenario when you'd use "he" for a killed fly and I'm thinking it's got to be something nonneutral, either something a little folksy ("Killed him!" "Got 'im!") or a slightly anthropomorphic raising of the fly to an advesary, rival, or opponent (equal to the speaker).
Does your husband kill a lot of flies? Perceive them as worthy opponents?
Domesticated animates of unknown or irrelevant sex I'd say are a free-for-all when it comes to pronouns. Dogs, cats, horses -- some people use "he," "she," or "it" as a default.
Mapraputa Is
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Sheriff

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Posts: 10065
Is your husband a native speaker of (American) English?
Yes, especially when fighting flies...
Does your husband kill a lot of flies? Perceive them as worthy opponents?
Well, he isn't fixed on flies. "Worthy opponents" - perhaps it makes the fight more worthy afterwards...
Anyway, turned out that for native speakers of Russian .NET is male. Bad news is that both "platform" and "technology" are females, so there is very little chance for .NET to be officially a male in Russian.
Mapraputa Is
Leverager of our synergies
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 26, 2000
Posts: 10065
A-ha! We won!
Somebody searched Russian M$ site and proved that both M$ and her .Net are females.
Here is another interesting point, though.
Interview Success Plan. Step 4: Inappropriate Questions
Gender: Are you female?"
So if somebody asks me if I am female, I should answer "this is inappropriate question"? And I do not even want to think what could happen, if some interviewer asked Michael Ernest if he is female. Mike has a gun.
[ October 07, 2002: Message edited by: Mapraputa Is ]
 
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