Press : German xier pronouns

Press in English on xier pronouns, which are German neopronouns can be found here. A German press page for xier pronouns and press on Illi Anna Heger in general is also available.


2021

The power of words in machine translation

Article by Alana Cullen and Priyanka Dasgupta for Goethe Institut e.V., 02.07.2021 (accessed 09.07.2021).

And we haven’t even talked about alternate, non-binary pronouns yet that machine translations often misgender. The integration of non-binary, alternate or neo pronouns needs to grow in its practical aspects alongside the evolving cultural discussions on it. […] A viable option could be to treat gender as a spell check – providing choice to the user – this choice could incorporate non- binary pronouns, such as the German Xier- pronouns.

A Simple Guide To The Complex Topic Of Gender-Neutral Pronouns

Article by Steph Koyfman for babble.com, 14.06.2021 (accessed 05.07.21).

Germans are currently grappling with the question of whether it’d even be possible to neutralize the three-gendered noun system. The dialect Niederdeutsch manages to succeed at this, however, by eliminating der, die, das (the masculine, the feminine, the neutral) in favor of de. As for pronouns, you might encounter Germans who use sier and xier, but most people are unlikely to understand these outside of queer and activist spaces.

terms that require sensitivity in translation

Article by Anna von Rath and Lucy Gasser for Goethe-Institut, 28.02.2021 (accessed 05.07.21).

In queer communities in Germany, there are a number of pronouns, which have not (yet) become established in the mainstream, e.g. sif, sier or xier. Most often, the pronouns they/them are retained. Alternatively, in the German language, the pronoun can simply be avoided by repeating the name of the person: This is a solution that bypasses the problem, but it can lead to some very cumbersome formulations.

terms that require sensitivity in translation

Article by Anna von Rath and Lucy Gasser for Goethe-Institut, 28.02.2021 (accessed 05.07.21).

In queer communities in Germany, there are a number of pronouns, which have not (yet) become established in the mainstream, e.g. sif, sier or xier. Most often, the pronouns they/them are retained. Alternatively, in the German language, the pronoun can simply be avoided by repeating the name of the person: This is a solution that bypasses the problem, but it can lead to some very cumbersome formulations.

Pronouns

Article by Sharon Dodua Otoo for #deutschlandnofilter by Goethe-Institut, 25.02.2021 (accessed 05.07.21).

Option one would be to negate the existence of nonbinary people – or at a minimum, deny them the right to express their gender identity adequately within the German language. I find this option unacceptable, if not to say in breach of human rights. Option two would be to welcome the use of neo-pronouns, for example “xier” and “sier”.

2020

Grenzenlos Deutsch an open-access curriculum for beginning German

Textbook Section in a project by Brigetta M. Abel and Amy Young, grenzenlos-deutsch.com, 17.12.2020 (accessed 07.07.2021).

Some German speakers have adopted the English pronoun “they” as a gender neutral pronoun in German. Still others choose to avoid pronouns entirely and just use their first names instead. “Xier,” a pronoun developed by writer and artist Illi Anna Heger is also growing in popularity. We include both “xier” and “they” in Grenzenlos Deutsch even though you won’t find these pronouns in a German grammar manual and they might not be recognized by all German speakers.

Illi Anna Heger’s Grammatical Futurity

Article by Nichole Neuman, in “Seminar: A Journal of Germanic Studies”, Vol. 56 Issue 3-4, 12.11.2020, pages 302-321, ISSN 0037-1939.

Heger’s Xier packt xiesen Koffer is the culmination of many iterations of thinking, writing about, and illustrating their discontent with the binary structure of personal pronouns in the German language. The comic-zine Xier itself provides some of its history, but a complete picture of Heger’s musings and long-term commitment to the creation and usage of gender-neutral pronouns in German fully emerges when Xier is read in tandem with their original blog posts. These posts mirror the evolution of Heger’s meditations on gender-neutral pronouns with an evolution in form from blog posts to differing media (a mini-comic, then the comic-zine).

Gender-inclusive language in German teaching

Article by Steffen Kaupp for the Website of Goethe-Institut, translated by Eric Rosencrantz , 01.09.2020

Needless to say, gender-inclusive instruction doesn’t stop at nouns. Starting with the neologism xier, a whole set of non-binary third-person pronouns coined by the German trans community is also catching on. You’ll find detailed instructions on how to use these personal pronouns on Illi Anna Heger’s website. As with gender-neutral nouns, the main thing is to raise learners’ awareness of these pronouns, so they don’t have to be covered in detail and discussed at great length.

How Temtem’s community helped Crema Games strive for inclusive language

Article by Astrid Johnson for gaymingmag.com, 03.07.2020 (accessed 05.07.2021)

Through the Temtem Twitter account, the studio asked for suggestions from the community. What were queer people from France and Germany using to refer to themselves, in place of anything suitable written into the rules of their own language? So far, there have been a few suggestions. User YokuHel, from France, said that they use iel/ellui, and linked an article that they’d written about how to use gender-neutral language in French. Roguedrgn suggested Xier as a pronoun many queer people use in Germany.

Together in Colour

Article by Daniel Welsch for the Website of Goethe-Institut, translated by Faith Ann Gibson, 17.07.2020.

Illi Anna Heger created one of these alternatives, the non-binary pronoun “xier.” “My pronoun, the xier pronoun, it is sometimes used by trans people, but a lot of people on the trans spectrum are actually using he and she pronouns,” says Illi Anna Heger. “This is something the person in question should decide. Xier is not a trans pronoun per se, it’s a pronoun that could be helpful for non-binary people and that could be used to talk about everybody when you don’t know the genders.”

I usually recommend „xier“

Tweet von @cuffedCatling, 30.06.2020,

I usually recommend „xier“. Not because it is the most used pronoun by nonbinary people (it isn’t, and there isn’t one), but because it is one of the oldest german neopronouns for the current generation of queers, and because all the alternatives have big flaws in my opinion

— hungryKitten (@cuffedCatling) June 30, 2020

Inclusion and Exclusion of Gender, Social Class, Race and Ability in Elementary German Textbooks

Master Thesis by Emmalie Keenan, University of Massachusetts Amherst, 01.07.2020.

Diversity in gender in elementary German does not need to complicate learning objectives. Including non-binary pronouns is the first step to being inclusive of gender diversity. Non-binary pronouns are pronouns for people who do not identify with feminine or masculine pronouns. The most common option in the United States is they/them and in Germany is xier/xien/xiem. This should be done with the introduction of all pronouns, and continue to be included whenever pronouns are used in all levels of German.

Please Don’t Gender Me! – Strategies for Inclusive Language Instruction in a Gender-Diverse Campus Community

Book Chapter by Angineh Djavadghazaryans, pages 269-287 in “Diversity and Decolonization in German Studies”, ISBN 978-3-030-34341-5, Palgrave Macmillan Cham, 13.02.2020.

The German language does now have gender-neutral options that have been introduced by and are common in the trans community in Germany. […] As these language patterns have not been officially adapted into the language, there exist no universally accepted options and new language forms are still emerging […] Just like English, German has several sets of gender-neutral prouns. The most commonly used and most developed throughout the cases appears to be xier (Xier geht heute einkaufen) while x, nin, seis, sei , sif and sier are lesser known options.

2018

Will a New Law Forever Change the German Language?

Article by Madhvi Ramani for smithsonianmag.com, 28.02.2018

Artist Anna Heger’s suggestion of xier as a personal pronoun, with nouns referring to people modified by an underscore to be made gender neutral (Lehr_erin), could be used for people who do not identify as either male or female as well as when gender is irrelevant.