Pages: 236-244 Published: 25 Aug 2014
Views: 2,178 Downloads: 1,306
Abstract: The paper introduces the different definitions of gender followed by a contrastive description of the masculine-feminine distinction in English and Arabic. The similarities and differences between the two languages are argued to be relevant to pedagogy and translation: English speakers with their language’s natural gender system have to learn the gender of every Arabic noun as part of its dictionary entry since Arabic has grammatical gender with inanimate nouns being masculine or feminine for no apparent reason. They also have to make more gender distinctions since Arabic has a more pervasive gender system involving agreement between nouns and the verbs and adjectives attached to them. Further, it is argued that neither English nor Arabic is gender-biased. It is the social behavior of their speakers that is sexist not the structure of the language.