German Of The Day: Weiblich

That means feminine. You know, like the German language?

Weiblich

Well, not quite yet.

Germany’s Interior Ministry has objected to draft legislation drawn up by the Justice Ministry that uses the feminine form for every reference to people. It argued on Monday that the result likely would be unconstitutional. In German, linguistic convention has long called for the masculine form of a word to be used as the default when referring to people of either sex, such as in legislation.

In der Bundespressekonferenz ergänzte ein Sprecher des Innenministeriums, die Formulierungen des Gesetzentwurfs hätten “bei formaler Betrachtung zur Folge, dass das Gesetz gegebenenfalls nur für Frauen oder Menschen weiblichen Geschlechts gilt und damit höchstwahrscheinlich verfassungswidrig wäre.”