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The Majority of Languages Do Not Have Gendered Pronouns

A world without "he." Or "she."
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(Photo: ivosar/Shutterstock)

(Photo: ivosar/Shutterstock)

The map below is an interactive available at the World Atlas of Language Structures. It represents an extensive, but not quite comprehensive collection of world languages. Each dot represents one. White dots are languages that do not include gendered pronouns. No “he” or “she.” Just a gender neutral word that means person.


The colored dots refer to languages with gendered pronouns, but there are more than one kind, as indicated by the Values key. The number on the right indicates how many languages fit into each group. Notice that the majority of languages represented here (57 percent) do not have gendered pronouns.


The map at the site is interactive. Go there to click on those dots and explore.

This post originally appeared on Sociological Images, a Pacific Standard partner site, as “Map of the Week: 57% of Languages Do Not Have Gendered Pronouns.”