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How to identify whether a person name is a male or female? Options
A cooperator
Posted: Thursday, August 17, 2017 8:43:51 AM

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Hi,
As to my curiosity, I would like to raise this question which is as follows:
Do you think "Karla Barth" is a female or male name.
I am asking this strange question here since I will select either "Mr." Or "Ms./Mrs." according to whether a person name is identified as a male or female while addressing this person.
I think "Karla", which is the first name, is a female name. So, I am going to address her as:
Dear Ms./Mrs. Barth,

BTW. I was contacting a person from Germany, and she/he stated her/his name as "Karla Barth" in the end of his email message.



Whoever doesn't own what he promises to those who do not deserve must not promise it.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Thursday, August 17, 2017 9:48:28 AM

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There is no absolute way to know (some names are used for both men and women).
Robin is usually a man's name, but Robyn (same sound) is a woman's.
Leslie is normally a woman's name (though very occasionally you will find a man called Leslie).
Lesley (same pronunciation) is a man's name - usually.
Artemis is used for both male and female children.

However, I'm pretty certain that you are right.

The German man's name is Karl and the woman's name is Karla.



Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
Ashwin Joshi
Posted: Thursday, August 17, 2017 11:36:55 AM

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No way. There are a plethora of common names.

In India, however, we judge from certain surnames but not in each case.
As, we generally add "Kumari or Kaur" with a female name and "Kumar or Singh or Chand etc"with a male name. But thats not fool-proof even.




She is Harbans Kaur.



He may be Harbans Singh or Harbans Kumar.Boo hoo! Boo hoo! Boo hoo! Boo hoo!

Me Gathering Pebbles at The Seashore.-Aj
Y111
Posted: Thursday, August 17, 2017 12:11:16 PM
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In Russian it's very easy because first names are strictly men's or women's. Typical last names also differ, e.g. Mr. Putin but Mrs. Putina. Those that don't are usually of foreign origins.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Thursday, August 17, 2017 12:27:19 PM

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It's a sort of 'general rule' for English names (but not for Anglicised foreign names) that a name ending in 'a' is probably a woman.

Michaela is definitely a woman. Michael is almost always a man. Michal would be a man if he's central European or a woman if she's Israeli!
Nima would be a woman if she's European or a man if he's from the Middle East.


Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
Romany
Posted: Thursday, August 17, 2017 2:49:20 PM
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Cooperator, - notice that you have been scrupulous about not using gendered language - which is very professional of you.

May I just help you out a little?

We use the title Ms. for *all* women. Married, widowed, divorced, single. Just as we use Mr. for *all* men whether married, widowed, divorced or single. So there is no salutation "Mrs/Ms.". It was to AVOID addressing women differently according to whether they are married or not, that "Ms" was introduced.

If, as many non-native speaker say, one really can't bring oneself to use singular "they"; then it is easier to type s/he than it is to type he/she, and it reads more smoothly.

Hope that helps...

Edited to add: There are millions of people (of whom I am one) who don't use Mr or Ms.in addresses - using simply the person's full name i.e. NOT Mr and Mrs Lastname but Mike and Jess Lastname.
Харбин Хэйлунцзян 1
Posted: Thursday, August 17, 2017 5:06:29 PM

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A cooperator wrote:
BTW. I was contacting a person from Germany, and she/he stated her/his name as "Karla Barth" in the end of his email message.

If she didn't put it in her signature then you are not expected to use it in the address.

"Dear Karla Barth, ..." will suffice.

Y111 wrote:
Typical last names also differ, e.g. Mr. Putin but Mrs. Putina.

Shouldn't that be Ms. Kabaeva?

აბა ყვავებს ვინ დაიჭერს, კარგო? გალიაში ბულბულები ზიან.
georgieporgie
Posted: Thursday, August 17, 2017 5:54:42 PM
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A cooperator wrote:
Hi,
As to my curiosity, I would like to raise this question which is as follows:
Do you think "Karla Barth" is a female or male name.
I am asking this strange question here since I will select either "Mr." Or "Ms./Mrs." according to whether a person name is identified as a male or female while addressing this person.
I think "Karla", which is the first name, is a female name. So, I am going to address her as:
Dear Ms./Mrs. Barth,

BTW. I was contacting a person from Germany, and she/he stated her/his name as "Karla Barth" in the end of his email message.


Be careful! The PC police may be monitoring this!
Distinct genders are NO LONGER allowed in society. You MUST use a gender-neutral pronoun or other form of address.

Shame on you
A cooperator
Posted: Thursday, August 17, 2017 6:04:05 PM

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Location: Ḩāḑírah, Hadramawt, Yemen
Romany wrote:

Cooperator, - notice that you have been scrupulous about not using gendered language - which is very professional of you.

May I just help you out a little?

We use the title Ms. for *all* women. Married, widowed, divorced, single. Just as we use Mr. for *all* men whether married, widowed, divorced or single. So there is no salutation "Mrs/Ms.". It was to AVOID addressing women differently according to whether they are married or not, that "Ms" was introduced.

If, as many non-native speaker say, one really can't bring oneself to use singular "they"; then it is easier to type s/he than it is to type he/she, and it reads more smoothly.

Hope that helps...


First of all thank you all of you very much indeed,
Secondly, I only wanted to be more respectful with a person while addressing her/him. Also, I think that female gender is more susceptible and creative than male gender, and they like being addressed with a more respectful way. That is why I am scrupulous. Think Anxious
That doesn't mean that male sex doesn't like being addressed with a respectful way, but what I meant that women are more sensitive. If I am wrong, correct me.
Having said "Dear Ms./Mrs. Barth, " means I gave the two possibilities,but I only wrote her "Dear Ms. Breath," I only here wrote both two possibilities, if I knew the person is a a signal female, then "Mrs."must be absolutely used. if I didn't know, then "Ms. " must be used.
Anyway, thank you very much for your help, but please don't expect anything in this could be very professional of me. If a person is determined to success in learning anything as long as s/he is still alive, s/he could success. There is no end for learning.

The point raised for discussing is knowing a person gender would help to address him/her in a correct and respectfully way.


Quote:
Edited to add: There are millions of people (of whom I am one) who don't use Mr or Ms.in addresses - using simply the person's full name i.e. NOT Mr and Mrs Lastname but Mike and Jess Lastname.


If that is possible, then it would be a reasonable addressing way.

Whoever doesn't own what he promises to those who do not deserve must not promise it.
IMcRout
Posted: Thursday, August 17, 2017 6:30:53 PM

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Drag0 wrote
Quote:
Michael is almost always a man.




Princess Michael of Kent Dancing

I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap when I was younger. (Anon)
mactoria
Posted: Friday, August 18, 2017 12:46:25 AM
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A. Cooperator: Although it is most likely that 'Karla Barth' is a female (whether married or single), I think the suggestion by Romany to skip the Mr/Mrs/Ms in the salutation and just use "Karla Barth' is indeed a reasonable solution. I've also seen some people just use the initial 'M' in a salutation (as in "M. Barth"); this isn't a recognized form as far as I know, but it works for any gender when you aren't sure.

Though you were contacting a person in Germany, it's possible that he/she is originally from another country or was given a first name that doesn't follow typical German naming traditions...these days with so much globalization and people moving from country to country, one just never knows what gender a person is from a first name. In America it's becoming increasingly common for women to have what were traditionally men's names and vice-versa (our Social Security system keeps an index of names and genders registered with it each year; Carls that are females, and some male Louises show up). Also, some people use their middle names either because they dislike their first names or in order to be unique. And it's not uncommon for females to get a traditionally male first name if a boy baby had been expected or desired (e.g. former president Obama's mother's given name was Stanley after a male relative, and she was an only child born when her mother was older when it was unlikely a second child, a boy baby, would come along).
srirr
Posted: Friday, August 18, 2017 1:49:18 AM

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As opined by others, it is difficult to guess by the first name or last name whether a person is male or female. In most of the cases, our guess is based on the common naming patterns, but that is not always correct. For the first time contact (through email), we may sometimes make a mistake. A logical person on the other side would rectify, with no grudge or bad feeling. In one of my last offices, two colleagues (one male and one female) had same first name and same last name. Many names are unisex.

As Romany said, addressing by first name avoids this hesitation, however I feel that it may lead to some unpleasant scene sometimes because of cultural differences. In Asian countries, addressing someone by first name is rude in professional circle, unless you are close. Even in non-professional life, like social associations, one may not address others by first name. The western countries have this culture. With globalization and frequent interactions with people from all parts of the world, in Asian countries too, the scene has changed. First names are now being used for addressing, mostly in the multi-national companies.
It is better to be cautious.

We are responsible for what we are, and whatever we wish ourselves to be, we have the power to make ourselves. ~ Swami Vivekanand
Y111
Posted: Friday, August 18, 2017 2:00:51 AM
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Харбин Хэйлунцзян 1 wrote:

Y111 wrote:
Typical last names also differ, e.g. Mr. Putin but Mrs. Putina.

Shouldn't that be Ms. Kabaeva?

Only if you call him Mr. Kabaev.
Харбин Хэйлунцзян 1
Posted: Friday, August 18, 2017 2:43:51 AM

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Y111 wrote:
Харбин Хэйлунцзян 1 wrote:
Shouldn't that be Ms. Kabaeva?

Only if you call him Mr. Kabaev.

I do. Always.

აბა ყვავებს ვინ დაიჭერს, კარგო? გალიაში ბულბულები ზიან.
Y111
Posted: Friday, August 18, 2017 3:03:29 AM
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How come you are not in Gulag yet? That's very suspicious. You must be working for the Kremlin.Shame on you
Romany
Posted: Friday, August 18, 2017 12:07:49 PM
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Srirr -

Yes, I know, it's still very hard for many people to use Christian names when addressing total strangers, isn't it? Many older people still can't get to grips with it in England - which was once so formal and proper.

But no, I wasn't advocating using a person's first name on meeting - in any other than a social or sporting setting. It can indeed be considered very offensive and/or condescending in many circumstances.

What I meant was their *full* name. So not "Mr.Smith", not "John" but "John Smith".

However, I wasn't referring to addressing them personally, but *literally*: - to writing their address on a letter or envelope.

Or name tags. It has just occurred to me now, that at all the business/academic events and seminars in the UK that I've been to now, only a person's full name appears on name tags. Is this just us "Down South" or is it the norm all over Britain? It was the same in Australia.

(Except that in Australia you CAN say "G'dday Alice/Malcolm" to Anyone from the Prime Minister to Harry the hobo. While a "Well done, mate" to the leader of anything - the world, or the sanitation team - and a slap of the back or the ringing of a hand would be *really* high praise indeed.)
srirr
Posted: Friday, August 18, 2017 11:42:12 PM

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Exactly. Full name can be a way, when you are not sure about the gender, and you don't know the specific professional title either (like Dr., Prof.).

The name tags are supposed to be containing only the full name, unless the professional title is very important. A His Highness should not get a name plate with only name. Also, every country has some civilian or gallantry awards, for instance we have Bharat Ratna, Padma Shri etc. (civilian honours), Param Veer Chakra, Mahavir Chakra etc. (military honours). Someone with that recognition may have a name plate with their honouring title during conferences, seminars (shown below). But of course, a person of that stature is well-known and salutation to them is not confusing. We are talking of common people whom we do not know.



We are responsible for what we are, and whatever we wish ourselves to be, we have the power to make ourselves. ~ Swami Vivekanand
TMe
Posted: Monday, August 21, 2017 8:30:35 AM

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"What's in a name? That which we call a rose

By any other name would smell as sweet."

Romeo and Juliet (II, ii, 1-2)


I am a layman.
Romany
Posted: Monday, August 21, 2017 8:36:20 AM
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Srirr - sorry I totally missed this last post of yours.

Have you come across the word 'egalitarian' yet? It's an adjective meaning equality. And so it becomes an adjective used often in democracies: - where all persons are regarded as equal. This is one reason we just use name tags or addresses stating the person's name. The other is because, contrary to a comment above about how women should be treated differently, more deferentially; men and women across the free world do not agree with this.

For most of the last century people of both genders wondered why, when we meet a man, we have no idea whether they are single or married - they are just "Mr.". But that, the instant you meet a woman, their title immediately defines their marital status, depending on whether they are Mrs. or Miss Golightly. Unless one is joining a dating agency, there is absolutely no reason for anyone to mention their marital status. You're going to work with them, or buy things from them, or be taught by them, or instruct them....why on earth would single females be addressed differently?

In the old days any woman introduced as "Miss" was immediately considered "available". Rather than talking about whatever they were there to discuss, men often wasted time with the "Miss" by flirting with them etc. Now, the world has changed. I've many on-line colleagues whom I've never met in person. I have no idea whether some of them are male or female - and I certainly have no idea who is married and who isn't. Because it's totally unimportant. As long as we can talk about C16th poetry, or answer each others questions about sartorial innovations, or how to use lime plaster in restorative work, what difference does it make if the "Chris" I'm talking to is male or female, married or not?

So egalitarianism - a political concept - has had effects on our language. Not many people consider the role that politics has had on our language since 1066 - but it's huge. Language does not evolve in a vacuum - it is influenced by what is happening in the world.

And at the moment egalitarianism is in danger due to events in the American Government. The aim of the current incumbent is to get rid of all the social advances that are in place to ensure social advancement - and so his small minority group of supporters are encouraging getting rid of equality of address as well. (Actually, they've never accepted it, which is why they are a minority group.)

Thus, language becomes more important than ever.You may have come across the quotation "By their words shall ye know them?"? Thus gendered, divisive, and hyperbolic language now has a political side to it. Those who continue to call for the use of gendered, divisive and hyperbolic language are those who support also racism, bigotry & sexism through their chosen leader.

Thus things which a huge proportion of English learners consider completely unimportant - like calling someone Miss or Mrs, using the so-called "inclusive" pronoun 'he'; choice of words; nuance, manners: - have now become part of a political statement.

ESL learners are, of course, totally free to continue to use gendered language. But the difference which has crept into that choice is that now those who continue to use it are not just dismissed as old-fashioned, but as supporters of a particular regime.

It's something to think about - and it's a huge matter for discussion currently in every English-speaking country.
Y111
Posted: Monday, August 21, 2017 9:16:05 AM
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Romany wrote:

when we meet a man, we have no idea whether they are single or married

But you have the idea that he is a man, don't you? Why then would you call him "they"?
Romany
Posted: Monday, August 21, 2017 10:16:12 AM
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I have no idea. Why would one do something like that? It's completely silly.
Y111
Posted: Monday, August 21, 2017 10:39:04 AM
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But you did it in the part of your post that I cited. "Meet a man" but "they are single or married". Why is that man that you meet referenced further as "they"?
Romany
Posted: Monday, August 21, 2017 2:54:20 PM
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Ah-hah - I actually edited that section - I'd originally used the plural "men" but there was a rather salacious feel to "meeting men" so I changed it to singular "a man" and omitted to change 'they' to 'he'. Sorry if anyone else noticed and was confused.
Харбин Хэйлунцзян 1
Posted: Monday, August 21, 2017 3:48:42 PM

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Romany wrote:
Sorry if anyone else noticed and was confused.

No confusion. That's political correctness taken to its ultimate:



აბა ყვავებს ვინ დაიჭერს, კარგო? გალიაში ბულბულები ზიან.
Yarin
Posted: Monday, August 21, 2017 6:52:17 PM
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აბა ყვავებს ვინ დაიჭერს, კარგო? გალიაში ბულბულები ზიან.

to which language those characters belong.
Харбин Хэйлунцзян 1
Posted: Monday, August 21, 2017 7:04:21 PM

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Yarin wrote:
to which language those characters belong.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georgian_language

აბა ყვავებს ვინ დაიჭერს, კარგო? გალიაში ბულბულები ზიან.
Tovarish
Posted: Monday, August 21, 2017 10:10:09 PM

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Kim and Kerry are other names that can be either gender.
Y111
Posted: Tuesday, August 22, 2017 1:19:15 AM
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Харбин Хэйлунцзян 1 wrote:
Romany wrote:
Sorry if anyone else noticed and was confused.

No confusion. That's political correctness taken to its ultimate:

Actually I was a bit disappointed when that turned out not to be it. Romany is not that advanced yet. Angel
Ashwin Joshi
Posted: Tuesday, August 22, 2017 5:16:15 AM

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Shame on you Shame on you Shame on you Shame on you Shame on you

Me Gathering Pebbles at The Seashore.-Aj
Tovarish
Posted: Wednesday, August 23, 2017 9:32:46 PM

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Bad manners and personal attacks are not acceptable on TFD.
Y111
Posted: Thursday, August 24, 2017 2:30:35 AM
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Tovarish wrote:
Bad manners and personal attacks are not acceptable on TFD.

Do you mean my joke about Romany not being advanced enough? I thought it would be recognized as such. Sorry if it sounded offensive. Good and bad manners are a cultural thing, they vary from one culture to another. People here come from different societies, and such mistakes are inevitable, I guess.
Tovarish
Posted: Thursday, August 24, 2017 9:54:34 PM

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Only if we learn from our mistakes Y111, I accept your apology and yes sometimes I have difficulties explaining Aussie humor.
Romany
Posted: Friday, August 25, 2017 11:44:21 AM
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Y111 -

Tip: here on TFD we've wanted a "just joking" icon ever since the forum began. Because the moderators have never listened to our plea we use this icon Whistle if we are joking/being ironic. I know you *did* put an icon: good on you. It just wasn't the "I'm joking" one.

I sometimes automatically use the social media signal for the same thing ( s/ )here too, knowing that if there *is* anyone confused by this they'll ask me what it means.Dancing
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