Transcript S2E2: The NoNa System

Here is the transcript of S2E2: The NoNa System. You can read more about this episode on the episode web page.

This transcript has been edited for readability.


LG = Luke Green
NF = Noah Frank
JM = Jona Moro


LG: In the previous episode we talked about the German language and the LGBTIQ+ community. In that episode, we mentioned some ways that people can use the German language in a gender-neutral way, and how there is no real fully-established set of pronouns that can compare to the singular they in English. Setting up a new gender-neutral grammatical system in German is a big job. It’s not just about coming up with a new pronoun. You have to consider the four cases in German, and the fact that grammatical gender is entwined into so many parts of speech, so you have to create new forms for a lot of existing words. As daunting as this task may be, it can be considered a necessity for people who would otherwise remain unseen in language. In this episode I’ll be talking to two people who have taken it upon themselves to create a whole new grammatical system for German which allows people to talk about others in a gender-neutral way. So let’s dive in, let’s crack on with the show.

[Theme music]

This is Yellow of the Egg, the podcast where we ask holes into the belly of the German language. I’m Luke Green and this is series 2 episode 2, The NoNa System.

[Theme music]

NF: The NoNa system is a grammatical system we two developed because we saw there was a need for it. It helps people to speak or to write German in a gender-neutral way.

JM: The idea was that there is a need in German to find a way to express yourself in a gender-neutral way, as there is no general way to do that, other than in English, for example, where you have they/them, which is a lot easier and I wish we had that in German too, but we don’t. And, yeah. Our system is basically a proposal to do exactly that, to express yourself in a gender-neutral way in German.

NF: I’m Noah. I’m 28 years old. I work as a teacher for kids with special needs. I also study Scandinavian studies at a university in Vienna.

JM: I’m Jona, I’m 26, and I’m an actor, but also studying international development. Maybe gender is relevant in this case as well. I’m non-binary, and also agender. So I don’t have a feeling for what it means to have a gender.

LG: Jona Moro and Noah Frank are both non-binary, and have come up with their own grammatical system which allows people to be more gender-neutral when speaking German.

JM: German is a very, very gendered language, it’s a lot harder than English, and you need a lot more forms and grammatical rules to do that.

NF: And for us it was important to develop something we feel comfortable with, because we didn’t feel represented in the German language, so we had the need to do something, yeah.

LG: As we talked about in the previous episode, English has the wonderful pronoun they, which is used all the time to refer to people without mentioning their gender, maybe because we don’t know their gender, it’s not important to the context, or because the person in question identifies as neither male nor female. German doesn’t have its own they, which can make talking about non-binary people a little trickier.

JM: Nearly all the time, it was one of the first questions, at least I was asked when came out as non-binary to people, that they just asked, “yeah, how should I talk about you then?” Because in German, er and sie is very present, and there’s not a lot of alternatives that people know of, actually, or none that people know of. So, we had to deal with that question from the very beginning. And we tried to find, at first, a pronoun that fits. We googled, we searched through the internet, through various websites, and didn’t really find something we felt comfortable with. So, we had to find our own way to do it. Because there are new pronouns in German, actually quite a lot of proposals, but they just didn’t feel right for us.

NF: Yeah, and a pronoun is something very personal, so it has to fit, and you have to feel good with it. And we had the chance to choose or to make something new, and we took the chance and did it. And we are quite happy with the pronouns we have now.

LG: It’s taken a couple of years to get to this point though.

NF: It was about two years ago, I think, when we met for the first time. It was some kind of a peer group meeting for trans people, and yeah, we met there. After that we stayed in contact via WhatsApp, and were just writing back and forth. And some day we started writing about pronouns, and I said, “yeah, I hate to think about it. I don’t have anything to use for myself.” And Jona wrote back, “yeah, it’s the same for them”. And so we decided to meet and have a real discussion about pronouns and how to do and maybe to develop some for us. And we did that. And yeah, after that, we started trying how it felt to use them.

JM: But I, at first, actually didn’t think that we would have to develop something. I thought we would find something.

NF: Yes, I did, actually. [laughs]

JM: Really? That’s interesting. [laughs]

NF: Yeah. Then we had the pronouns, and we thought they were good, and we were quite happy with them. And after that, yeah, we found out, OK, German is so complicated. We need more grammatical forms. We need articles, we need forms for the adjectives, we need something for the nouns. And so, we met again and again and again, and developed all the stuff. After some time and many hours of work, we realised we had nearly a whole system of gender-neutral language for German, and we decided it would be a good idea to make it public and to have a website, to give other people the possibility to see it and to find it and maybe use it if they can and if they want.

LG: The development of this system went from being something to address a problem Jona and Noah were experiencing themselves, to a potential resource for other people.

JM: Well, the original idea, or the start of it was, as I said before, that we find something we feel comfortable with, but what we soon realised was that there might be other people as well who are struggling with similar problems or questions, and so we thought, OK, why not make it public, and make a website, so that everyone can reach it and access it, and maybe just take a few things out of it or take the whole system. We just wanna support people who might need it.

LG: Their website is I’ll link to it in the shownotes and on the podcast website.

NF: What I like about the website is, when I come out to people as non-binary, and I tell them, “yeah, please use these pronouns and these forms and so on”, they’re just looking like “yeah, OK, but how does it work? I don’t know!” and I can just send them a link, and, yeah, “have a look at the website, and if you have more questions, come back and ask me”. But it’s so much easier than explaining again and again to people, so I just send them the link, and it works quite well.

JM: And I also feel like it takes some pressure off people because they can look at it in quiet and how long they want, and they just, yeah, can think about it themselves, and then come back with their questions, if they have some. But yeah. It takes out some of the pressure of doing the right thing and saying the right words, and yeah.

LG: I can imagine that if someone received a link to a website containing a bunch of new and different pronouns and inflections and grammar rules, it might be a bit daunting and there could be some resistance or feelings of being overwhelmed.

NF: The first reactions mostly are, “oh my god, grammar? I don’t understand anything about grammar. It’s too difficult for me. I don’t even understand the normal German grammar, so I don’t know if I can learn it.” That’s mostly the first reaction we get from people. I understand that. I know grammar is not something very easy for many people, but I think it makes it easier for them if they can have a look at the website, and take their time and learn it. But yeah, it takes time, we can say, it takes time. And I’m not sure all the time if people do want to take the time to look at it really for a longer period of time and really want to learn it. Sometimes they feel as if using the binary pronouns that are already existing is easier. And people are also very afraid of making mistakes. I really would like to tell them it’s not a problem if they make mistakes. It’s the same for me when I’m learning a language, I’m also afraid of making mistakes, of course, and the same with our pronouns and our grammar. So really, there’s no need to worry about mistakes. You learn it by making mistakes, and that’s okay. And just ask if you have any questions.

JM: Yeah. It’s a matter of trying, and not making it right in the first moment.

LG: And it’s important to note too that the NoNa system is by no means an attempt to change the existing grammar of German or to replace the pronouns that already exist.

NF: Yes. That’s very important, because of course we need the other pronouns too. There are many people who use it. We wouldn’t erase them. It wouldn’t be a good idea. But we’re just adding our pronouns for those who don’t want to use the binary pronouns.

LG: So let’s get into the NoNa system itself. Before we dive into what it actually looks like, where does the name NoNa come from?

NF: There are two explanations for the name. The first one is, yeah, we put together our two names. So, the first part “No” is the first two letters of my name, Noah, and the third and fourth letters are from Jona’s name. So, NoNa. And the second explanation is about what it means in Austrian dialect, actually. So, there’s a saying, nona.

JM: Well, it’s kind of complicated also to explain it in High German, actually, because there is no real translation even to High German, but it means something like- You can say “nona” if something is clear anyways. So, if I tell you, “I’m a person”, you can say “nona”. “Yeah, of course. Of course you’re a person”. But it’s, yeah, kinda hard to explain or translate it, actually.

NF: You have to feel it. [laughs]

LG: You could say it’s similar to the German word “eh”, where in English you might say something like “well, duh”, although “nona” doesn’t have to be quite as rude. So if someone says something that’s obvious, you can say “eh”, or some people might say “nona”.

NF: And there’s also a longer version of it. You can also say “nanonanet”. [laughs]

JM: To make it easier to explain we can add this! [laughs]

LG: You probably won’t hear this expression a lot if you’re surrounded by standard German though.

JM: I think it’s more common in rural areas, or areas where you can hear more dialect than in Vienna.

NF: But also older people in Vienna who still speak dialect. So you can also hear it in Vienna, but not the young people, actually, yeah.

LG: It’s quite nice that NoNa on the one hand is made up of Noah’s and Jona’s names, but on the other hand has this meaning of something being obvious or clear. For me it’s like expressing that it should go without saying that non-binary people are represented in language too, even if that’s not the case yet. So let’s get into the nitty-gritty of the NoNa system and what it looks like. Perhaps the most important pronoun to come up with in this context is an equivalent of they, so a personal pronoun as an alternative to the er/sie binary.

NF: So, we have the pronouns in German er for ‘he’ and sie for ‘she’, and in the NoNa system, we have the pronoun hen, which is the gender-neutral pronoun.

LG: So to say, “they are hungry”, with “they” referring to a single person, this would be, “hen hat Hunger”. But of course it’s not as simple as just coming up with one new word. German has to make it more complicated.

NF: So, you have four cases in German, and for us it was important to have cases also for the pronouns and for the other forms too. So, the second case is hens, there we have the ‘s’. The third case is hem, because the ‘m’ is quite common in the third case in German. The fourth case is the same as the first. So it’s again hen. Hen, hens, hem, hen. Maybe I can give an example sentence to make it a bit more clear. So, if I want to say, “I’m meeting with Jona today”, I could say, “ich treffe heute Jona” or “ich treffe Jona heute”, or “ich treffe heute hen”, instead of Jona. If I were to meet someone else which is, I don’t know, a boy, I would say “ich treffe ihn”, or if I would meet a girl I would say “ich treffe sie”. So, that’s how to use it.

LG: Having a brand-new pronoun in hen is important since you can’t really follow the English pattern of using the third person plural. It’s ok for they to have a secondary, singular meaning, but as we mentioned in the previous episode, the third person plural sie already has the secondary meaning of being the polite form of address.

JM: Yeah. And also, like, this sie is also the singular ‘she’, so it’s getting really messy and complicated.

NF: Yeah, and it sounds very feminine too because of that, and yeah, it wouldn’t feel good.

LG: So where did hen come from?

NF: The hen, it already exists in Swedish as a gender-neutral pronoun, actually, and I knew that because I study Swedish, or Scandinavian studies with Swedish as my first language there. And we had the two pronouns er and sie, and they don’t-

JM: They don’t have much in common.

NF: Yeah. They don’t have much in common. So we could take anything we wanted, we realised. And we liked the sound of hen, we liked how it looked. It was a short word and it had only one syllable like the other two ones. So yeah. And we could easily put it in other cases, that worked too.

JM: And actually, we came across hen before in our research, but it was flexed [inflected] differently, or not at all, I’m not sure.

NF: I think not at all.

JM: Yeah. And so, we liked the idea of hen, but adapted it for our purposes then.

LG: So we have hen for nominative, hens for genitive, hem for dative and hen again for accusative. The pattern of having the same form for both the nominative and the accusative goes along with what happens a lot in standard German anyway. For instance, es is both nominative and accusative, die and das are both nominative and accusative, and so on. And any way of making German grammar simpler has to be welcomed. This pattern is carried over into the definite articles too. Again, English is great here, we just have the, no genders. Jona and Noah had to find a way to get around the der, die and das.

NF: We had quite a long discussion about that. It was not easy to find forms for der-die-das, a neutral form. And our article is dai, so it’s written D-A-I, dai. And in the four cases, dai, dais, dam, dai.

JM: So, very similar to hen.

NF: Yes. And why did we take it? Yeah, we had a lot of thinking, a lot of experimenting with letters, and yeah.

JM: Basically, the first letter was pretty clear. We waned to also have a ‘d’ because all of the other articles, definite articles, in German start with a ‘d’, so that was kind of a logical thing to do.

NF: And it should be three letters.

LG: To match the existing definite articles.

JM: And after ‘d’ you don’t have many options in German to use some vocal. And so we tried which one would fit, and also then just went through-

NF: Went through a list of letters.

JM: Yeah, went through the alphabet over and over again and tried different combinations, and in the end we had some options, and this was the most practical one, I think.

LG: One issue that came up in the process of developing these articles was the fact that the people who were going to be using this system weren’t necessarily going to be speaking standard German. There are going to be people who speak a dialect.

NF: It was important for us that people who speak dialect, and there are many people in Austria who speak dialect, they should also be able to use it in a way that feels good for them. And Jona speaks also a dialect, so it was very important to have this in mind.

JM: Yeah. And that’s also kind of one problem we came across with other suggestions for articles in German, because dee is a very common suggestion, I think.

NF: Yeah. Written D-E, you mean? Or D-E-Y?

JM: D-E-Y or D-E-E, even.

NF: Ah, yeah.

JM: And the problem with that is that it’s very common in dialects to use it, but to use it for feminine people, and also for plural. So it’s basically the same as sie but in dialect. So, yeah. Those are the problems we also came across and had to find something that doesn’t already have some connotation in a dialect.

LG: Anyone who has learned German or has started learning German will know that there is quite a difference between the inflections of the definite articles and those of the indefinite articles. Again, English makes it nice and simple with the indefinite article a, the only change being to an before vowels, but that has nothing to do with gender. In standard German, we have ein and eine, and then of course all of the inflections, einer, einem, eines and so on. So what is the indefinite article in the NoNa system?

NF: It’s eint, with a ‘t’ at the end.

LG: And how would this be inflected?

NF: The inflection of eint is eint, einter, eintem, eint.

JM: So, we have the ‘m’ again in the third case, but for the second case we chose einter because the ‘m’ in this case is very masculine aligned, so we tried to use a feminine-aligned ending for the second one.

LG: After an article, there’s usually a noun. And because German is German, a lot of the nouns are also explicitly marked for gender, especially those referring to people. Think of Kellner, Kellnerin. In the NoNa system, you would usually use an asterisk before the feminine ending -in, as has become commonplace in contexts such as university. This asterisk is often referred to in German as the Gendersternchen.

NF: It’s pronounced with a short pause. For example, Arbeiter*in. And it includes all genders, so you don’t have to say Arbeiter, Arbeiterin and Arbeiter*in. But Arbeiter*in is for everyone. So it’s also good to have a short form, a short version of it. And I think it’s easy to pronounce, it’s easy to write. There are many people who don’t like the star. We have another possibility to use the- it’s a point or a little dot in the middle of the line, I don’t know. In German it’s called Mittelpunkt. It can be used instead of the Gendersternchen or asterisk.

JM: And we also thought, the asterisk is quite common in German. So the idea was also to make it as accessible as possible to people, and as easy to learn as possible. So, to use what is already there seemed useful.

LG: Sometimes in addition to an article and a noun, you might also have an adjective, which in German has to be inflected according to the type of article, the case, and – you guessed it – the gender. The NoNa system offers a relatively simple solution to this though.

JM: We thought about that a lot, and our solution now is to take the so-called feminine form in the middle. So, eint gute Mitarbeiter*in, for example. Because you already have the clear signs of gender neutrality in the beginning and the end, so it’s the easiest way to do it, to not have another ending in the middle which you have to think about.

LG: On their website, Jona and Noah suggest gender-neutral forms of many other kinds of pronouns, determiners and other parts of speech. For example, as an alternative for jeder und jede, they suggest jedai, using their definite article. Similarly, for dieser and diese, they have diesai, and for jener und jene, they have jenai, and so on. So far all this sounds quite theoretical. Let’s hear how this would all sound in practice. See if you can pick out some of the new forms we’ve heard.

NF: So, we have an example for an email which someone writes to their colleagues, and it would sound like this:

Liebe Kolleg*innen,

ich möchte euch bitten, ab sofort in eurer mündlichen und schriftlichen Sprache geschlechtsneutrales Deutsch nach dem NoNa-System zu verwenden. Nächste Woche findet dazu außerdem ein Vortrag, gehalten von eintem Vorgesetzten von uns, dai eint Expert*in auf dem Gebiet ist, statt. Wenn eint von euch Fragen hat, kann hen sich gerne bei mir melden, ich nehme mir für jedai Zeit.

LG: Maybe you could hear eintem, eint, jedai, and some glottal stops in the nouns before the -in endings. A bit of everything in there.

JM: Yeah, that’s also the idea with our examples on the website. We have short examples after every grammatical form, but then we also have a few examples which combine those to get a feeling for what it means to write or read or speak in the NoNa system.

LG: Now, the system that Jona and Noah have come up with is not a finished product, rather it’s continually being worked on, and there are some areas in the German language that are extremely difficult to make gender-neutral. Take the example of du Armer.

JM: Well, it’s kind of hard to explain in English actually, because you don’t have that in English. In English you can say, I don’t know, “you're a poor person”, for example. But you can also- in German you can also just say “they’re poor”, but as a noun. So, Armer, Arme, something like that.

LG: In English we might say something like, “you poor thing”. In German, they drop the thing and just make a noun out of poor.

JM: It’s very difficult to find the right ending here, because it’s again different from what you can do with normal nouns, I would say. It doesn’t work in this case. And so, we have to find something else. And we didn’t quite come up with something we’re happy with. And it’s also hard because you don’t use that that much, so you can’t try very well.

NF: It’s when you directly address a person, so for example, if you tell me, “oh I’m really feeling sick today”, I would say, “oh, du Armer”.

LG: With the masculine ending -er.

NF: And if you were a woman, I would say, “du Arme”.

LG: With the feminine ending -e.

NF: And there’s no gender-neutral form for that. That would be cool to find. [laughs]

JM: Yeah, and it’s interesting because, yeah, we come across new questions. Also, when talking to people, to friends or something, who then ask us, “and how do I say this? And how to I say that?” And we’re like, “oh, sheesh, I don’t know. We didn’t come up with something for that.” And yeah. Then we add it to our list, and we work on it.

LG: Of course, there is the neuter gender in German, so in addition to du Armer and du Arme, there is du Armes. It’s fine as an adjective in phrases like du armes Kind, but does it work on its own? Du Armes?

NF: In this case some people would say it, even for people on the binary. [laughs]

JM: But only if you’re close to them, right?

NF: Yes, yes. But in other cases, I would never use the neuter form for people. Because, for me, it makes me feel like not a human but a thing. I think it’s the same in English, actually.

LG: Sometimes I think it would be easier if we just got rid of all the endings in German. No more inflections, I say! While in practice this simply wouldn’t work in most contexts, there are some situations where you could just lop off the ending.

JM: If you have to address somebody in an email or also in personal conversations, if you will, it’s not that easy again, because you have liebe or lieber, and it doesn’t really work to use the asterisk there in the common way, like to do it between the ‘e’ and the ‘r’. So we decided to just get rid of the ending basically and just say lieb, and then the asterisk, which works pretty well, actually. I think that’s one of the easiest things for people to learn it. And yeah, it’s also used very often, actually And it’s the same with sehr geehrt, which would be the formal version.

LG: There are other ways of starting an email or a conversation which get around this issue altogether.

NF: I like guten Tag, I like if someone writes sehr geehrte Person and my family name, so that’s fine. Or if someone writes guten Tag, and then first name, second name, also fine.

JM: Yeah. I think that also depends on your relationship to the person.

LG: Putting together a whole new system of grammar is a huge undertaking. Now that it’s reached a point where there is enough information to implement in speaking and writing, and since it’s now available online, who is actually using it at the moment?

NF: Well, we are. [laughs] And people around us, hopefully. They know, at least, about the system, and yeah, they try.

JM: But we also get at least some emails from other people we don’t know who came across the website in one or the other way, and who began to use it, which we’re really happy about because we have the feeling that it made sense to put it out there.

LG: And what about moving forward? What’s the hope for the NoNa system, or generally gender-neutral language in German?

JM: I’m not sure how much you can hope for within the next 5 years, for example. Because In Austria, generally, everything takes very much time to change. People don’t like adjustments and change. So, I think it’s already progress to see people use it if they refer to non-binary people. That’s already big, big progress, I think. And also, if people at least know some way to express themselves in a gender-neutral way. It doesn’t have to be NoNa system, it can also be a different form, but like, to at least have some words for it, because otherwise, if we don’t exist in language, we don’t exist at all, basically. Because how should society talk about us, so-called “us”, if we don’t have the words for it? So that would be awesome already. And of course, in a utopian world, we would also replace the generic masculinum, for example. But I don’t think that’s gonna happen soon, or maybe not at all. I don’t know.

LG: The generic masculine is when we use a masculine form to refer to all people, so for instance using Bürger for citizens, even though it’s just a masculine noun. Depending on the institution, some places do opt for a gender-neutral or a gender-inclusive form, but still a lot of contexts use the generic masculine. Some of these contexts are starting to move away from simply using the masculine gender to refer to everyone.

JM: Yeah, I think it kind of already is happening, but it’s shifting to binary forms then. So, in legal texts, or at least in like, if politicians officially address the population, they usually use binary expressions now, which is already more than like, I don’t know, five or ten years ago, so it’s already progress. But yeah, we’re still not represented in that. So there’s still some way to go.

NF: It would be actually so much shorter if you would say “liebe Österreicher*innen” instead of “liebe Österreicherinnen und Österreicher”.

JM: And also, like, in a legal way, we already – already… [laughs] – have a third gender, at least intersex people can, yeah, maybe “just take it” is too easily said. But you can get the third gender option as an intersex person, but there is still no general way in legal forms to address this part of the population, which is kind of weird, because now the state is saying, “okay, you exist, but we still don’t know how to address to you, we still don’t have a way to talk to you, or talk about you.” And there are still many many also legal forms where you only have the options to choose male and female, although you are actually obliged to have all six options now.

LG: We heard about these six options in the previous episode: männlich, weiblich, divers, inter, offen, and kein Eintrag. But, as Jona said, there are still so many places and forms to fill out where the only two options are ‘male’ and ‘female’. And all the while this continues this way, and all the while he, she and it are the only grammatical options, anyone outside of the binary is still comparatively invisible.

NF: It makes me feel excluded. It makes me feel as if I’m not part of the society that is addressed.

JM: Yeah. Not seen, non-existent in some cases. Depends on the topic or the person, but yeah. It’s really weird because we are part of society. That’s just a fact. If you like it or not, but we are.

LG: Most of us are used to using the binary he/she, er/sie, when speaking and referring to people. And even when people have the best intentions, it can be easy to slip back into using the binary, even when you’re trying to avoid it. When binary forms are used for non-binary people, or if people generally use the wrong pronouns, it can often be a stressful and awkward situation for the people being misgendered. Do you correct the person you’re talking to? Do you make a big thing out of it? Or do you just leave it and try to ignore it?

NF: It really depends on the person. I feel more comfortable with correcting persons or other people when they’re talking about, for example, Jona. So when they use the wrong pronoun for Jona, it’s easier for me to correct them, but when they’re talking about me, I, yeah, it really depends on the person. Sometimes I do correct them, but often I don’t.

JM: Yeah, it’s very easy to feel kind of selfish or self-centered, like you always have to draw attention to yourself and your pronouns. And it’s easy to feel like you’re a special snowflake or something like that, and that’s not a very good feeling most of the time. But also, I think, at least for me, the more I care about people, the more I will correct them, because I have the feeling, ‘OK it’s worth it, it’s worth my energy, and I can invest myself in it’. But if I know, ‘OK, there’s not much attachment’, or also if I get the feeling they don’t really try, then I will soon stop to correct them because I have the feeling it doesn’t make sense anyway.

LG: But the main point here is not that there is this expectation to get it right first time. The reality is that most of us have grown up with a language system that splits the world into male and female, and this binary is ingrained into us, whether we like it or not. It’s not about being perfect, but it’s about trying.

NF: I don’t have a problem with people making mistakes. I really appreciate it when they try, and I can help. I’m happy to answer questions all the time. They can write, they can look at the website. Maybe in some weeks we will have some exercises and quizzes online to learn or make it easier to learn the NoNa system. And yeah, it’s just good if people try, and I’m happy with that. And don’t be afraid of making mistakes. Just talk and just write, it’s okay, and you will go on and learn.

JM: Yeah. Trying is a matter of respect, but not getting it right.

LG: When people learn German, they learn the standard German grammatical system with the three genders, masculine, feminine and neuter. It’s not usually high on the priority list to learn ways in which to talk about people who are non-binary or agender, for instance. The question is, wouldn’t it be good for learners to get used to systems such as the NoNa system, or at least to more gender-neutral ways of speaking, so that it’s less of a challenge for them later down the line?

JM: Realistically, I think you have to differentiate between people who are kind of- who have at least some strings to queer people, or have a need to express themselves in a gender-neutral way. Because in general society, with German, you don’t need it, because everyone is just gendering in a binary way. Which is said, and I’m not happy with it, but I think that’s the reality we also have to face. And of course, I would wish for German learners to still already learn it from the beginning, but German is very complicated, and I get that it’s not the highest priority if you learn it from the start.

NF: Unfortunately, it’s true. Yeah. If you’re interested, you can find something, and you can have people to ask. And there are possibilities. And luckily, we have the internet and many possibilities to learn it and to get information.

LG: And thanks to Jona and Noah, and their website, we’re lucky enough to have one more resource that people can refer to, and one more set of options for non-binary people who do not feel represented in the German language at the moment. Again, it’s important to remember that systems like this one are not trying to replace the existing system, rather to complement it and add alternatives for people for whom the existing system is insufficient. Initiatives such as these are an important step forward towards a society where everyone, not just some people, are seen in language.

[Theme music]

Thank you so much to Jona Moro and Noah Frank for joining me for this episode. Their website,, is linked in the shownotes and on the podcast website, I’ll also put some other links and resources on there too. They also wrote an article about their NoNa system in Lambda, the magazine of the Homosexuelle Initiative Wien, or HOSI. All the information on the podcast website.

And thank you to you too for listening. The next episode will be out in two weeks. And in the meantime, you can find me on Instagram @yotepodcast, that’s Y-O-T-E-Podcast, Facebook @yellowoftheegg, and you can email me at You can also support me by leaving a lovely review and five-star rating, and by telling all your friends, family and colleagues about the podcast. In return, you’ll have my undying gratitude. Thank you so much.

So with all that being said, thank you so much for listening. Playing us out this series are Euphoniques, this time with “Who Am I Supposed To Be”. Find them on Spotify, links in the shownotes. So enjoy the song and I’ll see you in the next one. Machts es gut, servus aus Wien.

[Music: “Who Am I Supposed To Be” by Euphoniques]

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