Sweden adds gender-neutral pronoun to dictionary

Sweden has added the word "hen" to its official dictionary.
By Kate Stanton  |  March 29, 2015 at 11:57 PM
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STOCKHOLM, Sweden, March 29 (UPI) -- The editors of Sweden's official dictionary have added the gender-neutral "hen" to the Swedish language.

"It's quite simple," the dictionary's editor in chief, Sven-Goran Malmgren, told The Independent on Thursday. "It is a word which is in use and without a doubt fills a function."

The Swedish language already uses the words "han," meaning "he," and "hon," meaning "she."

"Hen" can now be used when someone's gender is unknown, when someone is transgender or when gender is unnecessary in context.

According to Buzzfeed News, "han" is already used in many official texts.

"You hear it all the time on TV shows, radio, and magazines, and you don't even think about it anymore," a Swedish resident told the site. "I was confused by it when I first heard it a few years ago, but now it's just another word in our dictionary -- though with an important purpose, of course."

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