WebQuest News

News and views about the WebQuest model, a constructivist lesson format used widely around the world.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

WebQuests are Feminine. Who Knew?

I keep track of mentions of the word WebQuest using Technorati, which tracks the travails of pre-service teachers creating WebQuests in a required class, and occasionally the wails of high school kids who were assigned a WebQuest. I learn a lot from reading these unedited accounts. Increasingly there are blogs in Spanish, Portuguese and Chinese that mention WebQuests, too, and today I noticed something I hadn't thought of before: WebQuests are girly.

Here's the evidence: "Las WebQuest", "Una WebQuest", "La WebQuest", "Esta WebQuest" and there are lots more where those came from.
I wonder if that's true in German or any of the other languages that assign gender to nouns? And how do they know?

29 Comments:

At 9:00 AM, Blogger Sebastià Giralt said...

About WQ's gender

I have defended that in Catalan webquest are male (see http://www.xtec.net/~sgiralt/labyrinthus/internet/webquest.htm ), because we have the word "quest" with the same meaning than in English ("search or pursuit") and the same medieval epic connotations and it is a male noun. But I think that I am the only one who uses WQ in male form , because the other users (see for instance http://www.webquestcat.org ) prefer the female gender, not after a linguistic reflection, I guess, but just by following the use in other languages (specially Spanish).

 
At 6:18 AM, Blogger ER¡ck G¡@nc@rlo said...

TA CHVR, SIGUE ASÍ!!!!!!!!!!!!

 
At 11:46 PM, Blogger Bobr said...

In Czech language we use masculine. Even if the word quest itself is in translation feminine. Maybe Web is the leading part there. Probably the main reason is that we don't translate this term.
I don't know!

 
At 1:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In Spanish it would probably be feminine, as it would most likely translate to "busqueda del red" and the word "busqueda" is feminine. Busqueda means search, but the idea is the same.

 
At 7:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are other words the same gender in other languages, like beer. la bierre, le bierre, la cerveza, la birra? i'm not a speller.

 
At 10:00 AM, Blogger Vivian said...

In German language I'd decide to give the word Web Quest a masculine gender because of its ending. Maybe I'm wrong - the question is 'die Frage' in German.

 
At 2:19 PM, Anonymous Patrice said...

Actually quest does not mean "Frage" (that would be question) but it means Suche or Streben (See also Leo).

I personally would use "Der Webquest" (masculine) without thinking about it. Though it might actually be more correct to use the neutral form ("das Webquest" because of "das Streben") or even female again ("die Webquest" because of "die Suche").

But somehow "der Webquest" sounds more natural.

 
At 9:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My Spanish-speaking, English-as-a-Second-Language students tell me that they use the feminine because of the word "activity" follows "WebQuest" (either in reality or implied), and that the word for "activity" is feminine. In this case, I suppose, "WebQuest" is being used as an adjective.

 
At 10:57 AM, Anonymous Ilan Chamovitz said...

Em portugues, "Pesquisa" é feminino e "Internet" também. Pesquisa em Internet? Duplamente feminino!

 
At 1:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In swedish we dont have la, le, une, or una that shows the gender of the word. anyway in swedish Webquest is neutral(neutrum)

 
At 7:57 AM, Anonymous Eileen said...

To S. Giralt: is Spanish always the scapegoat? Please...what about your 'la recerca'. In any case, since they are all Romance Languages (oops, yes, they come from the same place) gender root coincidences are quite common.

 
At 3:21 AM, Anonymous Markus Knierim said...

Using my German native speaker intuition, "das WebQuest" sounds most natural to me, making it neuter. The German language community seems to be split over "der/die/das WebQuest", though: Google yields approximately the same number of hits for each gender (even though you need to watch out for compounds like "die WebQuest-Methode" [method is feminine] -- in German, the word stem determines the gender). Oh well...

 
At 5:00 AM, Blogger Sebastià Giralt said...

Well, Eileen, as a Latin teacher I know quite well that the Romance languages have the same origin... But there are some gender differences among them. For example the French word "quête" is feminine and instead in Catalan quest is masculine. I really don’t care very much if WQ feminine gender in Catalan is caused by Spanish influence or not. It was just a speculation. The question, I think, is that we have the same word quest than in English, and from the comments posted here one can think that it is the only language in which it happens (I am not sure, of course because I am not babelic). It would be a pity to forget that.

Otherwise I have just found out that some WQ builders use the word with masculine gender in Spanish. See: http://www.auladeletras.net/webquest/documentos/panorama/panorama.htm
http://platea.pntic.mec.es/~erodri1/

 
At 8:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello

We say "une webquest" (feminine) in French.

I have a question: has "Webquest" become a brand?

Bernie, when do you come to Paris, France?

I'm sure you will love it!

Valérie
ProTeachers6@wanadoo.fr

 
At 4:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In Russian, WebQuest is masculine due to its ending. Actually, the word is not widely used.

 
At 3:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In Dutch it's Masculine.

 
At 12:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In Catalan the concept is femenin (Una web quest)

 
At 11:11 PM, Blogger Hermi said...

I'm Catalan and to my the feminine form: la webquest is the most suitable one. Webpage is feminine (la pàgina web) and question is also feminine (la qüestió).

 
At 12:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi,

In french webquest is "a girl" because the gender of the word "quest" is feminine... or at least, I beleive this is how they came to choosing the gender of the webquest.

Cheers,

Gwenael Calvez

 
At 5:12 AM, Anonymous AlexT said...

As Markus mentioned before I would also use the neuter article in German: "das WebQuest". I've never heard someone using the feminine article, but sometimes read "der WebQuest" which would be the masculine form. But most commonly used is - in my opinion - "das WebQuest" and this seems to be the most natural to me.

 
At 10:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In Polish : web is feminine but WebQuest is neuter.

 
At 2:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with Ilan Chamovitz. Web quest is femenin in portuguese.
A webquest, uma Webquest.
Dulce Franco

 
At 4:33 AM, Anonymous Euclides Marques said...

Web pode significar teia que é feminino, bem como, Quest pode ser a abreviação de questão também feminino. Portanto mais uma vez duplamente feminino! :)

 
At 8:41 AM, Anonymous Wendel said...

Hello everybody! My name is Wendel Hennen and I am writing my "Zweite Staatsarbeit" about WQ as an appropriate method of dealing with Neonazism in the internet in history lesson. I always use the feminine gender, because "Quest" is from the Latin "quaestio" (search, question). In medieval German there was also the word "questje" (question) with a feminine gender. But in fact in German every gender is possible. My collegue Matthias Nolte always uses the neutrum, and we still understand each other ;-)

 
At 1:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I very much prefer the feminine gender for "WebQuest" in German, basically because it translates as "Suche" (f.) as in "Quest for the Holy Grail" = "(die) Suche nach dem Heiligen Gral".

 
At 11:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been observing some classes, and some students suggest that WebQuests are female. "Wow, this WebQuest is gonna be a -----". I don't have the language background some of the other posters have, but I'm sure that word has feminine connotations. ;)

 
At 8:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just enjoying the comments and grateful to find the site.

 
At 2:24 PM, Anonymous Matthias said...

@wendel: sorry, but I always use the feminine gender. In all my publications I write about "die WebQuest".
May be that is why we understand each other ;-)

 
At 6:57 AM, OpenID Beccahacom said...

Webquest would be feminine because the german word for quest or search is die suche. it could be die Internet such literaly or otherwise I would make it neuter as in das webquest.

 

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