Thu, Apr 25, 2013 - Page 10 News List

Washington State considers gender-neutral language bill
華盛頓州擬立法用中性詞

The Space Needle is seen in the background in this photo taken in Seattle, Washington State on Jan. 12.
這張一月十二日攝於華盛頓州西雅圖的照片背景,是太空針塔。

Photo: Reuters
照片:路透

In Washington State, dairymen, freshmen and even penmanship could soon be things of the past.

Over the past six years, state officials have engaged in the onerous task of changing the language used in the state’s copious body of laws, including thousands of words and phrases, many written more than a century ago when the idea of women working on police forces or on fishing boats was not a consideration.

That process is slated to draw to a close this year. So while the state has already welcomed “firefighters,” “clergy” and “police officers” into its lexicon, “ombuds” in place of “ombudsman” and “security guards” instead of “watchmen,” appear to be next, along with “dairy farmers” instead of “dairymen,” “first-year students” instead of “freshmen,” and “handwriting” instead of “penmanship.”

“Some people would say ’oh, it’s not a big thing, do you really have to go through the process of changing the language,’” said Seattle Councilmember Sally Clark, who was one of the catalysts for the change. “But language matters. It’s how we signal a level of respect for each other.”

(Liberty Times)

在華盛頓州,諸如「酪農場工人」、「大一新生」甚至「書法」這類(含有「man」字眼)字彙可能不久後將成為歷史。

在過去六年間,州政府官員一直致力於一項繁重的任務,即更換該州眾多法律的用語,包括成千上萬的單字和片語。這些法律條文很多都是一個多世紀之前撰寫的,當時根本沒有想到會有女性在警局或漁船工作。

這個進程預定在今年結束。目前,該州法律中已經修改了「消防員」(firefighters)、「神職人員」(clergy)、「警察」(police officers)等詞,下一步將是修改「監察官」(用ombuds取代ombudsman)和「警衛」(用security guards取代watchmen)等詞,隨後則是「酪農場工人」(用dairy farmers取代 dairymen),「大一新生」(用first-year students取代 freshmen)與「書法」(handwriting取代 penmanship)。

西雅圖市議員薩利‧克拉克是催化此次語言變革的人士之一,他表示:「有些人也許會說語言變革並不重要,沒必要費這麼多精力更換這些語言。但語言真的很重要,它代表了我們彼此尊重的程度。」

(自由時報/翻譯:陳成良)

TODAY’S WORDS 今日單字

1. onerous adj.

繁重的;艱鉅的 (fan2 zhong4 de5; jian1 ju4 de5)

例: This is the most onerous task in my life.

(這是我這生承擔過最艱鉅的任務。 )

2. copious adj.

大量的 (da4 liang4 de5)

例: Having written a copious amount of novels and short stories, some have called her a prolific writer.

(已寫過大量長篇與短篇小說的她,被稱為一位多產的作家。)

3. slate v.

預定;選定 (yu4 ding4; xuan3 ding4)

例: The delegation is slated to arrive next week.

(代表團預定下週抵達。)


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