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

Thu, Apr 25, 2013 - Page 10

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)