https://www.duolingo.com/profile/W-Ruggles-Wolfe

The Academie Française changes its stance on the feminization of job titles

"The notoriously conservative Academie Francaise, which polices the language and has long resisted change, said there was now "no obstacle in principle" to the wholesale feminization of job titles.

...

It said the debate about the use of the -eure ending in docteure, for example, "does not constitute a threat to the structure of the language as long as the final 'e' was not pronounced"."

https://www.france24.com/en/20190228-french-language-academie-francaise-feminisation-professions

February 28, 2019

20 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/angus390025

-teure ?

why not -trice ?

Interestingly, the anglophone world is going in the other direction. Whereas we once had waiters and waitresses, we now have servers. Whereas we once had stewards and stewardesses, we now have flight attendants. And "actress" is so 1989.

March 1, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FrenchByte

Well, server has another meaning so that'd be something to look out for if it becomes main.

March 1, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/W-Ruggles-Wolfe

@angus390025:

Who knows the logic of the thing. :)

I did find the following article, which includes 2015 survey results :

https://www.lequotidiendumedecin.fr/actualites/article/2015/07/17/docteure-doctoresse-un-sondage-sur-le-feminin-de-docteur-anime-la-toile_765491

March 1, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bouchka1

@Angus - "autrice" is accepted by the Le Petit Robert dictionary.

March 1, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Louradour5

This week I came across "cheffe", feminization of "chef". Actually I wouldn't like to be called a cheffe.

March 2, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/W-Ruggles-Wolfe

Hum. I'm not certain how to pronounce «cheffe» - is it the same as «chef»?

As a sidenote: I don't envy how this will impact the DL French team. 1) I expect it will take time to identify the 'correct' feminization variant, and 2) regional differences will exist. Makes building/maintaining the 'tree' a little more tricky.

March 2, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/angus390025

I don't envy how this will impact the DL French team.

Based on what I've read from French bloggers, op-ed columnists, bloviators, and other writers, many native Francophones don't seem to take the French Academy as seriously as the French Academy takes itself. My guess is: zero impact.

A similar attitude exists, to some degree, in the hispanophone world regarding La Real Academia Española, which also takes itself very seriously.

Fortunately the English had the good sense never to invent such a beast.

March 2, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cleanthe3

My guess is: zero impact.

I would say it could have an impact if the journalists "jouent le jeu" . If the journalists on the news start using some of these words, people might be using them too. Lots of people still watch the news on tv, we're influenced so much by them (our optimism or negativity toward our society, our standard accent, what kind of language we use :polite or familiar, and the vocabulary) . I already heard "autrice" or "auteuse" arrghh I don't remember but someone used it as an ordinary word as if it was already common .

March 3, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

"Chef" and "cheffe" are homophones, and "cheffe" is not (yet) recognized by the AF.

For the time being, we won't change anything but Duo may choose to add variants to their house-trees.

March 3, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/W-Ruggles-Wolfe

@sitesurf:

I figured as much.

Out of curiousity - what resource do you use to determine if variants are AF recognized or not?

March 3, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

Le dictionnaire de l'Académie Française:

http://www.dictionnaire-academie.fr/article/A9P4464

March 3, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sharon275517

Gotta love that little dig they still gotta get in there: "as long as the final e was not pronounced." Welcome to the south of France, Academy :-P .

Remember that Electric Company song about silent E? Who knew that it could be a threat to the structure of an entire language!

February 28, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/W-Ruggles-Wolfe

@Sharon275517

The entire article made me smile/giggle. Many sharp 'gabs' thrown (all very polite and precise, of course).

February 28, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/...dennis...

Gendered nouns seems so baked into all the Romance languages. I can't image them changing in the near future. I like neutral nouns. They make grammar so much easier. Just be grateful you're not learning Latin.

March 1, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/angus390025

I had this sentence today using the Practice feature on duolingo:

"My son's teacher is a young Portuguese woman."

I typed "Le professeur de mon fils est une jeune Portugaise."

If I had been thinking about it, I would have typed "La professeure de mon fils est une jeune Portugaise" just to test the water. If I get it again I'll type that, then report it, and we'll see if it gets added. That should answer your sidenote question.

March 3, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/chemgeostats

So should I refer to my female doctor as "la docteur" or "la docteure"?

March 2, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

Le médecin.

"Docteur" is a title for anyone with a doctorate.

March 2, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SabineBH

La doctoresse. It's one of those feminine titles that has been around for quite a while.

March 4, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

"La doctoresse" was mostly used to refer to the doctor's wife.

March 4, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/angus390025

I noticed something today in the catalan course. In spanish, el médico (the physician) is la médico if it is feminine. (no change to médica, only the definite article changes.) In Catalan, el metge becomes la metgessa. So apparently this is already a thing in some Romance languages.

March 9, 2019
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