Note: This workshop will be conducted in French only. Its
description makes sense only from a French language perspective.
: Hélène de Nayves and Frédérick Gagné
Many documents today are still written using masculine word
forms, whether or not they deal with subjects relating to women or
men. How can we adopt new writing practices that avoid using masculine
words as « generic » terms? Is it enough to just repeat each pronoun?
Which gender-feminine words to use? Is it possible to « feminize » a
text without making it word-heavy?
This seminar will familiarize participants with the general
principles of “feminizing” a text and using gender-neutral language.
It will offer diverse concrete solutions to enable writers and editors
to use wording that is seen as more neutral and inclusive.
After a brief review of the history of feminization and
gender-neutral language, the presenters will offer an overview of the
policies adopted in several francophone regions, along with the
recommendations made by the Quebec Office of the French Language
(Office québécois de la langue française) about this subject. Using
both theoretical explanations and practical exercises, participants
will study the rules to feminize words and various
formulations/expressions which are problematic, or for which usage
varies. We will also explore the solutions offered by syntactic
feminization and neutral formulation.
Hélène de Nayves has served as a terminology
specialist for the Quebec Office of the French Language since 2011.
She regularly updates and adds items to Le grand dictionnaire
terminologique, a dictionary of specialized vocabulary, as well
as the Banque de dépannage linguistique (linguistic troubleshooting
bank), an online resource of articles about grammar, orthography,
English borrowings, feminization, etc. She is jointly responsible for
language feminization for the Office.
Frédérick Gagné has served as a linguist in the
Quebec Office of the French Language since 2017. Using his background
as a lexicographer, teacher and researcher in a university setting, he
contributes to enriching the online linguistic troubleshooting bank.
He deals principally with how to handle borrowings, linguistic history
Level: all levels