Now the EU-words po­lice ban mankind and man­power in gen­der ‘non­sense’

Daily Express - - NEWS - By Macer Hall Po­lit­i­cal Editor

EUROCRATS were un­der fire last night for se­cretly ban­ning words such as “mankind” and “stew­ardess” in trans­lated doc­u­ments.

Last month staff in Brus­sels and Stras­bourg were given a new handbook en­ti­tled Gen­der Neu­tral Lan­guage In The Euro­pean Par­lia­ment.

They were told “to re­duce as much as pos­si­ble the use of gen­der-spe­cific terms” and avoid ref­er­ences to “women or men”.

Ex­am­ples in­clude re­plac­ing “chair­man” with “chair or chair­per­son”, “po­lice­man or po­lice­woman” with “po­lice of­fi­cer” and “spokesman” by “spokesper­son”.

The word “stew­ardess” must be re­placed by “flight at­ten­dant” and school head­mas­ters and head­mistresses should be re­ferred to as “di­rec­tor” or “prin­ci­pal”.

The book says: “The use in many lan­guages of the word ‘man’ in a wide range of id­iomatic ex­pres­sions which re­fer to both men and women, such as man­power, lay­man, man-made, states­men, com­mit­tee of wise men, should be dis­cour­aged.


“With in­creased aware­ness, such ex­pres­sions can usu­ally be made gen­der-neu­tral.”

Sep­a­rate guide­lines are set out for lan­guages such as French or Ger­man in which nouns have a gram­mat­i­cal gen­der.

Ex­plain­ing the rea­son for the new rules, the handbook says: “Gen­der-neu­tral or gen­der­in­clu­sive lan­guage is more than a mat­ter of po­lit­i­cal cor­rect­ness.”

Last night Ru­pert Matthews, Tory MEP for the East Mid­lands, tabled a writ­ten par­lia­men­tary ques­tion which led to the up­dated guide­lines be­ing re­vealed.

He said: “The Eurocrats have im­posed their own ver­sion of po­lit­i­cally cor­rect lan­guage on to the ap­proved English.

“The end re­sult can be hi­lar­i­ous – it can also hin­der proper un­der­stand­ing dur­ing de­bates. More than once I have lis­tened to a trans­la­tion and thought: ‘What on earth does that mean?’

“This se­cre­tive guid­ance that I have man­aged to un­earth shows the non­sense that the EU trans­la­tors have to deal with when try­ing to make dif­fer­ent lan­guages in­tel­li­gi­ble.

“Un­doubt­edly English will re­main a key com­mon lan­guage in the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment and EU Com­mis­sion af­ter Brexit.


“It is the only lan­guage that they all have in com­mon. Given this guid­ance I can only say, ‘Good luck with that.’

“In the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment we have to put up with what we call ‘Euro-English’.

“It is not a real lan­guage but a hideous hy­brid put to­gether to en­able trans­la­tors for whom English is a sec­ond lan­guage talk to each other.

“The Bulgarian ver­sion of English is dif­fer­ent to that taught in schools in Por­tu­gal and nei­ther is close to col­lo­quial English that we all speak in Blighty.

“The Eurocrats have cre­ated their own ver­sion of English that … adds to the Tower of Ba­bel that is the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment.”

Lee Rother­ham, au­thor of sev­eral books about the EU, said: “Po­lit­i­cally cor­rect Euro-English means we will need in­ter­preters for the in­ter­preters.”

The handbook adds: “The aim of these guide­lines is to en­sure that, as far as pos­si­ble, non-sex­ist and gen­der-in­clu­sive lan­guage is used also in the Par­lia­ment’s doc­u­ments and com­mu­ni­ca­tions.

“Lan­guage pow­er­fully re­flects and in­flu­ences at­ti­tudes.

“In or­der to treat all gen­ders equally, ef­forts have been em­ployed since the 1980s to propose a gen­der-neu­tral/gen­der-fair/ non-sex­ist use of lan­guage, so that no gen­der is priv­i­leged, and prej­u­dices against any gen­der are not per­pet­u­ated.”

The se­cret handbook for trans­la­tors

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