Italian dictionary Treccani embraces gender equality in major shift

Treccani tackles gender discrimination with a “revolutionary” new edition.

The historical Italian dictionary Treccani will record the feminine form of nouns and adjectives on an equal footing with the masculine and abolish gender stereotypes in its latest edition to be published in October.

For the first time in the history of Italian vocabularies, the masculine gender will not benefit from privileged treatment.

The order is also alphabetical, so if you are looking for – for example – the word “beautiful”, the feminine “bella“will be listed before the masculine”hello“.

In another breakthrough, the dictionary will record the professions of women whose titles, although existing in the Italian language, were historically considered jobs for men.

These include “lawyer” (lawyer), “sindaca“(mayor), “minister” (minister), “medical“(doctor),”note» (notary) and «soldiery” (soldier).

Similarly, the term “housewife” (casalinga) will no longer be registered only in the feminine but will also include the masculine form”casalingo“.

Likewise, the dictionary will tackle gender stereotypes by eliminating references and examples in which the woman is at home cooking and ironing while the man is usually a manager or reading a newspaper.

The new edition is presented by Treccani as “an ambitious and revolutionary project, in which tradition and progress come together to bear witness to the socio-cultural changes of our country”, recognizing and validating “new nuances, definitions and meanings”.

Giuseppe Patota, who led the changes with Valeria Della Valle, told the newspaper Corriere della Sera that the newly reorganized edition “creates absolutely no difficulty for those who consult the dictionary, but restores to the words a denied truth and reality, nullified for centuries”.

The updated dictionary will also list new terms, many of which are covid-related, such as lockdown, social distancing (social distancing), DAD (online learning), thermoscan and smart work.

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