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Spotlight on France

Is 'inclusive writing' endangering the French language?

Audio 09:52
L'Institute de France which incorporates  L'Academie Francaise
L'Institute de France which incorporates L'Academie Francaise Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic licence

A textbook for primary school pupils has sparked a debate in France about gender in the French language. It uses “inclusive writing”: a way of including both masculine and feminine forms of a noun.

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Those in favour say it encourages equality between men and women. Now, the Academie Francaise, the institution that oversees the French language, has weighed in saying it’s a threat to the French language. But, in English, there's no equivalent. RFI’s Sarah Elzas explains what the fuss is all about.

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