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The Strictly Spanish Blog


Linguistic Confusion?: Possible Implications of Googles Gender-Bias Announcement on Spanish Translations

1/11/2019 by Sara Leonhartsberger

Last month, Google announced a development within Google Translate concerning potential translation gender-bias. When the gender of professional terms such as “doctor” or “nurse” are unknown, Google Translate will now offer both masculine and feminine translations instead of only masculine; this applies in particular to many Romance (Latin-derived) languages, such as Spanish, French, Italian, and Portuguese. The Google development aligns with the movement to eliminate perceived gender-bias within language, most often argued concerning English pronoun-usage. However, when considering the Romance languages, concerns of what this movement may entail on a linguistic level emerge, preeminently the standardized, grammatical structure of these languages.

 

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