French language guardians overturn centuries-old ban on trade and professional names

Female researchers, authors and firefighters in France could soon be known as chercheuses, autrices and sapeuses-pompières after the conservative Académie Française abandoned years of opposition to the feminisation of job titles.

The Immortals, as the 36 guardians of the French language are known, said they saw “no obstacle in principle” to the change, and were happy to envisage “all developments in the language aimed at recognising the place women have in society today”.

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