A NEW PRODUCT FEATURE TO BREAK GENDER BIAS
ElaN Languages’ online translation tool introduces ‘the unbias button’
Promoting gender-neutral language in line with International Women’s Day 2019’s theme #BalanceforBetter
Amsterdam, 7 March 2019 - A long line of research shows that the words we use directly affect the way we think. Whether we notice it or not, our language is infused with countless gender-biased words. In a sociolinguistic study it is clearly stated that ‘language appears to play a particularly important role in forming people’s attitudes toward gender and occupation’.
So how does this affect our daily lives? And what is the impact in the workplace?
The effects that gender bias has on language can influence women to be ‘less likely to apply for jobs with masculine suffixes’. The terms cameraman, mailman, fireman and salesman create a biased view on what we, as a society, think are appropriate roles for men and women.
How can we transition to a gender-balanced world, if these biases remain part of our vernacular? ELaN Languages, an independent translation organisation in Belgium, wants to tackle our unconscious bias by updating their online translation tool with a new feature: ‘the unbias button’. The plug-in offers unbiased translations of biased words. Making us aware of our unconscious bias by translating bias words, such as job titles, into gender-neutral words.
Fireman becomes fire fighter, mailman becomes mail carrier. And the reverse is also true, with midwife becoming birth assistant. Thus thousands of biased words in the ElaN Languages database receive an unbiased translation into English, when the ‘the unbias button’ is applied.
Try it out for yourself here www.elanlanguages.com/en/free-translation
When you write a line of text in a non-English language with for example the German word ‘kameramann’ and translate it into English - then you'll see the blue 'unbias button' popping up. Click that to see the unbiased option.
This new feature’s release coincides with International Women’s Day 2019. This year, IWD’s theme is how to strive for a gender-balanced world. #BalanceforBetter is this year’s rallying cry and ElaN’s unbias button is a great way to put this rallying cry into practice.
Watch the video here:
“As a translation, language and communication training partner, we are a strong proponent of gender-neutral language so that all readers can relate to the texts in front of them: men, women, and people who don’t identify with either of these. Our ‘unbias button’ ties in seamlessly with our mission: helping people to understand one another better and thus creating a sense of belonging.”
"We’ve been working with ElaN Languages for a few years now, and they’ve always been at the forefront of what translation means in the lives of people. That importance shines through in this new idea, for which ElaN adapted their online product. A fundamental change, which they felt was urgently needed to help achieve a gender-balanced world."
To inspire change throughout the translation business, ELaN will make this extensive database of gender-neutral words available to the giants of this industry such as Google Translate and iTranslate and Yandex Translate.
Sources research: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5774006/
DOWNLOAD IMAGES HERE:
CREDITLIST ElaN – The unbias button
CLIENT: ElaN Languages
Robrecht Belien - CEO ElaN Languages
Johan Noël - Business Development Director
Stijn Phlix - Communications Officer
AGENCY: J. Walter Thompson Amsterdam
Bas Korsten - Creative Partner
Friso Ludenhoff - Creative Director
Maarten Vrouwes - Creative Director
Tunchan Kalkan - Director / Sr. Art Director
Marius Gottlieb - Creative
Jasper Korpershoek - Creative
Robert Harrison - Director / DOP
Wybe Sallows - Digital Strategy Director
Charlotte Lilly - Concept producer
Jessica Hartley - PR Director
Tim Arnold - Editing, Motion Graphics & Sound Design
Hannah Whitely - Voice-over
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