Gender and Translation

Topics: Translation, Gender, Male Pages: 12 (3865 words) Published: February 16, 2011
Gender and Translation Accuracy
Salar Manafi Anari[1]
(Professor, Allameh Tabataba'i University)
Maliheh Ghodrati[2]
(M.A. Graudate from Science and Research Campus,
Islamic Azad University)

The aim of this study was to identify the role of the gender of the translator on the accuracy of the translation, and to determine whether there is any difference between the translations done by female and male translators in terms of translation accuracy. Two English novels and two translations for each, one done by a female and the other by a male translator, were selected. Each translation was compared with its source text, sentence by sentence, and based on some certain categories, their inappropriate renderings affecting the understanding of the ST, and in fact affecting the translation accuracy, were extracted. The total numbers of the observed inappropriate renderings of each group of the female and male translators were counted. Having analyzed the data and having applied some statistical analyses, the researcher discovered that the answer to the research question was negative and the null hypothesis of the research was supported. Key Words: gender, accuracy, mutedness, politeness, dominance 1. Introduction

Every process of translation involves at least two languages and one message, which can be called form and meaning. In fact, the meaning is the message which is transferred by various features and it is the task of the translator to transfer the meaning of the ST into the TT. So, depending on different factors affecting the translator's performance and the way the message is conveyed, different translations will be produced. Gender of the translator is one of the factors that may affect the product of the translator, and the accuracy of translation is an important feature in evaluating any translated text. This research aimed to work on the differences which might exist in terms of the accuracy between the translations done by male and female translators. Thus, the research question was as follows: "Is there any difference between the translations done by female and male translators in terms of translation accuracy?" In order to investigate the above mentioned research question, the following hypothesis was developed: "There is no difference between the translations done by female and male translators in terms of translation accuracy." 2. Gender, Language, Accuracy and Translation

2.1. Gender and Language:
Language, socially and personally, is a significant part of man's identity. Language and gender are linked and developed through man's participation in every day social practice. It is proved through various investigations that the languages of men and women are really different (Holmes 1995: 1). In the past, women were invisible, yet today they believe that they possess a different voice, different psychology, different experience of love, etc. and also different culture from that of men (Coates 1997: 13). Many studies have been conducted so far, regarding the role of the gender "as a determinant of linguistic usage" (Stockwell 2002: 16). According to Stockwell (2002: 16), today the term 'genderlect' is used to refer to the different lexical and grammatical choices which are characteristically made by males and females; e.g. women in their talks use frequent certain color term, frequent certain evaluative adjectives, not sure intonation, tag phrases and super-polite expressions, such as euphemism, less swearing and more indirect words. Some of their language differences proved through various investigations are as follows: women are believed to be the talkative and gossiping sex (Graddol & Swann 1992: 70). Women speak softly, whereas men speak loud and such differences in the voices relate to their physical sexual differences; moreover, men are thought to be stronger and bigger than women (Graddol & Swann 1992: 13). Men use 'I', swear...
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