The Summary of Translation and Gender
Abstract: First of all, the development, main representatives, the purpose, the significance and the
application of the feminist translation theory will be introduced briefly. Then the three theory
foundation and their strength and weakness will be summarized generally in this paper. My personal
view about the feminist translation theory and feminism will be the ending.
Key words：Feminist translation theory; Feminism; Sherry Simon；Luise Von Flotow；Barbara
1.1 Brief introduction of the background:
Feminist translation rose in the process of “cultural turn” proposed by Bassnett Susan and Lefevere at the end of the 1970s and in the early 1980s, it was the product of the latest advances in translation theory and the vigorous development of the feminist movement that first launched in Canada by some outstanding Canadian translators, like Susanne de Lotbinière-Harwood, Barbara Godard and Kathy Mezei.(Susan 1990) A strong movement of French-language feminist experimental writing in Quebec stimulated their desire to promote and to theorize activities of literary mediation. Since then, some feminist theorists came up and made a lot of critics about the feminist translation theory, the most typical and influential ones are: Sherry Simon’s Gender in Translation: Cultural Identity and the Politics of Transmission; Luise Von Flotow’s Translation and Gender : Translating in the Era of Feminism; and Barbara Godard’s Views on feminist translation studies. The purpose of feminist translation theory is firmly opposed to placing women in the lower social class and making translation subsidiary to literature. They are against that, as John Forio summarized:“translators are handmaiden to authors, women inferior to men.” This is the core of feminist translation theory, which seeks to ‘identify and critique the tangle of concepts which relegates both women and translation to the bottom of the social and literary ladder’. We can see that it stressed the subjectivity of translation, hold the idea that original is equivalent to the translation and the gender discrimination can be eliminated by rewriting the translation. (简丽丽2012:1-27) From this point of view, the theory is accepted by most, especially translation theorists, since it has provided a new learning perspective for them in translation theory research and translation practice.
1.2 The application of the feminist theory in literature. As one of the most important foundational texts of our Western culture. However, there are many masculine language, image and metaphor in the early Bible so that it is hard to avoid not to consider God as male. With the rising of feminism, women Christian became awakening to the situation of women’s oppression, so they reacted strongly against the overwhelmingly masculinist bias of the Bible, and the way it had for so long been used to constrain women. While the method they adopted is to reinterpretate the Bible from a feminist point of view, to translate the Bible by means of “neutral” or “gender-inclusive language” and propose several amendments of the translation of the Bible, which resolves the concept of feminist translation. However, some people think that the rewriting of the Bible may lead a misunderstanding of it, for the fact is that the social status of female in that era is extremely low. We can judge from the following:
The Bible teaches that woman brought sin and death into the world, that she precipitated the fall of the race, that she was arraigned before the judgment seat of Heaven, tried, condemned and sentenced. Marriage for her was to be a condition of bondage, maternity a period of suffering and anguish, and in silence and subjection she was to play the role of a dependent on man’s bounty for all her material wants, and for all the information she might desire on the...
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简 奥斯丁. 傲慢与偏见[M]. 孙致礼译. 南京:译林出版社. 2008.
简丽丽. 2012.从女性主义翻译视角谈圣经的翻译[C]. 华中师范大学.2012:1-27.
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