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Sex Lost In Translation 2008-04-08

Posted by clype in Articles of Interest, Europe, Humanities, Intolerance.
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A row has broken out over the translation of a best-selling novel after a feminist tried to make some of the characters female.

  • ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time’ by British author Mr.Mark Haddon won ‘The Whitbread Book of the Year’ in 2003, and has been translated into more than 40 languages.

But a Spanish translator has been sacked for allegedly refusing to stick to the genders chosen by the author, reports ‘The Daily Telegraph’ Newspaper.

Ms.Maria Reimondez is taking the publishers to court over claims that her contract to translate the novel into Galician was cancelled because she refused to reinforce sexist stereotypes.

‘The translation strategies I use include not using the masculine form systematically,’ she said.

‘I haven’t invented this; it’s nothing new, and, linguistically, one cannot find fault with it.’

Ms.Reimondez said there were cases where

‘it is impossible to know the gender of a word, and one must be selected’.

However, the publisher, ‘Rinoceronte Editora‘, claim that she was introducing a bias into the work by taking out references to male characters, even when the gender was clear.

‘As we corrected her text, we realised that she was systematically translating neutral words into feminine ones, and masculine words into feminine or neutral forms,’ said Mois├ęs Barcia, the editor at Rinoceronte.

‘She chose to make the narrator’s pet rat a female, even though its name was Toby’ he said.

In another instance she changed ‘men’ to ‘xente’, meaning people.

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