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Gender and Translation Accuracy

Salar Manafi Anari1


(Professor, Allameh Tabataba'i University)

Maliheh Ghodrati2
(M.A. Gra date from S!ien!e and "esear!h #am$ s, %slami! A&ad University)

Abstract 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: 'ender, a!! ra!y, m tedness, $oliteness, dominan!e

1. Introduction
Every process of translation involves at least two languages and one message, which can be called form and meaning. n fact, the meaning is the message which is transferred by various features and it is the tas! 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. #ender 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.

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%ontact &umber' ()$*+*,-./) %ontact &umber' 09124017793, 02133793821 E0mail 1ddress' maliheh.ghodrati2gmail.com

This research aimed to wor! 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' (%s there any differen!e bet)een the translations done by female and male translators in terms of translation a!! ra!y*( n order to investigate the above mentioned research question, the following hypothesis was developed' (There is no differen!e bet)een the translations done by female and male translators in terms of translation a!! ra!y.( 2. Gender, Language, Accuracy and Translation 2.1. Gender and Language: 3anguage, socially and personally, is a significant part of man"s identity. 3anguage and gender are lin!ed and developed through man"s participation in every day social practice. t is proved through various investigations that the languages of men and women are really different 4Holmes $))/' $5. n 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 4%oates $)),' $+5. 6any studies have been conducted so far, regarding the role of the gender 7as a determinant of linguistic usage7 4Stoc!well *((*' $.5. 1ccording to Stoc!well 4*((*' $.5, today the term "genderlect" is used to refer to the different lexical and grammatical choices which are characteristically made by males and females8 e.g. women in their tal!s use frequent certain color term, frequent certain evaluative ad9ectives, not sure intonation, tag phrases and super0polite 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 tal!ative and gossiping sex 4#raddol : Swann $))*' ,(5. ;omen spea! softly, whereas men spea! loud and such differences in the voices relate to their physical sexual differences8 moreover, men are thought to be stronger and bigger than women 4#raddol : Swann $))*' $+5. 6en use " ", swear words and taboo ones more than women, and in order to continue the conversation and show the certainty, women use more hedges, expressions such as " "m sure", "you !now", "perhaps"< 4%oates $)),' $$., $*.5. 1ccording to =epersen 4cited in %oates $)),' *(5, since women start tal!ing without having thought, they are much more often brea! off than men without finishing their sentences. t is believed that women tal!, compliment others and also apologize more than men do8 moreover, in conversations women usually do not interrupt men"s words and they wait until they finish their tal! 4Holmes $))/' *5. 1lso, as #raddol and Swann 4$))*' )*5 believe women tal! more politely than men. >ut what is the linguistic definition of the concept of '$oliteness'? @oliteness should be considered as 7an expression of concern for the feelings of others7 4Holmes $))/' -5. Holmes 4$))/' .5 believes that women are more concerned about the feelings of those to whom they are tal!ing and they spea! more explicitly than men8 also, he says that women are considered as the members of the subordinate group, so they have to be polite. n mixed conversations, women use the minimal responses more than men and at appropriate moment, while men use such words less and often with delay to show their dominance and the powerlessness of the gender to which they tal! 4%oates $)),' $$.5. 1s mentioned before, men interrupt more than women and it is because they thin! they are more dominated and powerful 4%oates $)),' $$(5. There is an idea that powerlessness is a feminine characteristic 4cited in #raddol : Swann $))*' )$, )*5. AeBault 4*((*' )(5 believes that 7the concept of 7mutedness7 does not

imply that women are silent7. 1ccording to %oates 4$)),' +/5, for centuries women were considered in a "muted group" and this was the desired state of them8 so this belief that women tal! too much is because of this fact that they are required to express themselves to the dominant group of men and tal! to them, so that they can be heard by them and this tal!ing is against their mutedness. %onsequently, women are considered as the subordinate group and men as the dominant one, and for this reason, females are doing their best in order to be heard by the society and express their abilities to males. >ut regarding their translations, it must be said since translation is the product of man"s language, it must have the same characteristics as that of language. So, every translation must reflect the characteristics of the language of its translator. 2.2. Translation and Accuracy: n the process of translating a text, the message of the original should be preserved in the translation and this shows the fidelity or faithfulness of the translator to the original text. >ee!man and %allow 4$)C)' ++5 believe that a faithful translation is the one 7which transfers the meaning and the dynamics of the original text78 and by "transferring the meaning", they mean that the translation conveys the ST information to the TT reader. 1ccording to >ee!man and %allow 4$)C)' +-5, 7only as the translator correctly understands the message, can he begin to be faithful7, and it is only then that 7he can translate clearly : accurately7. n fact, faithfulness and fidelity are two terms which show how much the TT reconstructs the ST. Some translation theorists believe that the translation should be evaluated by considering its ST as 7the yardstic!7 46anafi 1nari *((-' +-, vol. *, no. /5. 6anafi 1nari 4*((-' -$, vol. $, no. -5 defines accuracy as 7the exactitude or

precision of the meaning conveyed7 and in fact it 7implies conformity of translation with the original text in terms of fact or truth7. 1lso, he defines "accurate translation" as a translation 7which is the reproduction of the message of the ST7 46anafi 1nari *((-' +-, vol. *, no. /5. &ewmar! 4$)).' $$$5 believes that in translating a text, 7the accuracy relates to the S3 text, either to the author"s meaning, or to the ob9ective truth that is encompassed by the text7, etc. 1ccording to the discussion above, a!! ra!y can be considered as one of the representations of the faithfulness in translation, i.e. showing how accurately the translator has managed to reproduce the message of the ST into the T3. 3arson 4$)C-' -C/5 believes that in every translation, a!! ra!y, !learness and nat ralness are of the great importance. Degarding the translation accuracy, she believes that in some cases, when the translator tries to get the meaning of the ST and convey it to the TT, sEhe may ma!e some mista!es, either in the analysis of the ST, or in the process of conveying the meaning, and a different meaning may result8 then, there is a need for a careful chec! regarding the accuracy of the translation. 1ccording to Fhomei9ani Garahani 4*((/' ,,0,C5 based on what 3arson proposed in $)C-, the process of evaluating the accuracy of translation can be done in * possible ways' one way is recognizing the !ey words of the ST and their equivalences in the TT and comparing how close they are8 i.e. determining whether the translator could convey the same and exact meaning of the ST by selecting the best target equivalents and whether sEhe could achieve an acceptable accuracy or not. 1nother way is using bac! translation8 i.e. translating the T3T into the S3, then, carrying out a contrastive analysis and if the retranslated text is reasonably close to the S3T, the translation has got the acceptable accuracy. 1lso, ;addington 4*(($' +$+5 has

proposed a translation quality assessment method based on Hurtado"s 4$))/5 model' ;addington"s 76ethod 17 introduces three groups of mista!es which may exist in a translation. The first group of the mista!es, which consider the understanding of the ST message, is related to the accuracy of the translation8 it contains inappropriate renderings affecting the understanding of the source text and divides them into eight categories' !ontresens, fa + sens, nonsens, addition, omission, nresolved e+tralin' isti! referen!es, loss of meanin', and ina$$ro$riate lin' isti! variation (re'ister, style, diale!t, et!.). %onsequently, the term "translation accuracy" refers to the translator"s understanding of the message of the ST and that how accurately the translator has managed to translate a text from one language into another. 2.3. Gender and Translation Through reviewing the languages applied by women and men, and also by studying various aspects of their lives, it is revealed that women are considered as the subordinate group and men as the dominant one. Hence, it is for this reason that in recent decades, females are doing their best in order to be heard by the society and express their abilities to males. Hver the past several decades and after the women"s movement, gender issues got involved in the language issues8 meanwhile the translation studies developed more and more 4von Glotow $)),' $5. Degarding the translation, it can be assumed that since translation is the product of the language of the human being, it might have the same characteristics as those of language. So, every translation might reflect the characteristics of the language of its translator. 1ccording to von Glotow 4$)),' /5, 7'ender refers to the sociocultural construction of both sexes7. Auring $).(s0$),(s, feminist thin!ers discussed

socialized difference between women and men and the cultural and political powerlessness of these two genders 4von Glotow $)),' /5. 1bout the concept of gender, Sherry Simon 4$)).' /5 believes that 7gender is an element of identity and experience which, li!e other cultural identities, ta!es form through social consciousness7. >y reviewing the history of translation, we can discover that always there have been 7well0!nown debates over how best to be faithful78 then, it is not astonishing 7that fidelity in translation has been consistently defined in terms of gender and sexuality7 4%hamberlain, cited in >a!er $))C' )+5. Gor a long time, translation has been employed to explain women"s actions in public, and as von Glotow 4$)),' $*5 has referred to 6arguerito Auras, women lived in dar!ness for centuries, they did not even !now themselves very well8 then, while entering the public atmosphere, they had to translate what they mean. 1s claimed by 1rteaga 4$))-' *, cited in Simon $)).' $+-5, cultural and linguistic histories of every nation demonstrate the relationship between self and other8 at present, in cultural studies, translation is considered as a metaphor expressing 7the increasing internationalization of cultural production7 as well as 7the fate of those who struggle between two worlds and two languages7. 1ccording to Simon 4$)).' $+-0$+/5, marginalized group view translation as a means through which they can establish themselves in the culture and language of the dominant groups' women attempt to 7translate themselves7 into the men"s language and migrants try to translate their past experiences into the present. t is because of 7the sense of not being at home within idioms of power7 that has made many women and also migrants, such as Salman Dushdie, to believe themselves as being 7translated beings7 4Dushdie $))$' $+, cited in Simon $)).' $+/5. Translator and translation have been considered as marginalized, since

some have believed that the original text has got superiority over the translation and that the translation is 9ust an equivalent of the original and it is not an original in itself 4Hatim : 6unday *((-' *((5. Historically, translation has been considered as a secondary and degraded version of authorship 4Simon $)).' +)5. 1s Simon 4$)).' +)5 states, it has been appeared as a great instrument for women providing them to step into the world of literature and writing8 translation helps women to express themselves through their writings and translations8 for long, women have been limited to 9ust translate and they have been only permitted to enter this specific secondary zone of writing8 they have been forced to stand outside the borders of the dominant zone of writing and not been allowed to en9oy the position of authorship. Geminism and translation are both considered in the category of 7secondariness7 and both are served as instruments for the critical understanding of differences as it is described in language 4Simon $)).' C5. The aim of feminist translation theory is to determine and to criticize the concepts of inferiority of women and translation, in both society and literature8 for this purpose, the process through which translation has come to be feminized should be explored and the structures of authority maintaining such association should be troubled 4Simon $)).' $5. >y the passage of time, and through the achievements formed by feminists and their movements, women could express themselves and their abilities in society, and in fact, they could establish their identities in the world8 9ust as Simon says, 7feminism has also reordered lines of cultural transmission7 4Simon $)).' C-5. >y means of translation, translators I often females I have created new ways of exchange8 besides, they have opened new translation mar!ets, and according to Simon 4$)).' C-5, 7in addition to the conceptual

challenging of translation tropes, feminism has wor!ed to establish new intellectual !onne!tions7. 3. Methodology The researcher compared some @ersian translations with their English originals to discover whether there is any significant difference between the translations of the male and female translators in terms of translation accuracy. So, a comparative descriptive approach was adopted. n fact, this research was conducted through a descriptive corpus0based method. 1s the corpus of the study, two English novels and two translations for each, i.e. one by a male and another by a female translator, were compared regarding their accuracy. The researcher considered about $(((( words of each English novel and compared the original sentences with their @ersian translations. The titles of the novels and their translations were as follows' 1usten, =. 4$C$+5, reprinted *((+. Pride and Pre, di!e. >antam %lassic' &ew Jor!. K kc^R dPe^fMgP 'hPUiV .jfX ]^_ .`a^bc YZ[T\P WTX STRUV . .LQR KLMNOP .$+C/ .$+C. Kkg Ufg 'hPUiV .nOo ]^_ .km^le ^le STRUV . .LQR KLMNOP >ronte, E. 4$C-,5, reprinted *((+. - therin' .ei'hts. >antam %lassic' &ew Jor!. Ufg 'hPUiV .uOP ]^_ .eZt nrs e^qg STRUV .( ) .k[QcP KSMgOUp .$+C. Ke^vwOe .j{oe^i_ ]^_ .kqQp nPUip UyzP k[x STRUV .( ) .k[QcP KSMgOUp .$+C/ Kkc^R dPe^fMgP 'hPUiV

. !ata Analysis n order to discover whether male translators translate more accurately than female translators and to find out whether there is any significant difference between the accuracy of the translations of these two genders, the researcher chose two English novels and she compared the first $(((( words of each novel with their two translations, one done by a male and the other by a female translator. Here, the unit of the analysis was 'senten!e'8 i.e. the researcher compared each sentence of the source text with its certain translation according to the first part of ;addington"s 76ethod 17 4*(($' +$+5 which is related to translation accuracy and contains the eight categories of the inappropriate renderings which affect the understanding of the source text' !ontresens, fa + sens, nonsens, addition, omission, nresolved e+tralin' isti! referen!es, loss of meanin', and ina$$ro$riate lin' isti! variation (re'ister, style, diale!t, et!.). Examples below show the way the researcher analyzed the translations. Here, there are' | 6T$' male translator of the Text $ | 6T*' male translator of the Text * Examples are as follows' >ut to be candid without ostentation or design I to ta!e the good of everybody"s character and ma!e it still better, and say nothing of the bad I belongs to you alone. 4Text *E Sentence **(5 hPUqmo ^{ pZ~ Km^TgoZ~ O U{^V Q{ hOp ^z O Qg }Z[~ ^cP '4GT*5 hw jRUMc .NP ZV }Zbc ^iV Khg^c ^N ^imp e^peo O hoPo Z[R ep PUg O hmo Pe Gaux sens' ma!e it still better' hoPo Z[R ep PUg 1ddition' EU{^V O E^z O |GT$' female translator of the Text $ |GT*' female translator of the Text *

$(

Hmission' characterE or design Ma O ^{ no ^{ pZ~ hmo ... Us wP e^ O S^X p \o o^N \O '46T*5 oUc jRUMc .NZV }Zbc Uqmo ^{ LmP ... ^{ p LMqg K^{ pZ~ LmP hoPo Z[R ep Gaux sens' ostentation' S^X pE to ma!e it still better' ^{ pZ~ LmP hoPo Z[R ep 1ddition' Uqmo EMa O Hmission' character They could not every day sit so grim, and taciturn8 and it was impossible, however, ill0tempered they might be, that the universal scowl they wore was their everyday countenance. 4Text $E Sentence $/)5 j{ e_ U{ .X^p Ua j O Zx e LmP wOe U{ ^{ h Qg LTc '4GT$5 hw jRUMc .X^p SMUv O oZT~ eZ LmP wOe U{ S NP u^c KX^p ZRUmo O r~Pp 1ddition' eZ LmP EO oZT~ EZRUmo O Hmission' sitE countenanceE universalE they wore Ps Qc oUv nZTyc O ^N h^ g wOe U{ MgPZV Tg ^ig ^ Tc '46T$5 oUc jRUMc \^a KqMUv O Zx \^a h oZp LTcUQs goZp ZRUmo O r~Pp j{ eU{ ^{ h .Qfp .X^p h^fmP wOeU{ Gauxs sens' grim' nZTyc 1ddition' qMUv O EZRUmo O EPs Qc oUv E^ Tc Hmission' they woreE universal

The researcher computed and then presented the number of the frequencies of each category of the translations in the following tables'

$$

.*C

-)*

/.)

..$ 0 Ina--ro-riate Linguistic .ariation Loss o, Meaning .* $. -$*

Total 0 0 Ina--ro-riate Linguistic .ariation $$ + * $ Loss o, Meaning +* */ ) Loss o, Meaning , Ina--ro-riate Linguistic .ariation

Table 2: #T1/s
Total

Total

Total

Ina--ro-riate Linguistic .ariation

$$

Loss o, Meaning

.,

Table 1: MT1/s Ina--ro-riate +enderings

Table 3: MT2/s Ina--ro-riate +enderings

(nresol)ed *$tralinguistic +e,erences + $ $) + /+ &'ission *$ , .( Addition %onsens ( ( $. ) -, #au$sens "ontresens + &'ission Addition %onsens #au$sens "ontresens $ Percentage Frequency

(nresol)ed *$tralinguistic +e,erences

(nresol)ed *$tralinguistic +e,erences $* + $/ $ -* &'ission $. + -/ Addition

(nresol)ed *$tralinguistic +e,erences $. $, $ -/

$C

$+ ) +,

Ina--ro-riate +enderings

%onsens ( ( $+ . +C #au$sens "ontresens + $ Percentage Frequency

%onsens ( ( $+ . +.

"ontresens $ ( Percentage Frequency

Percentage

Frequency

MT1

MT2

#T1

#T2

$. ) -/

#au$sens

*( /-

Addition

*( $ /+

&'ission

$*

Table : #T2/s Ina--ro-riate +enderings 0. !iscussion: Degarding the translations of the Text $, the researcher found that the female translator translated more accurately than the male translator, since the number of the observed inappropriate renderings of 6T$ was more than that of GT$. >ut regarding the Text *, the researcher got an opposite result8 i.e. she discovered that the male translator translated more accurately than the female translator, for the number of the inappropriate renderings of GT* was more than that of 6T*. So, based on the different findings obtained from the analysis of the Text $ and Text *, the researcher discovered there is no significant difference between the translations done by the female and male translators in terms of translation accuracy. 1. "onclusion 1ccording to the data analysis and findings obtained through studying inappropriate rendering cases affecting the understanding of the ST, and in fact, affecting the accuracy of their translations, which occurred in the translations of the male and the female translators, it was proved that there is no significant difference between the translations done by male and female translators in terms of translation accuracy. Thus, the null hypothesis of this research was supported. Here, it is concluded that the gender of the translator plays no significant role in the accuracy of the translation, and that it cannot be said whether female translators translate more accurately than male translators or vice versa. So, this study proved that the gender of the translator cannot be considered as a determinant factor in examining the translation accuracy.

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