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The Linguistic and Discursive Construction of Gender and Sexuality in the Translation of English Texts
Barbara Majcenovič Kline, 2016, magistrsko delo

Opis: Studies show that our ideas of gender and sexuality are closely linked with the language that is used to define and describe these two notions. It has been further proven that there is a very close relationship between issues related to sexuality and concepts such as gender, (political) power, exploitation, supremacy and mobbing, to name but a few. Social, cultural, political, historical and other discussions regarding questions such as what sexuality is and what is permissible, acceptable and even “normal”, are inevitably part of linguistic discourse. In this MA thesis I thus research and analyze the complexity and multifacetedness of the relationship between language, discourse, gender and sexuality in the translations of English texts. I focus on the translations of texts which could be considered ambiguous in regards to expressing gender. This refers to the co-dependence between the source text, male or female translator and culture, as well as the broader circumstances that influence the translation or target text. In the first part of the thesis I focus on the theoretical background and critical insights into the relationships between language, gender and sexuality. The next stage comprises a comparison of English texts from various media sources (classical and electronic) on both linguistic and discursive levels, with the translations of these texts into Slovene, Croatian and German provided by future translators. The second part of the thesis, the research, comprises two parts: first, I am interested in how these texts and their translations are dealt with by the students – future translators – from four faculties in Maribor, Graz, Zagreb and Split. I am further interested in the level of the respondents’ awareness regarding the appropriate use of politically correct expressions, which I assume they are able to use accordingly in their translations. The second part of the research presents data collected based on the questionnaire, which was answered by future translators immediately after completion of the survey. Since the students come from different backgrounds, I am mostly interested in the reasons and possible factors that have influenced their translation choices (of individual words, expressions (terms), phrases, etc.). There are two general assumptions based on the literature review and the analysis of the translations and answers to the questionnaires provided by the future translators. The first one refers to the target text – translation – which, in most cases, depends on the current culture, social environment and time period. The emphasis is placed on the co-dependence between the source text, translator (male or female) as well as culture and other broader background circumstances which influence the translation or the target text. This assumption emphasizes the importance of translators possessing a high level of knowledge and intercultural awareness. The latter was noticable in the translations under research, yet we are still, as regards politically correct expressions, in the process of introducing norms and guidelines on a higher, state level, which might be later generally applied. The second general assumption refers to cultural, social, political, historical and ideological paradigms which annul the ideal of a translation as embodying or reflecting neutral, impartial linguistic and discursive text fidelity. From the translations into three languages, I was able to establish that there are no ideal translations. Furthermore, it was extremely difficult to find gender neutral translations, because of the differences between the three languages analyzed in the study, which would fulfill expectations in the three culturally and politically different cultures according to their individual ideological guidelines. We also have to be aware of the rapid degree of globalization, progress and change which create differences and shape new rules, rendering the old ones obsolete.
Ključne besede: gender, sexuality, language, discourse, translation, political correctness
Objavljeno: 11.08.2016; Ogledov: 582; Prenosov: 52
.pdf Celotno besedilo (5,15 MB)

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