Gender of the Translator
Thread poster: Kasi King

Kasi King
English to Persian (Farsi)
Dec 23, 2005

" Does the sex of the translator have any effects on the outcome of the translation? " Since I am working on this research question, I welcome any help or comment. I have problem with my "literature review" because I could not find relevant sources on the web. Therefore, I am asking for the help of experts in this field of study to introduce me some articles about the subject which I am investigating.

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2005-12-26 01:21]


Natalie  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:14
Member (2002)
English to Russian
+ ...

Dear Kasi Dec 24, 2005

Your posting has been moved to the Translation techniques forum. Please note that the previous postings has been deleted in accordance with the forum rules (14. Post only once - see )



Ricki Farn
Local time: 23:14
Member (2005)
English to German
Some links Dec 24, 2005

Hi Kasi,

entering "gender translation" (without the quotation marks) on Google gives quite a nice harvest. I only list some links below, but you could invest a lot more time into the results of this one search. You may be able to find more works from the literature lists of what you find there. (I think one trick is to go for "gender" or perhaps "gender studies" rather than "sex" as a search word.)

It appears to me that "feminist" studies often relate the biological gender of the translator to the question of how they will handle grammatical gender issues (e.g. will a "God" be referred to as a "He" or "She" or "He/She"?). (literature list)

You could also try to contact some University departments that do translation and/or gender studies, and ask if they have existing literature lists that they would send you.


Sven Petersson  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:14
English to Swedish
+ ...
Women have more cross connections, thus ... Dec 26, 2005

The difference in the number of cross connections between the right and the left side of the brain results in male superiority in spatial skills and female superiority in verbal skills; women are therefore, on the average, better translators.


Cristina Heraud-van Tol  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:14
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
I don't think it matters... Dec 26, 2005

Hello! Biologically speaking, women have the part of the brain related to speech, word and phrase structuring, and vocalisation more developed. But there are always exceptions and I have met lousy female translators as well as excellent male translators and interpreters. Mostly, women can translate quicker and are more precise in keeping the message; they also focus more on structure and format of the text. Men are simpler. If we talk about techniques, women use mostly "literal translation", trying to keep the same format, message and details. Men use mostly "free translation", thus keeping the message but not giving much importance to the style. Even though in general, women can talk quicker and longer than men, in interpretation I have seen better male interpreters because while women try to be perfectionists, they sometimes become shy and take longer trying to look for the right word. Men in that case, are more daring so their brains will work faster to look for a similar translation.


Ricki Farn
Local time: 23:14
Member (2005)
English to German
References? Dec 27, 2005

I would just love some references to books or scientific papers on Sven's and Cristina's statements - many people feel these things, but has anyone ever tried to prove them in an academic setting?

PS there may be something about this in the "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus" book, but that is a very populist style, and they don't list academic sources, do they

[Edited at 2005-12-27 18:01]


Larisa Migachyov
United States
Local time: 14:14
Russian to English
Interesting issue... Mar 3, 2006

One of my clients once showed a translation I'd done for him to a linguistics professor friend of his; the professor told him that he could easily tell the translation had been done by a woman. I don't know how he could tell that; word choice? Phrasing?


Wouter van Kampen
Local time: 04:14
Danish to Dutch
+ ...
intriguing issue; or is it an issue? Mar 3, 2006

let's do a quick poll...
have a look at my postings and tell me: am I a man or a woman?


Local time: 05:14
English to Chinese
+ ...
Male is better than female in some sense, especially the overwork. Mar 6, 2006

because many women have to look after their husbands and children, whereas men do little about these.


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