Gender Ideology

Weatherall (2002) clarifies that there are differences between male and female translators in terms of character description, ideology, gender stereotypes, and the disappearing agent effect.

در سال ۲۰۰۲ نظریه پردازی به نام «ودرل» گفت که بین نوشته های زن و مرد مترجم، تفاوت هایی وجود دارد و سه دسته تقسیم کرد:

۱) توصیف شخصیت  یا

character description

۲) ایدئولوژی و کلیشه های جنسیتی یا

ideology and gender stereotypes


۳) عاملی که اثری ناپدید شدن دارد یا

the disappearing agent effect


از طریق این استراتژی که سه دسته دارد می توان به تحلیل مترجم زن و مرد پرداخت. تعاریف هر دسته در ادامه آمده است.

Character description

According to Weatherall (2002), the “grammatical technique in English
that may indicate the gender of the person being referred to is the use of adjectives” (p.24). She believes that masculine adjectives have “more positive connotations” than feminine ones because language, as a means of reflecting social order, values men and masculinity more than women and femininity.

Based on the examples given here, the same relationship, as mentioned by Weatherall, can be seen between the word(s) describing
women and those describing men. However, in many cases, the female translator tries to change this order by reversing it.

Ideology and gender stereotypes

The other issue is related to social stereotypes and ideologies. Here, the authors, as well as the translators’ gender ideologies, are at work. Defining the concept of “frame”, Haster and Weber (1992) write that”when we interpret an utterance, we draw upon our background
assumptions, our knowledge of the world, in order to infer its meaning.”(p.164).

Therefore, language, which is a man-made phenomenon, is full of stereotypical views of women and men, in most of which men are superior and women inferior. Translators can reflect their gender biases in language or change them based on their gender ideologies. In other words, the translators who have feminist intentions pave the way for “frame-breaking femininity” (Haster and Weber, 1992, p.166).

In this way, translators criticize and sometimes change the power relation between women and men through language.
Also, Weatherall (2002) talks about some of the assumptions in the description of women.

She believes that women “are more often
discussed in terms of their appearance and their family relationships, whereas men are more often discussed in terms of what they do.” (19).

Disappearing agent effect

In defining “action” and “state” verbs, Fowler (1996) states that the former is “a movement or deliberate action with sequences, under the
control of the principle noun (e.g. John slammed the door)”; while the latter “simply attribute[s] properties of objects (e.g. the road is wide.)” (p.233).

Related to this topic is Weatherall’s (2002) idea that different verbs have a different “kind of causal inference” which is called “the implicit causality of verbs.” She continues that in sentences with action verbs, the subject is the cause of the action whereas in sentences with state verbs”the tendency is to see the sentence object as causal” (p. 29).

Also, investigating the effect of gender on the causality of verbs, LaFrance and Hahn (1994) present the term “disappearing agent effect,” which happens when “more cause is attributed to the sentence subject when the sentence object is a female” and on the other hand, “when the sentence object is a male, less cause is attributed to the sentence subject” (Weatherall, 2002, p. 30).

Weatherall herself seeks the reason for this in stereotypical views over men and women: “Men are more active, women are more passive.”

:بریم یک مثال بزنیم

He soon returned, bringing a plate in his own consecrated hand.

مترجم زن:

خیلی زود، در حالی که بشقاب در دست داشت برگشت.

مترجم مرد:

اما زود برگشت و با دست مبارک خودش یک ظرف غذا آورد.

عبارت consecrated hand که شامل صفت consecrated است و به معنای مقدس هست ، مترجم زن کلا این صفت را نادیده گرفته و حذف کرده ولی مترجم مرد به درستی آن را ترجمه کرده و نوشته دست مبارک و معنای مثبتی به این صفت داده است. بنابراین، طبق استراتژی ودرل، این نوع تحلیل بر اساس دسته بندی نوع اول است که تفاوت های مترجم زن و مرد را در مورد صفت ها نشان می دهد یعنی Character description

Analysis: Here, the female translator ignored the adjective “consecrated”, whereas the male translator chose the word /مبارک/ and gave Helstone’s hand the holy state.


Hanieh Azimzadegan