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Gender and Ideology in Translation: - Do Women and Men Translate Differently?

A Contrastive Analysis from Italian into English


Vanessa Leonardi

The aim of this book is to analyse and evaluate the problems that may arise from ideology-driven shifts in the translation process as a result of gender differences. The issue of ideology is linked to that of language and power and this link legitimates a linguistic analysis. Recent research in the field of sociolinguistics and related fields has shown that women and men speak differently. The hypothesis in this book is that if they speak differently, then they are also likely to translate differently and possibly for the same ideological reasons.
The book is divided into two parts. Part I offers a theoretical background, draws up an analytic checklist of linguistic tools to be employed in the comparative analyses, and states the main hypothesis of this investigation. In Part II four empirical analyses are carried out in order to test this hypothesis within the methodological framework set out in Part I. This book seeks to show how the contrastive analysis of translations from Italian into English is carried out within the framework of the discipline of translation and comparative studies.


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1 Introduction 19


19 1 Introduction 1.1 Aim of the study This investigation embraces both a theoretical and an empirical purpose. The theoretical purpose is to contribute to the construction of a new model of analysis of ideology and gender in translation to be used for future research in the field of translation studies. Empirical evidence is needed in order to support my methodology, and the purpose of Part II of this work is to test my hypothesis through the comparison of source texts (STs) and target texts (TTs). The primary objective is therefore to establish a comparative frame- work for the contrastive analysis of the translation strategies of male and female translators. It should be noted that the case studies proposed in this work are ‘pilots’ and are intended to test the framework but from which general conclusions may not be drawn. I will adopt a sociocultural approach to translation according to which this activity is regarded as a communicative process that takes place within a social context. Language, a very powerful tool, is at the core of this activity. It is not only a tool for communication but also a manipulative tool, an instrument of control and power. Power can un- doubtedly be expressed through ideologies, and ideologies are clearly linked to language because its use is the commonest form of social behaviour. The relationship between these three issues may help people understand better how language contributes to the domination of some people by others (Hodge and Kress, 1993). This sort...

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