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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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Part I Theory and Methodology 35 2 The relationship between ideology, gender and translation This chapter aims to show how the close interrelation between ideology, translation, and gender will form the basis for the formulation of the hypothesis to be investigated in this work. I will start by reviewing some general concepts of ideology. This is not meant to be a comprehensive overview of the immense literature on this topic, but only an introduction to those definitions and approaches which are most relevant for my investigation. After a brief historical introduction to the origin and deve- lopment of this term, I will focus on three approaches, that of Marxist philosophy, Van Dijk, and Hatim and Mason. Their concept of ideology is closely related to two of the topics that I shall be investigating in se- ctions 2.3 and 2.4, feminist translation and sexist language. Both sections will show how translation can be used ideologically as a political chan- nel and how language, used in an ideological way, can create discri- mination. However, since the role of language is fundamental for uncovering ideologies in translation, I shall first examine differences in language use between males and females. Section 2.2 will serve two aims: to illustrate the relationship between ideology and gender through language and to formulate the hypothesis which will be tested in Part II. 2.1 Definitions of ideology Ideology is a complex and controversial concept. Difficulties arise be- cause this term has a series of related yet separate meanings. It...

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