Person Reference and Gender in Translation
A Contrastive Investigation of English and German
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One of the most important characteristics of current English is the increasing use of non-discriminatory language. Particularly in the realm of person reference, ways to include women and men equally have evolved. In principle, German has been undergoing the same development but for structural reasons, additional tactics to express gender-inclusiveness have been adopted. The resulting complexity is an ample object of inquiry by linguists, and it introduces new questions for translation theorists and practitioners. This book examines this subject in both theory and application. Part I lays the theoretical foundation, including topics pertaining to linguistic reference, meaning, word-formation, pronominalization and translation. These elements are brought together to provide a very detailed description of person reference in English and German that contains authentic examples of traditional and new usage. The first part also provides the basis for a methodology to analyze source and target language texts in terms of human reference. In Part II, this analytical tool is used to compare six English texts selected from popular nonfiction literature with their German translations. The strategies of translators encountering gender-inclusiveness in source texts are made explicit, and a wider application of the author`s innovative approach is anticipated.