A translator's job is to translate a work to a different language as closely as possible – don't distort the original just because it's a bit challenging linguistically or because of your “beliefs”.

@PronounsPage I do have to admit that not much can be made in gendered languages, but I guess it’s better off to modify every line of dialogue (walking over the line of awkwardness depending on the language) over modifying the character in question

@xerz even that would only have varying degrees of success depending on the language :/

@xerz our project started as a guide through ideas for nonbinary language in Polish — a very gendered language, still by far the most gendered one we support on the website. and even there it turns out to be perfectly possible to translate they/them without erasing the gender of nonbinary characters, and such forms becoming more common slowly minimises the awkwardness. it works, we have hundreds of examples already!

@PronounsPage @xerz spanish is also heavily gendered and there are ways to write most things without implying a gender, if needed. I tend to prefer that than using the currently preferred equivalent to they/them (a new pronoun, "elle", that's a mix of "él" (he) and "ella" (she) and is being widely adopted among trans an non binary folks here).

@PronounsPage @xerz the problem with "elle" is that it's very new and adjectives are also gendered in spanish so "elle estaba enfadade" (they were angry) instead of enfadado or enfadada for male and female... lots of people would mock texts like that, and not only transphobic chuds, but people who genuinely think of themselves as allies.

@PronounsPage @xerz

So depending of the target audience of the text I'd go with elle, if it's going to be read mostly by LGBTQIA+ people, or try to avoid anything gendered if it's a mainstream audience that knows very little of this (also, I'll always ask the author, of course).

@PronounsPage I resent and reject the premise here, but I agree with the conclusion, for different reasons.

Translators can and should "deviate" "distort" "weird" both the Holy Original and the target language; all the good translations do. Translation is art, too, it's not just a mechanical conversion; that's impossible with creative work, because of the nature of language (language both conveys meaning, and has an asthetic effect). Translations that try to stay "close to the original" and hide the work of the translator don't work, in the same way that a good videogame adaptation to animation has to fiddle with the plot and pacing and direction to better fit the medium.

It's just that claiming your independence from the Holy Original Text to make it *more* bigoted is a terrible reason to do it.

Making it more bigoted to preserve the Grammar Correctness, or an even worse lie, the Naturalness of the target language, is to misunderstand what translation even *is*. Translators weird language; we always did, it's our job (who do you think put those 60% Latinate vocabulary into English? and not vocab but calques, syntax order etc.)

@elilla I think we're actually on the same page, we just haven't put it eloquently enough 😅

by “as closely as possible” (and not a stronger choice of language) we meant exactly that – taking artistic liberties whenever it's necessary or makes sense, but also not stepping on the author's toes by actually considerably changing the original in a bigoted way.

@PronounsPage the "I don't even know how to translate that into my language" thing has an easy solution: go read queer authors who publish in your language and see how they are doing it, or just ask them if you don't have time/money to read their books. And if you don't know any or don't want... that's a signal that maybe you shouldn't be the one translating that.

Sign in to participate in the conversation
LGBTQIA+ Tech Mastodon

*Due to increased bot signup, manual approval is required. Please write some applicable request text on signup with why you want to join. Submissions that fail to do so will be denied.*

This Mastodon instance is for tech workers, academics, students, and others interested in tech who are LGBTQIA+ or Allies.

We have a code of conduct that we adhere to. We try to be proactive in handling moderation, and respond to reports.

Abridged Code of Conduct

Discrimination & Bigotry Won’t Be Tolerated.

We're not a free speech absolutist. We're not interested in Nazis, TERFS, or hate speech. No homophobia, transphobia, queerphobia, racism allowed.

Respect Other Users.

This instance is meant to be a friendly, welcoming space to all who are willing to reciprocate in helping to create that environment.

Consent is Important in all contexts.

If you’re ever unsure, ask first. Use CWs where required.

Listen; Don’t Make Excuses.

If you’re accused of causing harm, either take some responsibility or ask moderators for help.

Use the Report Feature.

Our moderators are here to listen and respond to reports.

For more detail, please
Review our Full Code of Conduct

This instance is funded in part by Patreon donations.