Is Your Native Language All-Inclusive?
Most languages have a grammatical gender but English doesn’t. This makes languages that do have a grammatical more difficult to learn and more difficult to translate well. For example, when a person learns French as a 2nd language as an English speaker he or she has to learn how to use gender specific grammar and know the gender differences in translation.
For example, in English, the word “car” has either the article ‘the’ or ‘a’ in front of it or if it’s plural only ‘the’ can be used. In French, each noun is either masculine or feminine so it’s not grammatically correct to place a ‘la’ meaning ‘the’ which is feminine with a noun which is masculine as in this case it has the word ‘le’ in front of it. Likewise, a French speaker learning English would be confused by the lack of gender in the language.
Words associated with gender are increasingly being adapted especially when it comes to the question of bisexuality or homosexuality where specific gender terms are either no longer applicable or difficult to define. People who no longer identify with a particular gender are often referred to as they/them instead of “she”/ “he” or “her” / “him. This sort of language serves to include all the different gender types and gravitates away from just simply him or her.
This may be the case in some languages and cultures but Spanish is a language that is viewed as one of the least inclusive languages as well as being sexist. An example of this is revealed when referring to somebody’s relatives. “Hijos” is used for children even though the word means sons. “Padres” is used for parents, even though it literally means fathers. In the Venezuelan constitution, “president” or “presidenta”, “ministros” or “ministras” and “viceministros” or “viceministras”. This makes gender in translation more specific.
The problem comes when gender in translations has to be taken into consideration because the translator has to consider gender differences in translation when undertaking a translation from a language that has gender specific language to a language that does not. English translating is comparatively easy as it is considered to be genderless. In fact, this characteristic makes it the most inclusive of all languages.