Raising Gender Awareness in Translation through AVT and Advertising – Gora Zaragoza Ninet | Alicia Ricart Vayá, Universidad de Valencia
The purpose of this research is to describe a pilot study conducted with 46 Translation and Intercultural Mediation students in an English language module at advanced level. We adapt Borghetti and Lertola’s five-phase model (2014) of intercultural awareness using subtitling, a modality of AVT (Audiovisual Translation) in order to tackle gender issues and gender-related language in the subtitling of the well-known The man your man could smell like Old Spice body wash advertisement. Results show that students failed to convey the ad’s sexist message in their Spanish translation, which was further confirmed when comparing students’ translation choices with the official Spanish dubbed version of the ad. This pilot study suggests ways for Translation and English language teachers to integrate the gender perspective in their teaching whilst students become aware of their power and responsibility as translators.
Sensibilización de género en la traducción a través de TAV y publicidad
El objetivo de esta investigación es describir un estudio piloto realizado con 46 estudiantes de Traducción y Mediación Intercultural en un módulo de lengua inglesa nivel avanzado. Adaptamos el modelo de conciencia intercultural de Borghetti y Lertola (2014) mediante la subtitulación, una modalidad de TAV (Traducción Audiovisual) para abordar cuestiones de género y lenguaje en relación con el género en relación con la subtitulación de un anuncio de gel corporal de Old Spice. Los resultados muestran que nuestros estudiantes no consiguieron transmitir de manera satisfactoria el mensaje sexista del anuncio en su paso al castellano, lo cual se pudo confirmar al comparar la traducción de nuestro alumnado con la versión dobla-da oficial del anuncio al español. Este estudio piloto muestra cómo los profesores de traducción pueden y deben integrar la perspectiva de género en su docencia para que el alumnado tome conciencia de su poder y responsabilidad como traductore/as.
Borghetti and Lertola’s adapted model for teaching subtitling and intercultural awareness has allowed us to go a step beyond linguistic training when translating, providing tools to integrate and teach the gender perspective in the translation act.
Our teaching unit has proved useful in order to fulfil our initial proposal. Our main objective, raising students’ awareness about gender issues, has been successfully accomplished; students have become more conscious about the different decisions and responsibilities at stake when translating. Therefore, this pilot study has helped us not only to confirm the status of translation as more than a simple transfer of linguistic content, but also to regard translation as an act that entails further consequences and responsibilities. This research is essential for students to realise the importance of being gender sensitive and responsible for their choices in translation. This experiment has further allowed students to discern semantic poverty and the lack of accuracy and correspondence of their initial proposal with the original text.
Finally, with regards to teachers, this pilot study is an example that they must be aware of and, as a result, integrate the gender perspective in their teaching. Through this type of practice we aim at fostering the professionalization of students to provide translations which comprise of essential nuances other than linguistic. Students also become aware of their power as translators who can turn a text into something offensive or neutral according to their translation choice.
This study contributes to the teaching of gender and translation studies as a whole. However, this is a field that still needs to be developed. The present research underlines the need for more studies and didactic materials to raise gender awareness through translation which can be actively implemented in a class setting. Finally, further research exploring gender awareness in other AVT modalities, namely dubbing, free commentary and audio description, could also yield insightful results.