As you may have noticed, I have recently posted my article about resisting PIV in every different language Google Translate has to offer. I now have the pamphlet posted on my blog a total of 65 times, in 65 different languages, including English, Arabic, Russian, Japanese, Chinese, Italian, and Polish.
Although the translations were by no means perfect or professional, as I only speak English fluently (and only speak a little German and a little Italian), I took special care to make sure the message was as clear as possible, especially in languages unsimilar to English, and especially in languages native to countries in which patriarchy is the strongest (Arabic, Japanese, Polish, Italian, Hindi, etc).
I took care to avoid using colloquialisms and non-literal phrases and words, and after translating the text from English to a foreign language, I switched the translator tabs and posted my foreign language text into the entry box and checked how it translated into English. Often, it was laughable. Other times, it was pitifully inaccurate, so I tried my best to change the wording, while keeping the general spirit of the article.
What made me a bit bitter was the fact that many languages, especially non-Western ones, did not have words for “clitoris”, “clitorises”, “labia”, “heterosexual” and “homosexual”, “dildo”, and in one or two cases, even “vagina”! It was much less likely for the languages to lack a word for “penis” than it was for “clitoris” or other female organs. Often, when I translated a sentence with the words “men” and “women” into it, the word “women” came out the same, but “men” was often translated to “people.” No such correlation was found with the word “women”, at least not that I noticed.
I guess men are people but women are women. Sigh.
The PIV article was a long one, and had a lot of advanced concepts, at least those that can be considered advanced for those not schooled in feminism. If I am to translate more articles in the future (which I hope to do), I will word them very simply and not use colloquialisms and odd phrases.
I will not use long sentences.
I will start simply, writing simply, and addressing simple topics.
I will give simple solutions and address universal problems women everywhere have to face.
I will backwards translate my articles back into English to make sure they sound okay before I post them.
I will add tags to my article that are in the language the article is in.
I will even put articles of the same language into the same category on my blog.
I encourage other RadFem bloggers to do the same, and translate their articles into different languages. It’s a women’s revolution, not an English language revolution.