Genos, sex, gender and genre

Sandford, Stella (2018) Genos, sex, gender and genre. In: Malmkjaer, Kirsten , Serban, Adriana and Louwagie, Fransiska, (eds.) Key cultural texts in translation. Amsterdam, The Netherlands : John Benjamins Publishing Company. pp. 9-24. (Benjamins translation library, (140)) ISBN 9789027200402


This chapter discusses translators’ efforts to render the grammatical gender of Plato’s Greek in passages of the Republic, and to translate his terms noting differences between men and women with terms associated with the identity-defining concepts of sex and gender. It argues that the translation of 'genos' as 'sex' reveals less about the source text than about the role of the concept of sex in the translating culture. A discussion of a similar controversy in contemporary translation shows how debates over the French translation of 'gender' as genre are embroiled in issues of national identity. The chapter demonstrates how translation and its analysis may simultaneously express and contest cultural assumptions about sex and gender.

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