Volume 12, Issue 2 (2021)                   LRR 2021, 12(2): 185-230 | Back to browse issues page


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Atar Sharghi N, Norouz Oliaee F. A Comparative Survey of Women's Writing Style Studies and the Impact of Gender on Translation and Compilation in Iran. LRR 2021; 12 (2) :185-230
URL: http://lrr.modares.ac.ir/article-14-43023-en.html
1- Assistant Professor of Language Sciences, Persian Language Teaching Center, Imam Khomeini International University, Qazvin, Iran , navid_atar.sharghi@PLC.ikiu.ac.ir
2- Master of French Language Translation, Faculty of Persian Literature and Foreign Languages, Allameh Tabataba'i University, Tehran., Iran
Abstract:   (4195 Views)
Many studies have been conducted to investigate the effect of gender on language. Some have considered elements of feminine and masculine styles in this regard, while others have considered language to be non-gendered. The discussion of feminine writing style that emerged from the views of those like Lakoff is based on feminist and postmodern ideas. In this article, while reviewing the basics of gender linguistics and a brief outline of the components of Lakoff on feminine writing style, we do a comparative study on the researches done in Iran in this field on translated and compiled literary works. Finally we study 12 articles, analyzing the general state of these studies and their results. In general, the shortcomings of researches, (translation and compilation), in Iran include the sheer field of research results, the lack or weakness of analyzes based on social, psychological, and cultural theories, and their non- generalizability. Regarding researches on the impact of gender on translation, it should be noted that in addition, the number of studies is not high and some points are ignored or the methodology is inadequate.
 
1. Introduction
Chromosomal and consequently cellular differences between men and women, as well as differences between male and female hormones, cause differences in men and women’s brains biologically. This affects their intellectual, emotional, linguistic processes and their general viewpoints. Since language is related to social attitudes, it can be concluded that people with different attitudes have different linguistic or discourse functions. Differences in social attitudes are caused by cultural differences, education, age, and gender, and as women enter the field of fiction, we see a novel discourse called "women's writing style."   
After the expansion of feminist beliefs in the 1960s in addition to the rise of feminist linguistics and gender linguistics, more and more women entered the field of writing, talking about their experiences, issues, and concerns. Apparently, owing to the lower status of women in society, and the rejection of the existing patriarchal culture, many female writers adopted a different style and discourse. In this article, we intend to review the studies on the role of gender in women's writing and translation; besides, we will review eleven published articles to find the answers to the following questions:
1. What components have been studied in women's style researches, including authorship and translation in Iran?
 2. What are the shortcomings of the researches conducted in Iran?
3. Do the researches carried out regarding translation in Iran show the effect of translator gender on his/her translation?
Studies indicate that existing researches have presented field statistics of a number of well-known components in this area, and despite the efforts of recent researchers, the role of in-depth analysis based on valid socio-cultural-psychological theories in these researches is limited. Consequently, they are not generalizable. Regarding the effect of gender on translation, there have been few studies, which were either methodologically inappropriate, or avoided considering some points and the absence of extensive researches in this field is felt.
 
2. Literature Review
Like any other social movements, feminism has had its ups and downs. The first manifestations of feminism can be found in the poems of the Greek poet Sappho of the seventh century BC. The French poet and philosopher Christine de Pizan (1330-1464) also continued this style. Since the 15th century, a number of men and women have written in defense of women and the idea of ​​equality between men and women.
Virginia Woolf pioneered twentieth-century feminist critique with her book of Room of Her Own (1919). After the World War II, Simone de Beauvoir revived the feminist movement with the publication of The Second Sex. After the second wave of feminism, the style of feminine writing was founded upon the ideas of Jacques Lacan, Luce Irigaray, Julia kristeva, Jean Baudrillard, Jean-François Lyotard, Hélène Cixous, and Gilles Deleuze, the founders of postmodern thought.
Hélène Cixous published The Laugh of the Medusa in Arc magazine in 1975, coining the term "feminine writing" (Fauvrelle-Pomeon, p. 183). According to her, women should write about themselves, their feelings, their bodies, their gender, and in this case, their language and language structures will be different. Researches on language and gender initially focused on the effect of gender variable on individual’s verbal behavior at the phonetic level and interactive methods. Robin Lakoff's book Language and Woman's Place (1975) revolutionized the study of language and gender, and expanded researches that had previously focused solely on individual’s verbal behavior at the phonetic level by enumerating lexical, syntactic, and practical features (Moradi and Bahrani, 2016, p. 85). Afterwards, Lakoff mentions 14 characteristics for female speech in the book of Talking Power (1990) (Fotouhi, 2012, pp. 398-399). 
The book A literature of their own (1977) by the American Elaine Showalter is another great work in this field. Influenced by Cixous, Showalter writes on the analysis of women-centered critiques and feminine aesthetics, and uses four biological, linguistic, psychological, and cultural approaches to analyze women's texts and explain their differences. Julia Kristeva and Luce Irigaray are also writers whose work pieces have had a great impact on global feminism and the explanation of women's writing style (Talaei and Talaei, 2018, pp. 434-440; Fauvrelle-Pomeon, p. 184).
However, separating writing into feminine-masculine is not entirely acceptable to all linguists. Taheri (2009, p. 98) does not provide a scientific basis for the theory or method of women's writing, because in Cixous's own words, "it is not possible to provide a definition of women's writing ... and as a result this method is never theorized, defined and codified." . Fotouhi (2012) distinguishes between sex and gender while discussing the use of the term "gender dialect" in linguistics to express the difference between feminine and masculine language. By distinguishing the question of language and gender from the nature of women's literature, or feminism, he mentions five linguistic levels for the characteristics of feminine speech: the phonetic level, the lexical level, the syntactic level, the rhetorical level, and the applied level.
The important point is that there is a difference between a work written in a feminine style and a female-written work: the feminine writing style seeks to reclaim women’s violated rights in the struggle against male domination and has its own components. However, any work written by a woman is considered a female-written work, while a man can also write in a feminine style. This point was the subject of sarailoo's dissertation (2017) entitled  "A comparative Study of female style in Ghadah Al-Samman and Zoya Pirzad's stories". She examines the type of female writing in these two authors' works and concludes that the Al-Samman's works belong to female literary tradition and the Pirzad's works belong to feminism literary tradition.
Aghajari et al. (1398) affirm that the presence of Iranian women in society coincided with the presence of women in written culture during the Constitutional Revolution changes. According to Khayatan (1397), women's storytelling in Iran dates back to before Daneshvar. In the Qajar Era, for the first time, Naser al-Din Shah's daughter wrote stories that were told orally to her father making "Amir Arsalan-e Namdar" the first story written in Persian by a woman. According to Ghasemzadeh and Ali Akbari, Simin Daneshvar is the first Persian-language female novelist in Iran to publish the novel Savushun (1969) after the publication of the first collection of women's short stories entitled A City Like Paradise (1961).
Much research has been done on women's writing style in Iran, both in terms of theoretical, stylistic foundations and applied criticism of literary works. Davari Ardakani and Ayyar in 2008 reviewed the researches carried out in Iran in the field of gender linguistics up to that time and pointed out the problems of those researches. Davari Ardakani and Ayyar also refer to the Book " introduction to the Sociology of Language" written bye Yahya Modarresi in 2007, which analyzes the issues related to society and language, including gender, and men and women’s linguistic patterns and their social differences, and points to gender differences in different languages. The women’s writing style was also studied by Fotouhi in the book Stylistics, Theories, Approaches and Methods, (2012).
 
3. Methodology
In this descriptive-comparative study, while examining the biological and physiological differences between men and women and the theoretical foundations of gender linguistics, we will have a brief and cataloged review of related research in Iran. Then, by reviewing and summarizing 11 applied critiques of women writing (4 researches on the role of translator gender in translation and 7 researches in authorship), we extract and compare the characteristics and components of women's writing style studied in these researches to determine the general status of these researches and existing shortcomings.
The peculiarity and innovation of the present study is that, contrary to the practice of many previous field-researches, which evaluated some presupposed stylistic components of female writing in one or more works, it examines a number of studies conducted in the field of authorship and translation in Iran providing a supra-analysis of the overall status of these studies
 
4. Conclusion
There has been a lot of research in Iran on the effect of the author's gender on writing, but the number of studies on the effect of the translator's gender on translation is very limited. In general, in most studies, some tangible components derived from the theories of Lakoff and other theorists in this field have been studied. Researchers have attempted to describe characteristics and components of feminine writing style through setting the norms and standards of male writing and considering certainty of the difference between male and female writing styles, which is the most fundamental flaw.
Although in more recent research, researchers have tried to look at the issue from a socio-cultural perspective, this approach is very limited and does not provide in-depth analyzes based on social and cultural theories. It seems that researchers in most cases have attempted to prove the theory and its truth in their research; an effort that is in fact anti-scientific. In these studies, the effect of psychological, individual and situational aspects of the author or translator have not been considered and more attention has been paid to their gender.
In the case of translation research, the method adopted is ineffective in some cases. In this regard, it is better to compare different translations of male and female translators of the same work, while bearing the recent translator’s awareness and use of the previous translation in mind.
In examining and criticizing the gender of a translation, one should take the original work in the source language and the style of the original author into account, because the act of translation, compared to the authorship, is restricted and largely depends on the original work. In addition, the researcher should mind the translator’s stylistic features (faithful translation to the text or free translation ...).  
It is also important to respect issues related to editing, publishing norms and requirements in Iran and censorship. When we are going to emphasize the translator's female style in terms of deleting or modifying some words or phrases, we need to know whether the translator did it voluntarily or under the pressure of the publisher or the editor....
    In general, it can be argued that the result of the research presented field statistics and figures of the intended components. That is some tangible components derived from the theories of Lakoff, Mills, Fairclough, and other theorists in this area. Hence, the results obtained from these studies cannot be generalized.
Regarding the issues discussed, it can be said that the study of the effect of gender on writing, both in terms of authorship and translation, requires extensive interdisciplinary researches which are beyond a concise article. To examine this issue in Persian, we must first provide a precise definition of gender and its relationship with other personality factors such as age, occupation, family environment, education, time, and the prevailing cultural discourse. Then, gender differences between languages, men and women’s social differences and their linguistic characteristics need to be recognized. Additionally, while localizing the theoretical foundations of gender linguistics, the components obtained based on related social, cultural, psychological theories and translation should be examined.
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Article Type: مقالات علمی پژوهشی | Subject: Linguistics
Published: 2021/05/31

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