GENDER IDENTITY IN TRANSLATION: THE IMPOSSIBILITY OF TRANSPOSING NON-BINARY CHARACTERS INTO ROMANIAN
Keywords:LGBTQ+, queer, translation, LGBTQ+ translation, gender-neutral in translation, cultural translation
The created world of Ada Palmer’s Terra Ignota series depicts a future society where gender identity has undergone a process of uniformisation, resulting in the erasure of gendered language. The novels take the form of a confessional (a recounting of the events of the past) which are published in the future society without the express consent of the other characters taking part in the depicted course of events. The narrator, in a motivated show of re bellion against their society’s current ideology (discussed both at the beginning of the series and as they progress with the narration), reinscribes gendered pronouns onto the unknowing characters; however, this is done on an arbitrary basis, which the narrator does not always discuss. The present paper aims to emphasize the growing number of LGBT+ novels published and the impossibility of transposing them into Romanian due to the lack of a gender-neutral pronoun that does not default to the masculine. The paper analyses Too Like the Lightning by Ada Palmer in order to specify the various nuances that would be lost in the cultural adaptation and translation of the novel into Romanian, a translation which has yet to occur, given the complexity and constraints of the novel and the depicted ideology behind it.
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