Feminist translation and feminist sociolinguistics in dialogue

A multi-layered analysis of linguistic gender constructions in and across English and Turkish


  • Emek Ergün University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC)




feminist translation, feminist sociolinguistics, Turkish, English


This article, focusing on Turkish and English, explores various intersections between feminist translation and feminist sociolinguistics to bring the fields into conversation and expand their intellectual and geopolitical scopes. The first section discusses the broad historical points of connection by concentrating on the critiques of sexist language. Thus, it demonstrates how the fields share a common feminist politics of language. This intersection is illustrated by an example from my Turkish translation of Hanne Blank’s Virgin. The second section explores a more specific alliance by examining feminist critiques and manipulations of pro/nominal gender systems. This discussion is supported by more examples from my translation, as well as examples from Cemile Çak?r’s Turkish translation of Leslie Feinberg’s Stone Butch Blues. The last section provides feminist sociolinguistics and translation teachers with ideas on how interdisciplinary cooperations can expand students’ political awareness of gender/sexuality dynamics with regard to language and translation. The significance of this intersection is demonstrated by a translation experiment.

Author Biography

  • Emek Ergün, University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC)

    Emek Ergün is a doctoral candidate at the Language, Literacy and Culture Ph.D. Program, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, where she also teaches at the Gender and Women’s Studies Program. She is writing her dissertation on the subject of feminist translation as transnational political activism by focusing on the translation and reception of Virgin. She holds an M.A. in Women’s Studies from Towson University. Her research interests include feminist translation, transnational feminism, and gender, sexuality and language. She has presented and published a number of interdisciplinary papers in these fields, most recently in Language and Linguistics Compass, and translated books into Turkish such as Hanne Blank’s Virgin: The Untouched History. She is currently working on the collective project of the Turkish translation and adaptation of Our Bodies, Ourselves.


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How to Cite

Ergün, E. (2013). Feminist translation and feminist sociolinguistics in dialogue: A multi-layered analysis of linguistic gender constructions in and across English and Turkish. Gender and Language, 7(1), 13-33. https://doi.org/10.1558/genl.v7i1.13