The Experience of Translating and Adaptating English Words in Other Languages While Preparing the Dictionary of Gender Concepts and Terms in Lithuania

Laima Liukinevičienė, Natalija Mažeikienė



The dictionary of gender concepts is being prepared in Lithuania since 2003 and the foreseen date of its issue is 2007. The academic community which is involved in this project often finds difficulties in using, selecting, defining the concepts. One of the problems is the lack of experience of preparing such kind of a dictionary. The other problem is rather limited involvement of language specialists, terminologists in discussions about the problematics of a new terminology, conveying gender related concepts applying the means of the Lithuanian language. The third problem is the alternation of concepts and terms, because the discussions about the usage of one or another term, which became a loanword in Lithuanian, are vividly taking place in those countries where such concepts and terms were established in feminist theory or feminist criticism during the seventies and eighties.

The article provides the analysis prepared by Russian gender specialists for academic community of translating gender concepts and terms found in dictionaries, chrestomatics and textbooks in the aspect of adaptation in the Russian language. This experience of cognate language and culture is important, seeking to introduce, explain rather new social phenomena in Lithuania preserving the purity of Lithuanian, equivalence of concepts and terms.

The article is divided into two parts. The first part analyses the experience and practice of translating gender terms and concepts, showing the common processes for all linguistic practices, stressing specific traditions of separate sciences with the international lexis.

Such sciences striving to describe the new social phenomena as fast as possible often prefer to use a loanword or define the concept, whereas language specialists, educators, historians, ethnologists patiently seek for the correct translation. Most of gender terms in the Russian language are not translated from English -the calque is prepared; these lexemes are used and inflected as words from the Russian language. The partial adaptation of concepts is popular as well as the usage of English terms and concepts as the international words. Translation to Russian, using the available resources of the Russian language is used more rarely. Since 2000 the revision and regulation of gender concepts and terms used in the Russian language is observed. Moreover, discussions concerning the usage of the terms of this field are held too.

The second part of the article deals with language processes, donors of gender concepts and terms, usually English speaking - striving to educate the objective attitude towards genders as well as discussions concerning different usage of one or another concept, because social processes, happening in the society, require correction in the language as well.