Re: Gender-specific or gender-inclusive?

From: Paul Schmehl (
Date: Tue Feb 22 2000 - 23:30:34 EST

----- Original Message -----
From: "Wayne Leman" <>
To: "Paul Schmehl" <>
Sent: Tuesday, February 22, 2000 10:07 PM
Subject: Re: Gender-specific or gender-inclusive?

> Paul responded:
> >> Who is messing with the original, George? People are just trying
> >> translate the original into English and other languages as
> >faithfully
> >> (accurately) as possible. Translating inclusive ANQROPOI with
> >exclusive
> >> English "man" is actually changes the meaning of the original,
> >that's
> >> not faithful translation.
> >
> >Perhaps the real problem is with the use of the term "accurate" to
> >refer to translation. That can mean a lot of things to a lot of
> >people.
> You're on to an important issue, Paul.

That's what I thought.
> >
> >For example, one might say "man" is an "accurate" translation of
> >ANQROPOI, whereas another might say "mankind" is "more accurate".
> And who would be right?

That's a matter of opinion! :-) Which is the crux of the matter,
isn't it?
> >Maybe it would be better to refer to the art of translation in
> >of "literal" and "meaningful".
> Actually, it's not an issue of literal vs. meaningful, but of how
> works, that is, how words get their meanings and get extended
> The core (or primary) meaning of ANQROPOI was "men". That is
accurate. But
> for speakers of Hellenistic Greek there was also an extended meaning
> was "people". That was accurate also.
> Literal actually has nothing to do with it when we are discussing
> translation to English. Since the original word, like many words, at
> time in history, had a core meaning as well as extended meaning, a
> translation can be either "men", for those contexts where "men" is
> correct translation, or "people", for those contexts where the
author meant
> "people".
> Many people confuse literal with accurate. Accuracy in translation
> having the same meaning as the original meaning. Literal refers to
> up forms between two different languages, without necessarily taking
> meaning within context into consideration.
> A "literal" translation of ANQROPOI
> >then, would be "man", but a "meaningful" translation (in modern
> >English) would be "mankind".
> No, both are accurate. And both are meaningful and correct,
depending on the
> meaning in context, intended by the original author.

I see we agree, but we don't communicate in the same terms.
> >
> >Or have I just muddied the waters even further?
> Hmm, literal mud?!! :)

Indeed! (Paul Schmehl)
Technical Support Services Manager

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