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如何在英文写作中避免性别歧视?

时间:2008-4-8栏目:英语写作指导

近四十年来,尽管非性别歧视语还没有达到非不可的程度,但它毕竟已进人日常会话和写作的主流之中。随便翻开一张英美的报纸,或瞧一下五花八门的宣传广告,就会发现supervisor(工头,领班)替代了原来的foreman, workman‘s compensation(工人赔偿金)变成了worker‘s compensation; sales rep, sales associate或seller(推销员)取代了常用词salesman等。为此,笔者将有关资料整理如下,供英语学习者参考。请注意,所选用的例句,除个别注明外,均选自Rosalie Maggio编写的The Nonselist Word Finder: A Dictionary of Gender-Free Usage (Maggio, 1989)。

1.尽量不用通性代词he,除了明确地指代一个男性人物时,都要设法避免使用之。可以根据语境需要,选用下列替换方式:

1)采用复数形式
Sexist: When bathing a baby, never leave him unattended.
Revised: When bathing babies, never leave them unattended.
给婴儿洗澡时,一定不能让他们无人照料。

2)用we/us/our改写原句
Sexist: From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs.
Revised: From each of us according to our abilities, to each of us according to our needs.
各尽所能,按需分配。

3)改用第二人称、
Sexist: No man knows his true character until he has run out of gas, purchased something on the installment plan and raised an adolescent.

Revised: You don‘t know what your true character is until you have run out of gas, purchased something on the ! installment plan and raised an adolescent.
只有当汽车大的油用光了,按分规付款方式购物和抚养大一个孩子时,人的本来品性才会显露出来。

4)改用被动语态
Sexist: One who, when he has the choice of two evils, chooses both.
Revised: One who, when given the choice of two evils, chooses both.
一个在两种恶行之中要作出选择就两者都选的人。

5)完全省略代词
Sexist: What a person thinks of after he becomes a departee?
Revised: What a person thinks of after becoming a departee?
一个人离去后,会作何感想呢?

6)用冠词替代
Sexist: Can a critic give his opinion of an omelet without being asked to make one?
Revised: Can a critic give an opinion of...?
评论家议论煎蛋时难道到非要他去自己煎鸡蛋吗?

7)用someone, one, the one, no one等替代
Sexist: He who can take advice is sometimes superior to him who can give it.
Revised: Someone who can take advice is sometimes superior to the one who can give it.
接受忠告者有时胜过发出忠告者。

8)使用he and she或his and her,但使用的次数不宜太多。s/he仅可用于备忘录(memos), 便条(notes), 或者非正式的交谈之中。

9)用名词或上下文中用过的同义词替换
Sexist: To find a friend one must close one eye - to keep him, two.
Revised: To find a friend, one must close one eye - to keep a friend, two.
想找朋友;就得睁一只眼,闭一只眼;想留住朋友,就得双眼都闭上。

2.尽量使用那些包括两性在内的词,即无性别之分的词(gender-free words),

例如: child, teacher, officer(警官),people, worker, immigrant(移民),voter(投票者,选民), coach(教练),church member(教友), sale rep(推销员),grand parent(外/祖父或祖母),leader, evening student, employee (雇员),testee(考生,应试者),engineer,customers(顾客), dealer(交易者,商人),clerk(职员,办事员),civilian(平民),scientist, operator(接线员,办事员),patriot(爱国者),person, planner(策划者,计划者), politician(政客), producer(生产者、制造者), tutor(家庭教师,导师,[美国]助教),reporter,writer,chief executive(首席行政长官),everybody, expert等.

3、如非特指男性或女性,尽量用同义词或近义词替换含有-girl, -woman, -wife, -man后缀的词,例如:

calendar girl(月份牌上的美女像)-calendar model 挂历模特
call girl(应召女郎)--prostitute妓女
cover girl(杂志封面女郎)--cover model封面模特
flag girl(女司旗手)--flag bearer司旗手,执旗员
flower girl(卖花女)--flower seller卖花人
housewife(家庭主妇)--house worker(家务工人)
midwife(接生婆)--birth attendant(助产士)
showgirl(舞女,歌女)--dancer(伴舞者)
chairman(主席)--chair, head(主席,头头)
ring man(赌/赛马者)--bettor; gambler(赌马者,赌博者)
seaman(海员,水兵)--sailor; navigator; mariner pilot, captain 水手,航海者,船员,领航员,船长
spokesman (发言人) -speaker; representative, voice; press agent 发言人,代表,
right-hand man(得力助手) --right hand; deputy; assistant; helper 得力助手,副手,助理,助手

4.写信时,如果不知道收信人的性别,最好不要使用传统的Dear Sir; Dear Gentleman, Dear Madam. 可以选用下列之一:

1) Dear friends of the library(亲爱的图书馆的朋友们)
2)Dear Madams and Sirs(亲爱的女士们及先生们)
3) Dear Personnel Officer(亲爱的人事处长)
4)Dear Committee Member(亲爱的委员)
5)Dear Citizen(亲爱的公民)
6)Dear Customer(亲爱的顾客)
7) Dear Councilor(亲爱的参议员,或顾问)
8)Dear Agent(亲爱的代办)
9)Dear Director(亲爱的厂长或局长;主任;)

5.尽量少引用含有通性词man; men的引语,如果非引用不可,下列处理办法可供选择:

1)不直接引用,把引语进行释义
Sexist: W. Phillips said: "The best use of laws is to teach people to trample bed laws under their feet."
Revised: W. Phillips suggested that the best use of law is to teach people to trample bad ones under their feet.
W·菲利普斯说:“行使法律的最好办法是教导人们把不好的法律踩在脚下。"

2)使用[sic](原文如此)让读者意识到原文中的man使用得不大恰当。例如:
w. Phillips said: “The best used laws is to teach men[sic] to trample bad ones under their feet.”

3)对上述引语,也可只引用其中的一部分,例如:
W. Phillips said the best use of laws was to teach people "to trample bad laws under their feet”。

我们赞同Rosalie Maggio所讲的话:

“It is also necessary to acknowledge that there can be no solution to the problem of sexism in society on the level of language alone. Using the word secretary inclusively, for example, does not change the fact that only 1.6% of American secretaries are men. Using director instead of directress does not mean a woman will necessarily enjoy the same opportunities today a man might
 

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