For this issue, I spent several weeks researching to write about how to catch misgendering mistakes when reviewing a translation of material with nonbinary or gender nonconforming persons. I found several very interesting articles about the translation step of this content, but none about the QC step specifically.
It is different, you see, because when we translate, we type, and when we review, we read. Also, if the translation is of audiovisual content, we have images and sound to contend with.
There are other factors that affect the normal QC process and, in researching, I found myself out of my depth reading, for example, a dozen neuroscience articles that explain how your brain can trick you when it confuses your perception with reality, when it skips words while reading, by interference, etc. My letter has grown from a simple solution for doing this type of QC and IDing nonbinary or gender nonconforming people in SDH (subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing) files to a full-blown article with dozens of references. So, in this issue of Deep Focus, I will just leave you with an example to illustrate the complexity of this kind of review with some definitions.
In the source English video, a famous cisgender female actor plays the role of a nonbinary person who chooses to speak about themselves using both masculine grammatical gender and nonbinary pronouns. Let’s say it’s Julia Roberts.
Our eyes recognize the person on screen as a cisgender woman because we know Julia from other roles, and we will not catch misgendering mistakes in the translation as long as we are flying on autopilot. An image of a cisgender female actor with a feminine voice along with a feminine-gendered subtitle will appear to be a grammatical match for the brain of the reviewer, so steps need to be taken in order to circumvent this audiovisual interference so as to avoid misgendering the nonbinary or gender nonconforming character.
Definitions from Merriam-Webster online
- cisgender: of, relating to, or being a person whose gender identity corresponds with the sex the
person had or was identified as having at birth
- gender nonconforming: exhibiting behavioral, cultural, or psychological traits that do not
correspond with the traits typically associated with one’s sex; having a gender expression that
does not conform to gender norms
- misgender: to identify the gender of (a person, such as a transsexual or transgender person)
incorrectly (as by using an incorrect label or pronoun)
- nonbinary: relating to or being a person who identifies with or expresses a gender identity that is
neither entirely male nor entirely female
- trans: transgender: of, relating to, or being a person whose gender identity differs from the sex
the person had or was identified as having at birth
You’ll see my full article in the next issue! I wish you a healthy summer or winter break, depending on
your hemisphere. Hemispheres of the Earth, not the brain. Or maybe both?