expatica.com reports that the publisher of the translation into Galician of Mark Haddon’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime has cancelled the contract with the translator:
María Reimóndez, who translated the story about a 15-year-old with autism for Rinoceronte Editora, says that her employer cancelled her contract because she refused to hand in a sexist translation favouring the use of the masculine gender over the feminine in words where English uses a neutral form.
The publisher, Moisés Barcia, accuses her in turn of systematically changing neutral words for feminine ones, thus introducing a bias into the novel.
The publisher has now translated the book himself and the parties have instructed lawyers. There isn’t enough evidence in the articles I’ve seen to form an opinion.
By the time the Daily Telegraph got the story, the translator had been ‘sacked’ and the case taken to court.
“As we corrected her text, we realised that she was systematically translating neutral words into feminine ones, and masculine words into feminine or neutral forms,” said Moisés Barcia, the editor at Rinoceronte. “She chose to make the narrator’s pet rat a female, even though its name was Toby,” he said. In another instance she changed “men” to “xente”, meaning people.
I’d like to know more about the contract. How many of these divergences really went too far? How much did the author know about the problem when he agreed with the publisher that the translation was unacceptable? Did the publisher really say it had been a breach of contract for the translator to want the translation to appear without her name on it? It sounds as if she might have said, ‘Change these things, but don’t put my name on the translation’.
Reimóndez denies having made such changes and says that cancelling her contract was illegal. Barcia argues that she requested not to have her name appear on the modified translation, and that this constitutes a breach of contract.
Kauderwelsch (a great series of small books that give a summary of the grammar, terminology and cultural background of a huge number of language) Galicisch (Galizische) Wort für Wort