Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
On ne naît pas femme: on le devientThe Life of a Sentence$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Bonnie Mann and Martina Ferrari

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190608811

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190608811.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 23 November 2020

The Life of a Sentence

The Life of a Sentence

Translation as a Lived Experience

Chapter:
(p.279) 13 The Life of a Sentence
Source:
On ne naît pas femme: on le devient
Author(s):

Constance Borde

Sheila Malovany-Chevallier

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190608811.003.0014

When translating The Second Sex—published in 2009 and 2010—the translators had to find the right translation for the word femme, a word with multiple meanings and connotations. For the iconic sentence, On ne nait pas femme: on le devient, a translation was chosen that omits the indefinite article “a” (used in the 1953 translation): One is not born, but becomes, woman. While the antecedent for the pronoun le in the French is femme, it refers to a state of being, the essence of woman. The dropping of the indefinite article “a” indicates generality and not specificity. Much engaging discussion has evolved over this choice, bringing up issues of grammar, philosophy and of course translation.

Keywords:   Key words, The Second Sex, femme, grammar, philosophy, translation

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .