Results 1 to 7 of 7
  1. #1
    Ducklet Cat's Avatar
    Ducklet Cat is offline Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • Arabic
      • Home Country:
      • Kuwait
      • Current Location:
      • Kuwait
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    319
    Post Thanks / Like

    Question The person ... she!

    And one day we will look back with pride and faith at the journey we have taken
    pitiful is the person who is afraid of taking risks, perhaps this person will never be disappointed or disillusioned; perhaps she wont suffer the way people do when they have a dream to follow. but when that person looks back - and some point everybody looks back - she will hear heart saying , " what have you done with the miracles that God planted in your days? what have you done with the talents that God bestowed on you? you have buried yourself in a cave because you were fearful of...
    This is a text by Paulo Coelho (translated in to English).
    Why did the translator kept saying "she" when he refers to an undefinable person?

    I noticed that too in an article about teaching swimming to children, the writer kept referring to the child as "she" although the article was general.

    Is that a trend in English? Feminine pronoun is used to refer to an unknown person?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    8,896
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: The person ... she!

    Some people take offense to English grammar and therefore some other people use feminine pronouns, alternate male and female, or use ineloquent formulations like "he or she" in order to not give offense.

  3. #3
    Ducklet Cat's Avatar
    Ducklet Cat is offline Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • Arabic
      • Home Country:
      • Kuwait
      • Current Location:
      • Kuwait
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    319
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: The person ... she!

    I see. Thanks.
    Is there a unanimous rule for that?

    I notice the combination of he/she, and also the use of she alone.
    But rarely did I run into the use of "he" alone.
    Is that "political correctness" and avoiding offences going to far to the point of being discriminator against men? :)

    I wonder.

  4. #4
    riquecohen's Avatar
    riquecohen is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • Brazil
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    5,068
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: The person ... she!

    My guess would be that since the word person in Portuguese (pessoa) is feminine, subsequent mentions of pessoa would be with the pronoun ela (she.) If so, it may have been the translatorīs choice to render it literally.

    However, this doesnīt account for the use of she in the article on swimming.

  5. #5
    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    8,896
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: The person ... she!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ducklet Cat View Post
    I see. Thanks.
    Is there a unanimous rule for that?

    I notice the combination of he/she, and also the use of she alone.
    But rarely did I run into the use of "he" alone.
    Is that "political correctness" and avoiding offences going to far to the point of being discriminator against men? :)

    I wonder.
    No there is no rule for it. As you mention, it is what we call "political correctness." How much someone wants to display their "correctness" is a personal thing.

  6. #6
    masuas's Avatar
    masuas is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • Spanish
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    2,305
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: The person ... she!

    I think riquecohen could be right in what he said.
    The pronoun referring " a pessoa" ( la persona) is feminine, the same in Spanish as in Portuguese. I am not too familiar with the passage, but, perhaps somewhere there's a female subject being brought to the present of the thought in question.

  7. #7
    Ducklet Cat's Avatar
    Ducklet Cat is offline Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • Arabic
      • Home Country:
      • Kuwait
      • Current Location:
      • Kuwait
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    319
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: The person ... she!

    Thanks all.
    That's interesting to know that about Portuguese. And I can't blame the translator in this case who case to be too faithful to the original text. :)

Similar Threads

  1. Everybody, every person -> his/her/its?
    By Nightmare85 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 14-Mar-2010, 01:29
  2. everyone / each person
    By Ju1ian in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 03-Mar-2010, 11:46
  3. never seen in person before
    By KLPNO in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 22-Nov-2007, 06:55
  4. the last person
    By sjc55 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 10-Oct-2007, 13:44
  5. person to person call
    By Zeca in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 22-Feb-2006, 06:24

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Hotchalk