In celebration of International Women’s Day we are honoring three female translators from history. Throughout time, women have played important roles in translating texts, acting as interpreters between cultures, and building bridges between communities. Today we celebrate these women’s contributions, in addition the countless other translators!
The first translator for ‘On the Nature of Things’
Hutchinson was the first person to translate Lucretius’ “De rerum natura” (“On the Nature of Things”) from Latin into English. This work was pivotal in the spread the ideas of the philosopher Epicurus and ultimately helped spark the movement of the European Renaissance.
The Symbol of Peace
Sacagawea was the translator and sole woman on Lewis and Clark’s expedition across the American West. The power of the feminine came to light when she gave birth to her child. Traveling with an infant, Sacagawea served as an important symbol of peace as people of diverse cultures interacted. Sacagawea navigated the difficult role of translator and peacemaker between indigenous communities and colonists with grace and dignity.
Paving the way for culture.
Sagawa was a Japanese poet and translator who paved the way for modern 20th century writing for her country. As Japanese culture was nationalizing, and militarizing Sagawa wrote in a way that was fresh and new. She translated contemporary works of writers James Joyce and Virginia Woolf.
We are grateful to these women for their contributions to creating a world that is more accessible and understanding. Happy International Women’s Day!