Celebrating Women Translators

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!

Lucy Hutchinson
1620-1681

The first translator for ‘On the Nature of Things’

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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.

 

Sacagawea
1788-1812

The Symbol of Peace

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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.

 

Chika Sagawa
1911-1936

Paving the way for culture.

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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!

 

Sources:

https://marielebert.wordpress.com/2017/09/18/translators-women/

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/culture/2016/11/12/books/book-reviews/remembering-forgotten-woman-japanese-modernism/#.WqCFJCOZOi5

http://brombergtranslations.com/2017/09/25/8-famous-interpreters-in-history/