I have to wonder if most people really do think that gender neutral language is less literal than gender specific language. Each case has to be assessed in isolation and then the group as a whole.
First, brothers and sisters– (from LSJ)
- as Subst., adelphos, ho, voc. adelphe; Ep., Ion., and Lyr. adelpheos (gen. -eiou in Hom. is for -eoo), Cret. adelphios, adeuphios, Leg.Gort.2.21, Mon.Ant.18.319:–brother, Hom., etc.; adelphoi brother and sister, E.El.536; so of the Ptolemies, theoiadelphoi Herod.1.30 , OGI50.2 (iii B. C.), etc.; ap’amphoterônadelpheosHdt.7.97 : prov., chalepoipolemoiadelphôn E.Fr.975 : metaph., a. gegona seirênôn LXX Jb.30.29.
Other meanings are “fellow, kinsman, colleague, associate, member of a college”
As an adjective adelphos means equally “brotherly” or “sisterly”.
Second, uioi – sons.
I have seen very few translations that translate the uioi of Israel, as the “sons of Israel”, [except when referring to the named sons of Jacob.] Take a language like Hebrew, in which there is a word for “son” and a word for “daughter”, and translate into English, in which there is a word for “son, daughter and child.” In the plural, which is more literal – “sons” or “children”?
Third, fathers. (from LSJ)
- In pl.,
1.forefathers, Il.6.209, etc. ; exetipatrônfrom our fathers’ time, Od.8.245 ; ekpaterônPi.P.8.45 .
2.parents, D.S.21.17, Alciphr.3.40, Epigr.Gr.227 (Teos).
3.parentnation, opp. colonists, Hdt.7.51, 8.22, Plu.Them.9. (Cf. Skt.pitár-, Lat. pater, etc.)
Fourth, I hope we don’t have to fight about whether anthropoi means all humans, or men only. In fact, I would argue that using “humans” produces a much more literal translation.
This leaves the singular “they”. Excuse me. I have a code in the node. Pass the kleenex. Atchoooooooooooo.
Apart from the contentious S”T” is there any basis for arguing that gender neutral language is less literal? What is the evidence?
I am hoping that the literal translation blogabout, which I have been enjoying up until now, can continue without having to rework the gender issue. Surely we can set this aside for a bit.