Charlotte Coleman and Dr. Daryl Lee, Department of French & Italian
The recently released a book called Sex and World Peace addresses the way treatment of women and women’s political security vitally affects all levels of security and social health in society. The book states, “It is time to put the situation of women in the nations of the world as one of the foremost issues facing the international community today.” This translation of the research done on Senegalese women’s property rights for the non-French speaking audience contributes to accomplishing that aspiration in order to inspire further worldwide rectifying action.
The documents translated were originally published in French in 2010 as “Droits des femmes et accès au foncier: une citoyenneté à conquérir.” The study was done by Dr. Fatou Diop Sall and her research group GESTES (Study and Research Group on Gender and Society, Université Gaston Berger in Saint-Louis, Senegal) over a twenty-four month period and was founded on “a societal paradox between the important role of rural women in production and processes of wealth creation, and their marginal position in society.”
I worked with two fellow BYU students, Danielle Stanford and Taylor Madsen, and was assisted by Sophie Lee (Georgia Regents University). We divided the GESTES manuscript and mostly worked individually on our sections, communicating through email to collaborate for purposes of vocabulary, for translating acronyms and titles, and more generally for similar problems of syntax and scientific concepts. In order to translate appropriately, we used the available French-English Dictionaries, including WordReference website, for aid in understanding expressions and meaning behind words used in the manuscript. We recreated the graphics found in the original manuscript and translated them accordingly.
We also had weekly meetings with our mentor where we would present individual progression and eventually work together revising the translation; removing errors and ensuring consistency between the three different translation styles. When needed, we personally contact Dr. Fatou Diop Sall who provided specific clarification behind intention of some sections and phrases.
In all, we translated about 22 pages of manuscript, including graphs and statistics. Stanford translated the introduction, the methodology of the research and, assisted by S. Lee, the general information found on accessing land in Senegal. I was responsible for translating the pages that specifically address the different constraints on Senegalese women. Madsen translated the pages on citizenship in Senegal, the differences in rights of men and women according to region, and the concluding comments.
Part of our goal in translating this research was to have it published on the WomanStats Project website, which collects and provides access to statistical data of women around the world. We completely finished the translation and revision process in Summer 2014 and submitted it appropriately. On October 9, 2014 we received word from Lauren Eason, a Senior Research Assistant for the WomanStats Project, that the information we translated was added to their database and was available on their website.
The implication behind translating this research was that a meta-analysis could be conducted. The text, graphs, and statistics provide access to data, conclusions, and both assumed and legal rights of women in Senegal to the academic audience worldwide. Limitations that we met included being able to successfully align our busy schedules to work together before winter semester concluded. We also had trouble fully and correctly understanding context of Senegalese lingo that was used amid the French, which was also pretty heavily influenced by the culture and sometimes difficult for us to understand. For the graphics, we did not have access to the specific statistic numbers they used and thus had to eyeball where the bars stopped on the graphs and input them accordingly in order to make them identical to the original.
Translating this research study by GESTES about women’s property rights has already opened the doors to translating other studies, namely on domestic violence in Senegal. All this, in order to provide more information to the academic audience, and even leaders of nations, about the different situations for women in the world so that positive action can be taken.