Translating private parts/Geschlechtsteile übersetzen

No, not ruminations on this interesting topic, but a Translators Association workshop on the topic, on 29th July, in London I presume.

In many languages, our private parts can be described in neutral language, for example the French ‘le sexe’, which is applicable to either gender. In English however we often find ourselves vacillating between medical, pornographic and downright crude vocabulary.

Translators from any language are invited to join Polly McLean in a facilitated discussion of the impact on register and tone of these less than perfect choices. If you would like to contribute some problems or examples in advance, please email her on

Via Love German Books

2 thoughts on “Translating private parts/Geschlechtsteile übersetzen

  1. The English ‘genitals’ conveys the same gender-neutral sense as the French ‘le sexe’, and is neither vulgar nor pornographic. So does ‘private parts’, for that matter.

    In all the languages I know, it is possible to use a whole range of registers for genitals, from the scientific through the formal and the collocquial all the way to the pronographic. There is nothing unusual about English, and I never find myself ‘vacillating’ as to the correct register to use in a given situation.

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