Whatever works. Reflections on the translation into Basque of Gender Trouble by Judith Butler
Ana Morales


In this article, the author presents her personal collection of “norms” or guidelines for an “appropriate translation.” She proposes a definition of “appropriate translation” based on that offered by translator Kate Briggs, whose definition in turn is based on the definition of good workmanship coined by design expert David Pye, which has two key concepts: soundness (functionality) and elegance (equivalence and formal proportionality). The author believes that, in order to aspire to these two qualities, it is necessary to adopt the holistic perspective proposed by translation researcher Michelle Woods, who states that each work should be taken in its totality as an organic unit that must be considered in the wider context of its circumstances and motivations. In accordance with this, the author presents the “norm” incorporated most recently in her collection, whatever works, according to which it is legitimate to translate each passage of a work through the resource that can be best integrated in the text from the point of view of soundness and elegance – although different solutions may be possible for the same problem – interweaving in the translation anchors of coherence recycled from the original, and always keeping the complete work in mind. The author shows the practical application of this norm through an example taken from her translation into Basque of Gender Trouble by Judith Butler.