Practice circumcision ON?

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Grammar / Gramática Español-Inglés' started by tapur, Jun 17, 2013.

  1. tapur

    tapur Senior Member

    Español - España
    Hi, I want to translate the following sentence into English:

    -John, practicáis la circuncisión a las niñas de vuestro pueblo?

    My try would be:

    -John, do you practice circumcision on girls in your village?

    It is a conversation between a traveler and a native African, talking about their customs.
    Thank you in advance!
  2. Wandering JJ

    Wandering JJ Senior Member

    British English
    Your suggestion is fine. You could also use of instead of on.
  3. Agró

    Agró Senior Member

    Alta Navarra
    ¿Qué tal against?

    Tristemente, parece lo más apropiado en estos días.
  4. tapur

    tapur Senior Member

    Español - España
    Hi guys, thank you very much!

    Agró, I think "against" is not good, because probably the African who the traveler is talking to, doesn't perceive it as an attack against someone, but as a purification on, or of someone. In that case, to use "against" in that conversation, would show judgement of the traveler, which is not shown in the original text in Spanish.

    Wandering JJ, I feel like "on" is better than "of", for (to me) it sounds better to say "on (a person)", opposed to "of (an object)". Am I making a valid assumption here, or is it just my way of seeing it?
  5. Bevj

    Bevj Allegra Moderata

    Girona, Spain
    English (U.K.)
    Personally I would not use 'of' or 'against'.
    In fact I think I would say 'Do you circumcise girls....' or 'Are girls circumcised....'
  6. tapur

    tapur Senior Member

    Español - España
    Thanks Bevj. I think your example is a bit too direct in the text that I'm translating, for this is the first mention to the subject of female circumcision in it. It feels a bit rough for an introduction. Even my example is a bit too direct. I think I'm going to use something like: "John, is circumcision a common practice on girls in your village?". It doesn't feel so abrupt, and seems also a way a bit more indirect to ask the question, instead of addressing it directly to him.

    Any thoughts will be much appreciated!
  7. gengo

    gengo Senior Member

    I agree with the comments of WJJ and BevJ, but in my experience this practice is almost always called "female circumcision," and I would call it that in your sentence.

    John, do you perform female circumcision on girls in your village?

    You may say it's redundant since girls are mentioned, but female circumcision seems to be a set phrase. Probably because the word circumcision immediately brings to mind a male patient.

    Also, you'll note that I changed practice to perform. For some reason it sounds better to me.
  8. juan2937 Banned

    Female circumcision is different from male circumcision. Female's clitoris are partially amputated whilst in Males the foreskin is partially removed (foreskin= prepucio).

    You perform a surgery ( circumcise) and the result is a noun circumcision.
  9. Hugh7 New Member

    English - New Zealand (~British)
    Female genital cutting includes a wide range of practices, including no more than removal of the clitoral prepuce. (That is what was still done to girls in the USA in the late 20th century and it was called "circumcision")

    I agree that the colloquial "Do you...?" (meaning "Do your people...?") is too direct to address to a man, when in his village it may be done only by women, and be "secret women's business".
    "Do they...?" would be the simplest way to avoid that. So "Do they circumcise girls in your village?" would be an accurate translation. But it is still a touchy subject, and might be better addressed in a more roundabout way, like "Do they have a custom of cutting girls in your village?" or "a custom for when girls become women...?"
  10. juan2937 Banned

    The intention in many cultures was to blunt their libido.
  11. Adolfo Afogutu

    Adolfo Afogutu Senior Member

    El término en español que yo he visto muchas veces utilizado es ablación, ablación del clítoris, en lugar de circuncisión, que tal como comenta gengo, remite inmediatamente al prepucio de los varones. Veo que en el correspondiente artículo en inglés hablan de "Female genital mutilation (FGM)" . Al pan, pan y al vino, vino. La palabra mutilación es sin duda la más sincera.
  12. nwon Senior Member

    Northwestern Ontario
    Inglés canadiense
    Diría probablemente "Is female circumcision/genital mutilation practiced in your village?" Es lo más impersonal.

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