Monday, July 30, 2007


Queer: Queer

(but if you have a chance, sneak in LGBT to cover your bases, and if you're doing simul and by some miracle have a long pause you could even say the whole mouthful for the truly clueless in your crowd. If on the other hand you're speaking to a queer crowd, you could also render it at times as familia, though of course that has a different connotation)

Yes, the term is widely imported into Spanish, even outside of the States. If you do a google search for it limiting it to Spanish sites you get 929,000 hits, many of them from organizations in Latin America using the term. There's an entry for queer theory in the Spanish wikipedia.

In the left more and more non-queer crowds will know the word queer in Spanish. In more mainstream venues, they may not even know LGBT. So educate them! Throw in "queer, o sea LGBT" the first few times and then just keep using queer is my vote.

Word is some LGBT folks in the DR are big on using 'raro' instead of queer, but I think that's a lost cause. Language purity shmurity.

I've also heard arguments for spelling it kwir, but I rather doubt this will catch on or be widely understood.

1 comment:

Sara Koopman said...

from this discussion on a listserve (thanks to Jack Gieseking for pointing me to it):

Maria Amelia Viteri also co-edited a great issue of Iconos about this question:

Larissa Pelucio also has a great consideration of this question, in the larger context of postcolonial studies, in this article:

She proposes to translate it into Portuguese as teoría cú at the end - my favorite: ass theory :)


RNL wrote:

Some years ago, the editors of Debate Feminista were vexed by the same problem, and came up with an approximation to title their collection on queer theory: Raras Rarezas. But this might be overkill.

I don’t think the problem has been solved subsequently.