Friday, November 9, 2007

campesino (redux)

campesino: family farmer (campesino)

In my previous entry for campesino I argued for importing, and keeping it as campesino. I still think that in a lot of movement contexts this is best, but in the recent Witness for Peace newsletter (not yet online) I noticed that they used "family farmer". I like this much better than the "small farmer" I gave as the other option to campesino. Obviously "family farmer" has different emotional weight in the U.S. than campesino, and I think it's a wise move for drawing connections and making a political impact. Of course the life of a family farmer in the US is quite different than that of a Colombian campesino, but both are being squeezed out by corporate agribusiness and "free" trade agreements.


Anonymous said...

Family farmer is a terrible translation for campesino, a term which includes all who work on the land, including those who work for a jornada, wage, or salary such as raspachines (coca harvesters), farmworkers on large agribusiness operations, as well as sharecroppers and others working under any of numerous other arrangements.

Family farmer is a very specific term while campesindo is very broad.

Sara Koopman said...

absolutely. this is precisely the point I made in my first entry for campesino, where I argued for leaving it as campesino for just this reason. what I was trying to argue here is that sometimes, for political lobbying, this could be a savvy, though not encompassing, translation.