Hello from a newbie!
I couldn't find any discussions on this subject when I used search, so here's the question.
What gender should be used for animal characters in English translations of children's texts with animal characters, if the source language is such that nouns (objects and animals etc) have gender?
for example, Slavic languages.
Zec - rabbit. "male" noun
vjeverica - squirrel - "female" noun
if not specified otherwise in English, both are neutral.
so if I have a story about a rabbit and a squirrel, where gender of each is not important for the story, so each animal in the original have the genders of the noun (no specification that the rabbit is actual female, such as mother rabbit - mama zec) - then how should I translate these characters in English?
one option would be to make them all neutral - the rabbit, the squirrel, "it" ...
but to me that sound somewhat cold, or distant.
would it be ok to assign (and actually choose) genders for the sake of the story?
how do you solve such dilemas?