gitl_eli7 (gitl_eli7) wrote in linguaphiles,

English Question about Chairpersons

Good morning Linguaphiles,

I'm translating a document from Hebrew to English and came across something I'm not sure of.  Let's say you have a chairman of something and his deputy is a woman.  Is she a deputy chairman or a deputy chairwoman?  My gut tells me that she would be a deputy chairwoman, because she's female.  But in Hebrew it's סגנית ליושב ראש (literally "vice to the chairman") - which indicates her status as second in command to an already existing position, which is currently held by a man.  I know I can avoid this all by using "chairperson", except that the chairman in this scenario regularly calls himself "Chairman" when he speaks English.

I'd appreciate your help.  Thanks!

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