For centuries, translating texts from one language to another has been the pursuit of both men and women. But, according to Julie Candler Hayes, a professor of French and author of Translation, Subjectivity, and Culture in France and England, 1600-1800, there is a catch. Women were expected to translate works of their contemporaries, while translating the Classics was men’s work. During the 17th and 18th centuries in Europe, translations of the Classics became a way of defining a national language for the developing State. In other words, translating the Classics was considered an important part of nation building, while translating contemporaries was little more than a pastime.