Philosophy and Practice in Translational Hermeneutics

Philosophy and Practice in Translational Hermeneutics
2018, ISBN 978-606-697-061-7
Editors: John Stanley, Brian O’Keeffe, Radegundis Stolze, Larisa Cercel

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Displaying: 1-15 of 15 documents

1. Philosophy and Practice in Translational Hermeneutics: Year > 2018
John Stanley, Brian O’Keeffe, Radegundis Stolze, Larisa Cercel

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philosophical approaches

2. Philosophy and Practice in Translational Hermeneutics: Year > 2018
Brian O’Keeffe

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Gadamer’s hermeneutic philosophy has become increasingly important to scholars working in the field of translation studies, and in that regard, one of the key texts is his “Lesen ist wie Übersetzen”. In the present article, I offer a close commentary of that essay, but I also suggest that it is better understood if read alongside two other essays, namely “Stimme und Sprache” and “Hören-Sehen-Lesen”. What emerges, when these three essays are put into dialogue (and into dialogue with his major work Wahrheit und Methode), are the lineaments of an interpretive philosophy that centres upon reading, writing, and translation. Yet these activities are also placed under the aegis of hearing. In analysing why it is necessary to hear words, we find ourselves contending with some of the central, and indeed long-standing questions of Western philosophy, and it is ultimately against that background, I argue, that “Lesen ist wie Übersetzen”, “Stimme und Sprache”, and “Hören-Sehen- Lesen” gain their truest significance.
3. Philosophy and Practice in Translational Hermeneutics: Year > 2018
George Heffernan

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Husserl describes phenomenology as an eidetic science (Wesenswissenschaft), whose practitioners experience intuitions of essences or eidetic intuitions (Wesenserschauungen), establish eidetic knowledge or knowledge of essences (Wesenserkenntnisse), and express judgments about essences or eidetic judgments (Wesensurteile). There are two different ways of translating the technical terms here, substantivally with essence and adjectivally with eidetic. The substantival approach indicates that phenomenology focuses on essences as its thematic objects; the adjectival approach intimates that phenomenology articulates eidetic aspects of objects. In Husserl’s major work, Ideas on a Pure Phenomenology and Phenomenological Philosophy I, the language of essences sometimes dominates, and the eidetic vocabulary sometimes prevails. The nuanced duality is reflected in the classic work on specialized translation in phenomenology, Dorion Cairns’s Guide for Translating Husserl. This paper focuses on a hermeneutical aspect of the problem and shows that the translator of a specialized language is faced with a series of translational decisions on how to render the technical terms involved, that is, decisions on the best transition from the source text to the target text, on the relationships between earlier and later translations, on the authority and authorization of the author of the source text for the target text, and on over-determination (consistency) and under-determination (ingenuity). It suggests that in phenomenology how one translates is a function of how one understands, and that how one understands is a function of how one translates. It proposes that the two ways of translating and understanding are not mutually exclusive but that it is possible to accommodate both of them. A failure to grasp the distinction generates misunderstanding of Husserl’s eidetic science and doctrine of essences.
4. Philosophy and Practice in Translational Hermeneutics: Year > 2018
Radegundis Stolze

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The central idea of traditional hermeneutics is that a translator only transfers what he or she interprets as the text’s message. Modern philosophical hermeneutics, for its part, deals critically with what is conditioning the interpreter’s understanding of a text. In this regard, the focus is on the particular knowledge-base that constitutes the background of subjective understanding. In order to clarify the modern hermeneutical approach to translation, this essay discusses various dimensions of subjectivity. At issue, firstly, is the cognitive subject which takes charge of the translator’s reaching out into foreign worlds and specialist domains. Secondly, there is the existential subject: all translators live in a society and can learn about other modes of interpretation and rhetorical formulation, especially insofar as there is the possibility of being influenced by a given tradition. Thirdly, there is an individual subject informed by feelings and experiences which condition the translator’s linguistic creativity and motivate a certain deconstructionist reaction to texts. All three areas, this essay will argue, are constantly interlinked in understanding, translation, and writing.
5. Philosophy and Practice in Translational Hermeneutics: Year > 2018
Lothar Černý

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Translation Studies needs a foundation beyond linguistics. Semiotics and hermeneutics provide insights into the mental processes of translation. This article analyses the possibilities of a bridge between hermeneutics and semiotics in the writings of Peirce and Schleiermacher. For both offer meta-cognitive insights into how the mind deals with difference. Schleiermacher’s lastly claims that language is the reason why a final certainty of knowledge is not possible. Peirce’s view of the sign function at first betrays a hermeneutic deficit, which he appears to overcome by pointing to the “dynamical object” of the sign, providing space for further interpretants. His ontological categories, especially the predicates of thirdness, point to a hermeneutic level of semiosis. However, a basic difference between Peirce’s semiotic theory and Schleiermacher’s hermeneutics remains. Peirce attempts to construct an objective model of signification, while hermeneutics focuses on the interpreting activity towards a given text-sign.
6. Philosophy and Practice in Translational Hermeneutics: Year > 2018
Roberto Wu

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After the phenomenological and hermeneutical contributions of Heidegger and Gadamer, among others, the performative peculiarity of language in its various aspects – speaking, writing, and listening – has been recognised in its own right. This account of language recalls the standpoint of philosophers who deal with the subject of rhetoric. In terms of the matter of translation, which is important for hermeneutics but also for classical rhetoric, certain differences emerge. From the perspective of classical rhetoric, translation is originally situated in the context of orality, where the orator endeavours to be intelligible to an audience while delivering a discourse that describes the subject vividly. But contemporary translation studies mainly considers written works and silent reading. The purpose of this essay is to examine the extent to which hermeneutics aligns with rhetoric, and whether an analogy between the translator and the orator is still admissible nowadays.
7. Philosophy and Practice in Translational Hermeneutics: Year > 2018
Mohammad Alavi

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This paper uses Luhmann’s theory of (social) systems to distinguish between psychic and communicative understandings. The former occurs at the psychic level and the latter at the social level. It argues that while hermeneutical translation adequately describes how, during the translation process, the translating subject comes to a particular understanding of the text, it does not sufficiently explain the communicative understanding involved when she selects linguistic equivalences for the translation product. In detailing the two levels of understanding, this paper seeks to dispel the illusion of incompatibility between hermeneutics and systems theory. It also suggests that hermeneutics and social systems theory can complement each other to explain the psychological and social dimensions of the translator’s task.
8. Philosophy and Practice in Translational Hermeneutics: Year > 2018
Katharina Hauptmann

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This article is designed to contribute to the discussion of methodology in translation research. It deals with an attempt made to apply the phenomenological method to the process of understanding in translation and interpreting. The article begins with an overview of some of the literature on the hermeneutical approach as taken in interpreting and translation studies. The focus is on the notion of understanding, and the author discusses introspective methods employed to try to access processes of understanding, and she also introduces and discusses the phenomenological method. The latter was used for the research originally carried out as part of the author’s master’s thesis. The observations made here serve as a basis for discussing the value of the phenomenological method. The article concludes with a call for more openness regarding research methods.
9. Philosophy and Practice in Translational Hermeneutics: Year > 2018
Simon Glynn

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The success of linguistic communication in general, and translation in particular, is dependent upon the veracity of our understanding of the meaning of concepts signified in or by a language or languages. This raises the question as to how such understanding may be accomplished and ensured. And while Platonists and their ilk rely upon the transcendental intuition of supposedly absolute concepts, purportedly inscribed in their souls, those skeptical of such metaphysics have tended to attempt to derive the meaning of the concepts signified by language ostensively from observations of the supposedly “Real” world. However, in this essay, I argue that this is problematic for a number of reasons, not the least being that, as Husserl, following Hume, has noted, even the existence, much less the nature, of a (quasi-Noumenal) “Real” world, outside or transcending our experiences of phenomenal “Appearances,” is no more empirically verifiable than is Plato’s transcendental realm. Nor may understanding of (the meaning of ) the concepts signified by the linguistic communications of others be derived from these appearances, since my understanding of how things appear to others presupposes my understanding of the language they must employ to communicate this to me. Furthermore, and contra Husserl, as Hermeneutic Phenomenologists such as Heidegger recognized, the very appearances from which we may seek to drive our concepts are always already mediated by our conceptions or preconceptions. All of this being so, then as we shall perhaps not be surprised to see, the (semantic meaning of ) concepts signified by language are, as de Saussure has argued, derived from the syntactic relations which delineate them. Consequently, as Derrida has shown, they change over time (or diachronically) as such relations change. Unable therefore to establish the veracity of individuals’ understanding of concepts communicated either within a single language, or between languages, by appealing outside language to an independent criterion of arbitration, we must instead rely upon the coherence of linguistic articulation and communication; a coherence which, although a necessary condition of ensuring the correspondence of our understanding with that of others, can never be sufficient to do so. However, confidence in our understanding increases with the specificity and number of communications achieved without the occurrence of incoherence.

practical approaches

10. Philosophy and Practice in Translational Hermeneutics: Year > 2018
John Wrae Stanley

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When students – even advanced students – produce low quality translations in my translation classes at the Technische Hochschule in Cologne, it is often due to a diminished awareness of what a translator’s job consists of. Due to an interest in expediency and often influenced by the idea that translation boils down to code switching, students frequently severely truncate any efforts to read and comprehend the source text; instead they often try to substitute words in the source language with those from the target language without reaching an adequate understanding of the source text. The resulting translations almost always bear painful witness to the shortcomings of these “neophyte tactics.” Teaching a hermeneutical approach to translation is one effective way to counter such neophyte tactics. Drawing upon especially Heidegger and Gadamer, I will delineate briefly my own notion of “understanding” with particular regard for use by the translator. Based upon this notion of understanding, an approach to translation will then be sketched out. This is a work in progress, and the approach has not yet rendered a clearly defined technique for translation. However, by outlining some elements of cognition that seem to be essential to the process of understanding, it does demarcate some core issues that should be addressed when devising any pragmatics of translation that is hermeneutical in nature.
11. Philosophy and Practice in Translational Hermeneutics: Year > 2018
Romina Mählmann, John Wrae Stanley

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This is a report on the initial efforts made to develop phenomenological and hermeneutical methods for didactical use and epistemological research in communicology and translatology. The following analysis deals with a face-to-faceinteraction workshop that took place at the University of Applied Sciences Cologne in January 2012. The primary goal of this workshop was to establish whether or not an adaptation of the Husserlian phenomenological method could be applied within the framework of role plays, i.e., to see to what extent the phenomenological method makes it possible to observe oneself reflectively while actively participating in role plays. In toto, 14 English and German speaking participants took part in different role plays simulating the job-interview process. For this purpose the phenomenological and hermeneutical methods were explicated in an introductory phase and – at least at a rudimentary level – employed in the role plays. During the role plays, the primary tool employed to disclose verbal, para-verbal and non-verbal phenomena used in communication was the phenomenological method. After the role plays, a hermeneutical analysis was done in one selected group. The participants involved were asked to talk about the experiences they made during the role play; this was done while watching a video of the role plays, and it was designed to access the meaning of various verbal, para-verbal and non-verbal phenomena. Especially the comparison of their feelings, thoughts and perceptions with those of other participants was quite informative.
12. Philosophy and Practice in Translational Hermeneutics: Year > 2018
Beata Piecychna

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Based on an empirical study involving novice translators, this article discusses the advantages of hermeneutic approach to translation teaching (Stolze 2011) as seen from translation students’ point of view. Fifteen translation students participated in a pre-experimental procedure during which they were asked to translate a few texts of children’s literature from English into Polish. The aim of the procedure was to check and verify the influence of the hermeneutic approach on novice translators’ translation competence acquisition. Afterwards, the participants were given a special questionnaire and were asked to fill it in. The questions that they were asked to answer were concerned with their opinions relating to the hermeneutic approach to translation teaching. In the paper, opinions concerning the advantages of the approach are presented and discussed.
13. Philosophy and Practice in Translational Hermeneutics: Year > 2018
Thomas J. C. Hüsgen

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This paper examines various examples of texts translated from Portuguese into German by Georg Rudolf Lind. These examples, taken from his translations of works by Vergílio Ferreira, Agustina Bessa Luís, and Fernando Pessoa, show the degree to which Lind’s own profile as a translator has an impact on the translated texts. In this essay, my analytical reference point is the requirement of “coherence of the overall text composition” (Stolze 1982: 326). Thematic coherence and consistency is of paramount importance. The results of my analysis will reveal that, while the translation strategy used by the German translator contributes to the creation of good, legible target texts, it cannot always do justice to the peculiarities of the source texts
14. Philosophy and Practice in Translational Hermeneutics: Year > 2018
Claudia Tatasciore

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Children’s literature is relatively autonomous within the literary polysystem. In children’s literature, several systems work together: the social, the educational, and the literary. Children’s literature is motivated by quite specific aims, therefore, and it is also informed by representations of children and childhood that are specific to a given historical or social context. This essay argues that the most important issue a translator has to confront, when working on a text addressed to children, is the asymmetrical relationship between adults and children, particularly insofar as it structures the communicative situation. As I will show in an analysis of certain Italian translations of the Hungarian novel A Pál utcai fiúk (The Paul Street Boys), a hermeneutical approach to translation helps us assess the intention behind translations of books destined for young readers as well as their reception.
15. Philosophy and Practice in Translational Hermeneutics: Year > 2018
Rainer Kohlmayer

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After a brief summary of Herder’s enormous influence on literary translation in Germany (translation restores the specific orality of the original text) the essay points out five fundamental criteria that obtain when translating for the stage: Orality, Individual speech of dramatis personae, Relations between persons (as subtext), Necessity of immediate audience comprehensibility (as opposed to the readers’ situation), Theatricality / Fictionality with its typical „suspension of disbelief ” (Coleridge). These criteria are then applied to Pierre Corneille’s comedy Le menteur, written in Alexandrines, the characteristic verse form of French classicism. The original version of 1643 is compared to the verse translations by Goethe (1767), Bing (1875), Schiebelhuth (1954), Kohlmayer (2005), with a side glance at Ranjit Bolt’s English version of 1989. The ease with which young Goethe renders the classicist form of the original into colloquial German is contrasted by Schiebelhuth’s stilted ‚foreignizing’ of the text. The explanation offered is the (fatal) influence of Schleiermacher’s well-known translation theory of 1813, with its categorical preference of foreignizing, in contrast to domesticating (in Venuti’s terminology).