Monday, May 4, 2009


Hermeneutics is at work in translation from one language to the other in a way that is different from understanding from one to the other. The difference comes from several different points the first of which is that the translator is making the attempt to become the author in order to produce the most faithful translation. This attempt to be in the mood of the author is different than other hermeneutic encounters because it is not about creating an understanding or a strengthening of an argument. Instead it is about reproduction of a view point. The second most crucial difference comes from the differences in language. The move from one language to another is a changing of worlds from one perspective of perception to another. Due to this change in perspectives the translator can not merely translate the words but must rework the them to convey the spirit of the words to convey the same ideas in the new world it is trying to be understood in. With these in mind it really makes me wonder about philosophy translation. What am I missing and what important thoughts could have been lost by my inability to understand other languages.

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