Click the star to add/remove an item to/from your individual schedule.
You need to be logged in to avail of this functionality.

Accepted Paper:

Translation and metaphor  
Massimiliano Lacertosa (SOAS University of London)

Paper short abstract:

This paper analyses the theoretical implications of translation as interpretation. In particular, the process of translation is considered in its relation with the construction of metaphors.

Paper long abstract:

This paper argues that a necessary system of translation takes place every time we encounter the other. Here, the other is considered, not only in its narrow sense as the other than self, but also in its broad sense as the other culture than itself. The dialogue between the parts can be more or less problematic depending on the extent of shared common ground. For instance, differences in languages are a familiar issue in anthropology - and in many other disciplines. However, this is just one aspect of a wider problem. In fact, if we accept the idea, perfectly stated by Wilhelm Humboldt, that the differences between languages are not merely differences of sounds and signs but more deeply and originally differences of visions of the world (Weltansichten), then the basic task of a translation is the interpretation and reconstruction of these worldviews. Therefore, a translation is always an interpretation in a broader context than the language's meaning and needs to take into consideration not only the view of the interpreted but also the one of the interpreter. In this respect, the translation is the locus of the encounter and comparison of worldviews.

The paper proposes the concept of metaphor as a useful tool to understand the process of translation in anthropology as well as in other disciplines, drawing attention to the Chinese idea of 道 (dào) and its Heideggerian interpretation.

Panel P093
Anthropology as translation: working misunderstandings?
  Session 1