Slovo.ru: Baltic accent

2021 Vol. 12 №1

Peritext of the Russian translation of William Hogarth’s Analysis of Beauty: a case study

Abstract

Translation of philosophical texts is a special challenge because of specific philosophical idiom and conceptual complexity of the narrative. It is not surprising that such translations are often accompanied by commentaries where the translator steps out of the shadows to justi­fy the translational decisions. This kind of supplementary text called the “translational peritext” is under study in this paper aiming to reveal the cognitive effort the translation process involves, and to explore the author-translator-reader relationship. The purpose of the article is to analyze paratextual elements in the translation of an essay on philosophical aes­thetics in search of answers to three main questions: What does the translator choose to com­ment on, and why? What is specific about the role and function of translational peritext in philosophical artistic discourse? How do the commented translational decisions affect, if at all, the reader’s understanding of the author’s stance? The problem of revealing the translator’s agency, his/her motivations and decision-making is investigated on the basis of the essay Analysis of Beauty by the celebrated 18th century English artist William Hogarth — an in­fluential philosophical treatise whose ideas have never lost their relevance. The paper starts with the brief account of the concept of paratext, its types and functions; it will then proceed to specificities of philosophical translation. In the main part of the article, the background information on the material under study precedes the analysis of the identified commented translational issues.

Download an article

Translation of postmodern terminology in the philosophical works by M. Foucault, J. Baudrillard, and J. Derrida

Abstract

The article examines the specifics of the translation of postmodern philosophical termi­nology. The authors explore Russian translations of the works of the modern French postmod­ernist philosophers Michel Foucault, Jean Baudrillard and Jacques Derrida. Postmodernism as a philosophical movement is based on the concept of radical plurality. It is characterised by the multiplicity of dimensions and types of analysis. The authors look into the problem of choosing strategies for the translation of postmodern terminology and analyse the dilemma translators have to face: how to manoeuvre between polysemy and ambiguity in the transla­tion of philo­sophical terms. The article analyses the translation of Foucault’s seminal work Les Mots et les Choses (translated by Avtonomova and Vizgin). Special attention is paid to the problem of translation of the postmodern terms discourse and episteme. Another focus of research is the analysis of the translation of Baudrillard’s work Simulacres et Simulation (translated by Pechenkina). In the final part of the article, the authors analyse the peculiarities of the transla­tion of Derrida's treatise into Russian.

Download an article

Comparative analysis of the epistemological language in translation

Abstract

The article presents a comparative analysis of the translation of basic epistemological terms and attempts to analyse cognitive factors underlying the construction of meaning in the translation process. Apart from linguistic expertise, the translation of philosophical texts re­quires a profound understading of the subject matter. Ambiguity of philosophical terms, which appears as a result of the development of a particular concept within a specific philo­sophical school of thought, may lead to inconsistencies in the translation decision-making. The paper aims to apply a cognitive approach to the translation of epistemological terms into the German and English language: Erkenntnis/cognition vs knowledge. In this study, context is interpreted as a verbalization of a specific conceptual frame facilitating the identification of the appropriate meaning of the term on a deeper, conceptual level. The article contains nu­merous examples from the works of Immanuel Kant translated into English as well as the data from multilingual translation corpora which are used to describe translation-relevant aspects of conceptual integration in philosophical discourse.

Download an article