Translation as Interpretation – JOLMA – The Journal for the Philosophy of Language, Mind and the Arts, 3 | 2 | 2022

Editors: Francesco Camera and Gian Luigi Paltrinieri

What does it mean to translate and in what sense is translating constitutively interpreting? This issue is aimed to address these and many other related questions.

Clearly, translating cannot be reduced to moving a meaning from a remote linguistic vehicle to a more familiar one: “the purpose of translation by no means is that of bringing what has been said closer” (M. Heidegger, GA 51, p. 96), but, rather, that of allowing distance and strangeness to emerge within our target language. The relationship with distant or untimely texts is neither peaceful nor reassuring, and therefore (!) it opens up possibilities, it discloses different futures to the present. We can say, furthermore, that the first crucial consequence the work of the translator-interpreter produces is a disruption of the inertial absolutization of that present which is settled in our usual saying and, thus, appears to us immediately decipherable or as the only possible one.

On the other hand, it was some grandiose translating interpretations that led to powerful historical effects, decisively marking the cultural, philosophical and theological path of Europe and of the Mediterranean basin. Just to mention a few of them: the translation of the Bible into Latin by St. Jerome or that of the Seventy into Greek, the translation into Latin of Aristotle’s logical works by Boethius, the German translations of the Bible by Luther or the Sophoclean Antigone by Hölderlin, the first English translations of Plato by Thomas Taylor and Benjamin Jowett. All these have been interpretations that, even when they have forced or misunderstood the original, they have in any case broadened and put back in motion the significance of the target language, whose linguisticity has opened up different, fruitful ways of experiencing the world.

Another set of questions arises if we look at the everyday. Today all over the planet people speak the English language or translate their own into English. What happens to native English speakers if they get used to believing that they have no need to translate their mother tongue? And what does it mean for non-native English speakers if they get used to translating all their own thoughts and experiences? Of course, translating also has powerful ethical and political implications, as well as existential ones. And, by the way, it is a fact that we constantly need to translate and interpret within our own language: as Quine puts it, we must be aware that “radical translation begins at home” (W.V.O. Quine, Ontological Relativity, p. 46).

With the purpose of addressing these and other problems raised by translation and interpretation, in this issue we would like to collect essays on the following topics:

Invited Contributors:

  • Francesco Camera
  • Carla Canullo
  • Richard Capobianco
  • Massimiliano De Villa
  • Jean Grondin
  • Éliane Laverdure
  • Edoardo Simonotti

Submission deadline: May 31st, 2022

Notification of acceptance: July 15th, 2022

Articles must be written in English and should not exceed 6,500 words. The instructions for authors can be consulted in the journal’s website: ‘Editorial Guidelines’.

Submissions must be suitable for blind review. Each submission should also include a brief abstract of no more than 650 words and five keywords for indexing purposes. Notification of intent to submit, including both a title and a brief summary of the content, will be greatly appreciated, as it will assist with the coordination and planning of the issue.

For any question, please use the following address: Francesco Camera and Gian Luigi Paltrinieri

Please submit your proposals to the email or using the section ‘Submit’ of the journal’s website.