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27 May 2010

TSR: Goethe, Nietzsche

The first section of TSR, "Foundational Statements" ends with two short pieces, by Goethe and Nietzsche.

Goethe says there are three kinds of translation. The goal of the ideal translation is "to achieve perfect identity with the original, so that the one does not exist instead of the other but in the other's place." I wonder what the German is here; what's the actual difference between "instead of" and "in the place of"?

The very short Nietzsche extract from The Gay Science is fairly unremarkable except in its identification of translation with imperialism. For examples, ancient Romans translated extensively:
They did not know the delights of the historical sense; what was past and alien was an embarrassment for them; and being Romans, they saw it as an incentive for a Roman conquest. Indeed translation was a form of conquest.

So this section has covered over 1500 years, when people had theories about translation, but generally seem to have rubbed along. We now move to the 20th century, when things change.

1 comment:

schultzie said...

"wo man die Übersetzung dem Original identisch machen möchte, so daß eins nicht anstatt des anderen, sondern an der Stelle des anderen gelten soll."
[where one would like to make the translation identical with the original so that one should not exist instead of the other but rather in the place of the other.]

anstatt = instead (etym: an = in/on/at; statt = stead/place)

an der Stelle des anderen = (lit.) in the place of the other