Translation as Interpretation: A Hermeneutical View toward Translation
AbstractThe present paper investigates translation from a hermeneutical angle. Seeking the interrelationship between translation and hermeneutics besides exploring the very similar interpretive basis of the two, this study presents the hermeneutical theory as a legitimate discourse for discussing contemporary translation. Not far from expectation, translation is a dynamic task to be performed on the basis of a deep understanding of the source text. This makes translation a hermeneutical act by its very nature. At this juncture, one may say that the whole matter of translation is about hermeneutics and interpretation. The first and foremost implication of this acknowledgement is the celebration of the pluralistic nature of translation which does not simply succumb to any transcendental thinking so prevalent in translation tradition. This plurality is illustrated through investigating different translations of T.S. Eliot's poems through Gadamer's philosophical hermeneutics. As revealed in this study, the translator's understanding of the source poem and his subsequent translation is an interpretive one. This means that different translations which illustrate different fusions of horizons can stand as equally valid interpretations, and each translation is far from being definitive and determinate.