On Meaning in Interlinguistic Translation

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Title: On Meaning in Interlinguistic Translation
Author: Naydich, Leza
Advisor: Miller, Jerry; Allen, Benjamin W.
Department: Haverford College. Dept. of Philosophy
Type: Thesis (B.A.)
Issue Date: 2012
Abstract: Philosophy of language frequently encounters the problem of locating meaning – arguably nowhere more obstreperously than in interlinguistic translation. Theorists of translation, on the other hand, rarely address the issue of identifying meaning. In this paper, I introduce three theories of translation (those of d’Ablancourt, Schleiermacher, and Jakobson). I then discuss two preexisting theories of meaning, put forth by Jacques Derrida and John Searle, no strangers to the problem of locating meaning, who each have developed their own theories of meaning within a text, and put those theories into dialogue. I then examine these two theories of meaning and apply the theories to the three theories of translation (those of d’Ablancourt, Schleiermacher, and Jakobson, respectively) in order to foreground the theories of meaning implicit in the three theories. I conduct an analysis based on each application. I find that though neither Derrida’s theory nor Searle’s aligns exactly with any one theory of translation, they do align to some extent. Thus, the project of bringing out the features of the theories of meaning implicit in the theories of translation is successful. I find, ultimately, that no two theories seem to agree entirely on what meaning is, thus resulting in different aims of translation – this is the robust problem of differing accounts of translation. Based on the discussion in this paper, it seems that theories of translation necessarily contain some implicit understanding of the nature of meaning, which should be brought to the foreground in order to comprehend the deeper features of the theory.
Subject: Meaning (Philosophy)
Subject: Translating and interpreting -- Philosophy
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Naydich, Leza. "On Meaning in Interlinguistic Translation". 2012. Available electronically from

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