Dwelling in the Other’s Language: Some Thoughts on Translation as Linguistic Hospitality

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

Abstract

In On Translation Paul Ricoeur (2006) suggests a definition of translation as linguistic hospitality. This entails, on the one hand, an encounter where the “happiness” or “pleasure of dwelling in the other’s language is balanced by the pleasure of receiving the foreign word at home, in one’s own welcoming house” (2006, 10). On the other, it implies to serve and betray two masters, the foreign author in his strangeness and the domestic reader in his desire for appropriation. While Ricoeur initially conceives of linguistic hospitality merely in terms of translation between two distinct linguistic communities – the peculiar and the foreign – he then proceeds in claiming that we discover in “our own” linguistic community the same enigma of the “identical meaning which cannot be found” (ibid., 25). This recognition refers not only to the impossibility of finding an equivalent in other words, but also to the “otherness of the addressee” (Sakai 1999, 9): The fact that even within one linguistic community understanding is uncertain as communication takes place between two interlocutors that always remain to a certain degree foreign to each other. Using Ricoeur as a starting point, my presentation discusses the conceptualization of translation as linguistic hospitality. By drawing on the idea that untranslatability is also experienced within linguistic communities, my aim is to explore translation and hospitality as moments where the relationship between “self” and “other” gets negotiated.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jul 2019
EventMLA International Symposium: Remembering Voices Lost -
Duration: 23 Jul 202025 Jul 2020

Conference

ConferenceMLA International Symposium
Period23/07/2025/07/20

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Dwelling in the Other’s Language: Some Thoughts on Translation as Linguistic Hospitality'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this