Translating Heidegger's Sein und Zeit
Romanian Journal for Phenomenology
vol. V / 2005 http://www.phenomenology.ro/?page=studia_all_issues&id=160&show=toc
It is well known that only a few philosophical works have attained an international celebrity in such a short time as compared to Sein und Zeit. Also, few phenomenological works have provoked so many debates and reconfigured in such a radical way the conceptual frame and the main directions of contemporary thought as this Heideggerian masterpiece did. It is not here the place to discuss what exactly turned this volume into a fundamental opus in the history of philosophy and which are the reasons that imposed this oeuvre on the highest arena of international philosophy. There have been already published many volumes which discussed the various aspects of Sein und Zeits importance in the field of contemporary thinking.
But the celebrity of Sein und Zeit is also related to the mechanisms
of propagation through which this work has attained a worldwide fame.
Since one essential element of this propagation consists in the special work of translation, we considered it is worth dedicating an issue of Studia Phaenomenologica to the translations of Sein und Zeit. Therefore, this volume has the intention to cover this specific aspect of the international spread-out of Heideggers thought. It is beyond doubt that the influence and the international irradiation of Sein und Zeit are due to the consecutive translations that traversed and irrigated various philosophical cultures of the world. The spread of this oeuvre is simultaneous with the spread of its translations and with their propagation in the networks of other cultures. Thus, besides the exegetical commentary on Heideggers thought, the act of translation remains one of the most efficient ways of the worldwide spread of Sein und Zeit, and besides the history of its exegesis, the history of its translations remains equally determinative for the actual state of international Heideggerian
Therefore, the main strategists of this propagation are the translators themselves. Because the good reception of Heideggers thinking in the various worldwide areas of contemporary philosophy depends on the knowledge and tenacity of each translator. On the other hand, the confrontation that a translator has with Heideggers text constitutes maybe one of the most radical experiences of reading Heidegger. And the profound knowledge and the hermeneutical talent that a translator should show constitute decisive ingredients for the validity of any translation whatsoever. Indeed, few things are more reputed as being difficult than a translation from Heidegger, and much more when Sein und Zeit is at stake, a work characterized by a very sharp precision of conceptual articulation and by an extraordinary terminological rigueur. We can reproduce here a suggestive passage from the introduction of the Romanian
translation of Sein und Zeit:
"In writing Being and time, Heidegger constructed a discourse. This means that he advanced step by step, establishing, with each step, the premises of the next step. There is no single word that has been written accidentally in these pages nor that has appeared without having the quality of a present and future element of construction. Everything entering the stage is taken-over, preserved and introduced in configurations and expressions growing one from the other and amplifying themselves. Perhaps no book in the world has ever been written, in a natural language, in such a rigorous manner. It would be appropriate to compare it with a fugue in which the whole advances as the notes succeed one another in the same order, making one feel that, as they endlessly come back, they never step forward."
The effort supposed by such an undertaking of translation, the sacrifice required by such a work, the abnegation necessary to linger on minutely on the infinite nuances of a concept or another, developing slowly and making small steps, all that makes the act of translating Heideggers opus an act almost heroic in the area of every culture. Thats why this volume is meant to be also a highly deserved tribute to the silent and apparently humble work, but not less sublime, done by the translators of Martin Heideggers oeuvre worldwide.
We can indicate some statistical facts concerning our topic. So far, there are complete translations of Sein und Zeit in 21 languages: in Bulgarian, Chinese, Czech, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, Greek, Georgian, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbian-Croatian, Slovenian, Spanish and Swedish. There is a recent partial translation in Persian, and there are in preparation translations in Arabic, Norwegian and Turkish. We can easily see that geographically, within these 25 languages, the European languages seem to dominate in comparison to the Extra-European languages (18 versus 7). If we focus on the family languages in which translations of Sein und Zeit were made, we can see that the best represented are the Slavic languages, 6 languages having the privilege of possessing a translation of this work: Bulgarian, Czech, Polish, Russian, Serbo-Croatian and Slovenian. Then, there are 5 Romanic languages in which this translation have been
made: in French, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian and Spanish. Only three Germanic languages have a translation of Being and Time: Dutch, English, and Swedish (however, as the forth one, the Norwegian translation is under preparation). Also, there are translations in two Finno-Ugric languages (in Finnish and Hungarian) and in one basic Indo-European language (Greek). Also, we must note the extra-European spread of Sein und Zeit through extra-European languages. We can find a translation in one Caucasian language (Georgian), in one Semitic language (Arabic), in one Turkic language (Turkish), in one Indo-Iranian language (Persian), in one Sino-Tibetan language (Chinese) and in other two Altaic languages (Japanese and Korean).
The Eurocentric dominance is however equilibrated by the fact that
we can find the most numerous translations in an Asiatic language: Sein und Zeit has been translated 6 times in Japanese. The next place is occupied also by an Asian language, the Korean, who has 3 complete translations accomplished of Heideggers magum opus. Then, two translations can be found in English, French, Italian and Spanish; here, we can mention that French has a third but partial translation. Only one complete translation is to be found in Bulgarian, Chinese, Czech, Dutch, Finnish, Greek, Georgian, Hungarian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian (where another partial translation can be found), in Russian, Serbian-Croatian, Slovenian, and Swedish. Finally, only a partial translation is to be found in Persian. Statistically, we can also mention that there are three women translators of Sein und Zeit: Marcia Sá Cavalcante Schuback in Portuguese, Joan Stambaugh in English and Andrina Tonkli-Komel in
To the quantitative record of the Japanese culture, with its 6 complete translations (some of them reworked and re-edited), we can add another one: the Japanese has also the merit of having made, chronologically, the first translation of Sein und Zeit in 1939-40. This first Japanese translation was followed only in 1951 by the Spanish translation, in 1953 by the Italian one, in 1962 by the English one. In 1964, when the first partial French version was being made, the Japanese translators have already finished the fourth complete translation of Sein und Zeit.
Regarding the 25 languages in which Sein und Zeit was translated,
there are 38 complete translations of Heideggers work, 4 partial translations (in French 1964, in Romanian 1994, in English 2001, in Persian 2001), and other 16 reworked re-editions of some of these translations.
For a clearer perspective the reader can find next to this introduction a Timeline of Sein und Zeit, an overview that benefited by the help of many authors in this volume. Also, due to our Italian colleague, Corrado Badocco, we publish a prospect of the German editions of Heideggers Sein und Zeit, who also helped us, as well as other scholars, to offer a bibliography concerning the topic: Heidegger and Translation.
We must say that the seminal idea of this volume comes from the main
Romanian translator of Sein und Zeit, Gabriel Liiceanu, who launched
this idea in a discussion with the Spanish translator, Jorge Eduardo Rivera, at the Institute Cervantes of Bucharest in 2003. This discussion was also honored by the presence of Walter Biemel, who received in the very next day the title of Doctor Honoris Causa at the University of Bucharest.
We invited to participate in all the translators of Sein und Zeit. Finally, 22 translators, corresponding to 17 languages, have accepted our invitation: translators in Bulgarian, Czech, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Romanian, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish, and Turkish. For an easier and more neutral perspective, we ordered their articles in the alphabetical order of their languages. In a few cases, we invited translators whose work is soon to be published, and translators involved in the work of re-editing and re-making older translations. For various reasons, there are seven languages in which Sein und Zeit was translated (or is to be translated soon) and which are not represented in this volume: Arabic, Chinese, Georgian, Norwegian, Persian, Polish and Russian.
The aim of this volume is to discuss the challenge that this masterpiece has addressed to each language and also to make manifest the impact and irradiation that this work has produced all over the world in various national cultures. We have suggested the authors to cover in their contributions some of the following aspects that we deem as central to the purpose of our volume: 1) The historical aspect, regarding the context and status of Heidegger translations in the respective country at the moment of translating Sein und Zeit; 2) The auto-biographical aspect: each translator was invited to tell the personal story of his/her own involvement with Heideggers Sein und Zeit, how he/she came to translate this masterpiece; 3) The personal adventure of the translation itself: the translator is invited to tell the story of his/her confrontation
with Heideggers text and of its most difficult aspects; 4) The impact the translation of Sein und Zeit had on that culture; 5) The different possibilities of translating Heideggers work the literal translation vs. the hermeneutical-interpretative one and the translators reasons for choosing one manner or another; 6) The capacity of each language to undertake the task of expressing what is idiomatic in Heideggers work, and consequently what seems to be un-translatable.
Following this central topic, we invited several researchers to discuss in a shorter dossier the state of the Heideggerian translations in the last decade, not only the translation of Sein und Zeit. This second dossier contains 5 review-articles which focus on Heidegger-translations in English, Finnish, French, Italian, and Romanian.
We are very thankful to our friends and colleagues who helped us in
configuring this volume, in the diverse stages of its elaboration: Emanuela Timotin, Andrei Timotin, Gabriel Cercel, Paul Balogh, Bogdan Minca, Corrado Badocco and Aurelién Demars.
Cristian Ciocan : Translating Heidegger's Sein und Zeit. Introduction
A Timeline of Sein und Zeit
Corrado Badocco : German Editions of Heideggers Sein und Zeit
Heidegger and Translation: A Bibliography
Dimiter Georgiev Saschew :
Rezeptionsgeschichte ohne Ende. Heideggers Werk Sein und Zeit auf Bulgarisch
Ivan Chavtík :
Wie es eigentlich gewesen ist. Über Ursprung und Methode der tschechischen Übersetzung von Sein und Zeit
Mark Wildschut :
Heidegger into D(e)ut(s)ch
John Macquarrie :
Heideggers language and the problems of translation
Joan Stambaugh :
Attempting to translate Being and time
Reijo Kupiainen :
Finnish approaches to Sein und Zeit
Rudolf Boehm :
Lêtre et le temps dune traduction
François Vezin :
Vingt ans après. Philosophie et pédagogie de la traduction
Johann Tzavaras :
Heideggers Hauptwerk in Neugriechisch
Mihaly Vajda :
Die Geschichte eines Abenteuers. Sein und Zeit auf Ungarisch
Alfredo Marini :
La nouvelle traduction italienne dÊtre et temps
Jiro Watanabe :
Aus meiner Erfahrung der japanischen Übersetzung
Ryosuke Ohashi :
Heidegger ins Japanische übersetzen
Kwang-Hie Soh :
The difficulties of translating Heideggers terminology into Korean
Ki-Sang Lee :
The Happening of Being and the Horizon of Being. Enowning of the Understanding of Being in Korea
Marcia Sa Cavalcante Schuback :
Die Gabe und Aufgabe des Währenden
Cătălin Cioabă :
Über die Wahrheit und Richtigkeit einer philosophischen Übersetzung. Der Terminus Bewandtnis in Sein und Zeit
Dean Komel :
Sprache der Philosophie zwischen Tradition und Übersetzung
Andrina Tonkli-Komel :
Husserl in Sein und Zeit. Zur Umdeutung der phänomenologischen Terminologie in Sein und Zeit
Jorge-Eduardo Rivera :
Translating Being and Time Into Spanish
Richard Matz :
Some words about my way to Heidegger
Kaan H. Ökten :
Sein ist nicht gleich Sein. Translating Sein und Zeit into Turkish
HEIDEGGER TRANSLATIONS IN THE LAST DECADE:
Theodore Kisiel :
Review and Overview of Recent Heidegger Translations and their German Originals: A Grassroots Archival Perspective
Tere Vadén :
Probing for Indo-European connections. Heidegger translations in Finnish
Christian Sommer :
Traduire la lingua heideggeriana. Remarque sur la traduction selon Heidegger, suivie dune note sur la situation de la traduction de Heidegger en France depuis 1985
Nicola Curcio :
Dasselbe ist niemals das Gleiche. Heidegger auf Italienisch und die Debatte im letzten Jahrzehnt (1995-2005)
Laura Tuşa-Ilea :
Heideggers Übersetzung ins Rumänische: Ein Überblick
Larisa Cercel :
Hermeneutik des Übersetzens. Heidegger, Gadamer und die Translationswissenschaft
Gabriel Cercel :
Der frühe Philosophiebegriff Martin Heideggers im Lichte neuerer Dokumente und Interpretationen
Ion Copoeru :
Madalina Diaconu, Tasten, Riechen, Schmecken, 2005
Mădălina Diaconu :
Silvia Stoller, Veronica Vasterling, Linda Fisher, Feministische Phaenomenologie und Hermeneutik, 2005
Dale Jacquette :
Karl Schuhmann, Selected Papers on Phenomenology, 2004
Yves Mayzaud :
Hiroshi Gotto, Der Begriff der Person in der Phaenomenologie Husserls, 2004
Francesca Filippi :
Gunter Figal, Lebensverstricktheit und Abstandsnahme, 2001
Rolf Kühn :
Jacques Derrida, Le toucher, Jean-Luc Nancy, 2000
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