Cognition and Comprehension in Translational Hermeneutics
Hermeneutics is a discipline that has traditionally focused its inquiries on understanding and on the link between the process of understanding and communication. This area, namely understanding and the link to communication, has not figured predominantly in translation studies, and the new developments in machine translation make it increasingly obvious that exploring this aspect of human translation is particularly relevant. In this essay I show how the set of premises upon which hermeneutics rests differs in very significant ways from the fundamental premises upon which the natural science paradigm is based; it is this difference that makes research into the nature of understanding so crucial to Translational Hermeneutics. Scholars working in the field of Translational Hermeneutics have to clearly mark this difference vis-a-vis translation studies, otherwise scholars working in translation studies cannot understand the relevance of Translational Hermeneutics for translation professionals. Furthermore, the work geared towards gaining an empirically and phenomenologically well-founded, accurate description of the process of understanding has to be given first priority and pursued as expeditiously as possible, for this has to serve as the foundation for the further development of Translational Hermeneutics.