Philosophy and Practice in Translational Hermeneutics

2018

Philosophy and Practice in Translational Hermeneutics

Roberto Wu
Pages 119-142

The Rhetorical Aspect of Translation

After the phenomenological and hermeneutical contributions of Heidegger and Gadamer, among others, the performative peculiarity of language in its various aspects – speaking, writing, and listening – has been recognised in its own right. This account of language recalls the standpoint of philosophers who deal with the subject of rhetoric. In terms of the matter of translation, which is important for hermeneutics but also for classical rhetoric, certain differences emerge. From the perspective of classical rhetoric, translation is originally situated in the context of orality, where the orator endeavours to be intelligible to an audience while delivering a discourse that describes the subject vividly. But contemporary translation studies mainly considers written works and silent reading. The purpose of this essay is to examine the extent to which hermeneutics aligns with rhetoric, and whether an analogy between the translator and the orator is still admissible nowadays.