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Translators’ notes: On translating 'sens' and 'langue' in Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s Phénoménologie de la perception and Ferdinand de Saussure’s Cours de linguistique générale

Translators’ notes: On translating 'sens' and 'langue' in Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s Phénoménologie de la perception and Ferdinand de Saussure’s Cours de linguistique générale

Rabourdin, Caroline ORCID: 0000-0002-9694-0384 (2020) Translators’ notes: On translating 'sens' and 'langue' in Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s Phénoménologie de la perception and Ferdinand de Saussure’s Cours de linguistique générale. Sense in Translation: Essays on the Bilingual Body. Advances in Translation and Interpreting Studies . Routledge, pp. 1-10. ISBN 978-0367266998 (doi:https://doi.org/10.4324/9780429294686-2)

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Abstract

The words ‘sens’ and ‘langue’ are fundamental respectively to the work of phenomenologist Maurice Merleau-Ponty and linguist Ferdinand de Saussure. This chapter looks at the difficulties encountered by translators in translating the words ‘sens’ and ‘langue’ from French into English, calling by the same token for a comparative understanding of the terms. Donald A. Landes cites the non-systematic translation of the word ‘sens’ in Colin Smith’s first translation of Phénoménologie de la perception as one of his motivations for the new translation, and explains the importance of retaining the polysemy of the word ‘sens’ which means ‘direction,’ ‘meaning’ and ‘sense’ (or bodily sensation). Roy Harris in his introduction to Course in General Linguistics explains how ‘langue’ can be translated as ‘a language’ but does not adhere to this translation throughout, preferring instead to use ‘linguistic system’ in places, hence losing the direct connotative relationship which exists between the words ‘langue’ and ‘langage’ as well as the instrumental dimension of langue as a body part (tongue). Based on translators’ notes, the chapter insists on the importance of acknowledging the polysemy of the words langue and sens in understanding multilingualism as an embodied practice.

Item Type: Book Section
Additional Information: Ch. 1
Uncontrolled Keywords: Translation Studies, Sense, Langue, Sens, Language, Phenomenology, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Ferdinand de Saussure, Roy Harris, Stephen Heath, Colin Smith, Donald A. Landes
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
P Language and Literature > PC Romance languages
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences
Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences > Department of Architecture & Landscape
Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences > School of Design
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 14 May 2020 11:08
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
Selected for REF2021: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/27620

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