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Le Sens de la Translation: Understanding Geometrical Translation as an Embodied and Sensory Practice

Le Sens de la Translation: Understanding Geometrical Translation as an Embodied and Sensory Practice

Rabourdin, Caroline ORCID: 0000-0002-9694-0384 (2013) Le Sens de la Translation: Understanding Geometrical Translation as an Embodied and Sensory Practice. In: Translations: Exchange of Ideas, 27-28 June 2013, Cardiff University. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

"To translate is to convey. It is to move something without altering it. This is its original meaning and this is what happens in translatory motion. Such too, by analogy with translatory motion, the translation of languages. Yet the substratum across which the sense of words is translated from language to language does not appear to have the requisite evenness and continuity; things can get bent, broken or lost on the way." (Evans, 1997)

In this paper, I will look at the pure and unconditional existence of translatory motion as described above by architect and theoretician Robin Evans and show that translation is both a geometrical construct and a sensory one, using the work of mathematician and philosopher Henri Poincaré.

In French, the word translation, although used in geometry and physics, is not used in linguistics anymore and gave way to the word traduction from Latin traducere "change over, convert" in the 15th century. The primary meaning of translation in French is to move from one place to another. It is used in geometry and physics. From my architectural background I associate the word translation with vectors and spatial transformations, where a translation will simply move the points of a figure from A to B without any distortion, in an isotropic space. ‘Translation’ here is thus primarily understood as a geometrical transformation in Euclidian space.

In Science and Hypothesis, Henri Poincaré (1952) explains: “One geometry cannot be more true than another; it can only be more convenient. Now, Euclidean geometry is, and will remain, the most convenient”. He gives two reasons, firstly because it is the simplest geometry and secondly because it agrees with the properties of natural solids, which we can compare and measure by means of our senses. In showing that the very act of translation does indeed involve a sensory experience, I will argue in this presentation for a sense of translation.

Item Type: Conference or Conference Paper (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: geometry, Henri Poincare, Robin Evans, translation
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
Last Modified: 25 Apr 2020 23:51
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/27637

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