BETWEEN DOMESTICATION AND FOREIGNIZATION: A STUDY OF CONTEMPORARY APPROACHES TO TRANSLATION INTO PERSIAN
The contemporary history of translation into Persian has witnessed the development of different approaches that attempt to address problems including mistranslation, untranslatability, and unintelligibility. Some view radical reconstructions in Persian as inevitable for proper translation. But such approaches are harshly criticized by conservatives, who argue that radical reconstruction comes at the expense of intelligibility. At the same time, related debates are not confined to language and translation but often extend to more general issues of a cultural nature. This project conceptualizes debates on translation into Persian and seeks to situate the problem of translation in contemporary Iran in its cultural context. Could the problem instead be related to the cultural challenge of choosing between domestication and foreignization in the age of globalization?
Roohola Ramezani is a postdoctoral researcher in philosophy and a freelance translator. He holds a Ph.D. in philosophy from Shahid Beheshti University in Tehran, Iran. His Ph.D. thesis focuses on the epistemology of disagreement, and his research interests include topics in social philosophy and cultural studies. While teaching courses in social epistemology and the philosophy of science in recent years, he has also translated texts in philosophy and the humanities into Persian.
“True Development or Just Some Nugatory Digits? A Social-Epistemological Study of Research Development in Iran,” in: The Economic Research Forum (ERF) 2019; Persian translation of Jürgen Habermas, “The Idea of the University: Learning Processes” (English translation by John R. Blazek, in: New German Critique 41 (1987): p. 3–22), Hekmat Publication 2017; “The Epistemology of Disagreement: Concepts, Problems, Views,” in: Knowledge 7.2 (2014), p. 57–64.
Translation into Persian has played a crucial role in modern Iranian history—not only transforming the Persian language but also effecting cultural, social, and political change. At the same time, it has been increasingly viewed as problematic. This talk introduces the role and the problem of translation in contemporary Iran.