What is the nature of the relation between philosophy and translation? How does translation influence the reception of philosophical texts? Sabina Folnović Jaitner explores these questions by analyzing the ways in which Heidegger’s term “Dasein” was translated into Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian/Montenegrin.
The reception of Martin Heidegger’s work Being and Time has greatly influenced the history of philosophy in the 20th and 21st centuries. His ideas were a critical reevaluation of the entire philosophical tradition, which resulted in the creation of a specific philosophical language. What, however, does Heidegger’s undertaking mean for the translation of his work? His Bosnian/Croatian/Montenegrin/Serbian translators faced a challenge: they had to cope with Heideggerian terminology that did not exist in the philosophical tradition of their target language. Many of the translators therefore developed their own conceptual language and created neologisms that had not previously existed in their mother tongue. One such example is “Dasein”: translated into B/C/M/S as “tubitak” (Eng., being there), “egzistencija” (Eng., existence), “postojanje” (Eng., being), “život” (Eng., life). These linguistic solutions lead to the general question of how and to what extent such translations have influenced the subsequent development of Heidegger’s thinking in B/C/M/S’s philosophical tradition.
Sabina Folnović Jaitner studied philosophy and sociology at the University of Zagreb. She began her doctoral research project in 2009 in the Department of Philosophy of the Russian State University for Humanities in Moscow and is now a PhD candidate in the Department of Slavic Studies at the University of Vienna. Sabina Folnović Jaitner is currently IFK_Junior Fellow.