Radical translation

Radical translation

Radical translation in philosophy is the situation in which a linguist is attempting to translate a completely unknown language, which is unrelated to his own, and is therefore forced to rely solely on the observed behavior of its speakers in relation to their environment.

The term was introduced by American philosopher W. V. O. Quine

Quine tells a story (Quine 1960) to illustrate his point, in whichan explorer is trying to puzzle out the meaning of the word "gavagai".He observes that the word is used in the presence of rabbits, butis unable to determine whether it means ‘undetached rabbit part’, or ‘fusion of all rabbits’, or 'temporal stage of a rabbit’, or 'the universal ‘rabbithood’

The subject is dealt with in more detail under Indeterminacy of translation.

See also

* Donald Davidson (philosopher)
* Indeterminacy of translation
* Meaning (linguistics)
* Philosophy of language
* W. V. O. Quine


Quine, Word and Object (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1960)

External links

[http://www.consciousentities.com/gavagai.htm] The "gavagai" story. [http://faculty.washington.edu/bonjour/Unpublished%20articles/UBCPAPER.html] A paper by Lawrence Bonjour criticising Quine's claims, among others.

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • radical translation — The same process as radical interpretation, but the term even more notably implies that the process is entirely to be thought of in terms of translation; whereas in principle a language can come to be understood, even as a second language,… …   Philosophy dictionary

  • indeterminacy of radical translation — indeterminacy of translation …   Philosophy dictionary

  • Radical interpretation — is interpretation of a speaker, including attributing beliefs and desires to them and meanings to their words, from scratch that is, without relying on translators, dictionaries, or specific prior knowledge of their mental states. The term was… …   Wikipedia

  • translation — The provision of an expression in one language meaning the same as that of another. In so far as different languages reflect different cultural and social histories, because of the holism of meaning, and because of the different associations and… …   Philosophy dictionary

  • Radical Dreamers: Nusumenai Hōseki — Титульный экран Radical Dreamers Разработчик Square Co., Ltd …   Википедия

  • Radical Dreamers: Nusumenai Hoseki — Radical Dreamers: Nusumenai Hōseki Титульный экран Radical Dreamers Разработчик Square Co., Ltd. Изда …   Википедия

  • Radical Network — (French: Réseau radical , 2002 2006) was a French far right study group formed in June 2002, with a number of its early members coming from those who split from Unité Radicale that April, notably Christian Bouchet, Luc Bignot and Giorgio Damiani …   Wikipedia

  • Radical (Chinese character) — Bushu redirects here. For the former Japanese province, see Musashi Province. The Chinese character 採 cǎi, meaning ‘to pick’, with its ‘root’, the original, semantic (meaning bearing) graph on the right, colored red; and its later added,… …   Wikipedia

  • Radical Comics — Infobox Company company name = Radical Comics company company type = A subsidiary of Blatant Entertainment, Inc. company type = Comic Publisher company slogan = Welcome to the Radical Universe foundation = 2007 founders = Barry Levine, Jesse… …   Wikipedia

  • Translation memory — A translation memory, or TM, is a type of database that stores segments that have been previously translated. A translation memory system stores the words, phrases and paragraphs that have already been translated and aid human translators. The… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.