Translating Freud


This book describes the problems that become apparent when translating Freud’s subtle thought and supple wording and examines the way in which these dilemmas are affected by the language―French, Spanish, and English―into which the work is translated. The authors are internationally distinguished experts in Freud and language, most of whom have taught Freud’s work in two or more languages: André Bourguignon, Pierre Cotet, Alex Holder, Helmut Junker, Jean Laplanche, Patrick J. Mahony, Darius Gray Ornston, Jr., and Inga Villarreal.

The authors discuss the divergencies between what Freud said about his own ideas and what his most popular translators have presented as his words, considering difficulties and solutions devised for the most widely accepted translations (including the British “Standard Edition”). They also explain why there is no historical and critical edition of Freud’s works in any language―including German. This book includes an English version of part of Traduire Freud, the explanatory volume for the first comprehensive French edition of Freud’s works, now in progress. In this landmark essay, the French editors detail the issues they faced in undertaking to translate Freud, the choices they made, and the reasoning behind them.

Translating Freud not only analyzes the specific problems of rendering Freud’s writings in another language but also illuminates the task of translation in general, emphasizing the importance of the tradition, experience, beliefs, and national origin of the translators and their audiences.


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