The Politics of Translation
Our discussion on the Politics of Translation opened my mind to the various troubles of communication. In trying to understand those who have come before us, we often misunderstand their true ideas because of our language barriers. Because many words and ideas do not easily translate into different languages, a lot of the original ideas and truths are lost. This translation problem does not only apply to Ancient Egyptian and African languages but to any thing that was communicated in the past. This leads me to wonder, Will we ever know the truth behind history?
The only way we will even come close to understanding the writings of the ancients is to begin with personal study. In order to truly understand any language, one must understand the culture. We have to progress from merely translating foreign things into our own language to being mentally fluent in the other language; fluent to where we don’t understand the language by knowing its equivalent in our own language, but we understand fully in that language. After this fluency has been attained, we can discuss our translations and interpretations with other scholars. Now will this work, I don’t know. Will everybody take the time to study particular languages that intensely? Of course not. So what do we do? I honestly have no idea. So this is the politics of translation.