The paper zeroes in on the problem of equivalence with regard to translating philosophical texts which have so far been marginalized in translation theory in comparison to other sorts of (non-)literary translation. The paper primarily aims to describe the current translator practice in the field of philosophy and disclose why philosophical discourse is rendered in the unique way it is. The goal of the paper is also to recommend good practice in the ambit of philosophical translation. Drawing on Nida’s equivalence theory, the authors of this paper prioritize formal equivalence over dynamic one, which is connected with the specific nature of philosophical discourse. To this end, pertinent extracts from David Hume’s A Treatise of Human Nature with a special focus on philosophical terminology have been compared with their published Slovak, German and Czech translations. The present paper draws first and foremost on the methods of comparative textual analysis and utilizes elements of translation quality assessment models by House (1997; 2015). The terminological research is conducted from the position of induction as it involves the elaboration of theory from the analysed terms. The comparative analysis suggests that the form and function of philosophical discourse is interconnected to such a degree that the form even constitutes a part of the text’s function. The results of our analytical probe may be used as a springboard for deeper, quantitatively-oriented terminological-translational research.

About the authors


University of Prešov

Email: klaudia.gibova@gmail.com
PhD, Associate Professor of Translation Studies & Erasmus+ Institute Coordinator, Institute of British and American Studies, Faculty of Arts, University of Prešov, Slovakia. Research interests: English lexicology, history of the English language, linguistic text analysis, analysis and translation of legal texts, translation theory and practice ul. 17. novembra 1, 080 01 Prešov, Slovak Republic


University of Prešov

Email: sandra.zakutna@unipo.sk
PhD, Associate Professor of History of Philosophy, Institute of Philosophy, Faculty of Arts, University of Prešov, Slovakia. Research interests: Enlightenment philosophy, Immanuel Kant, political philosophy ul. 17. novembra 1, 080 01 Prešov, Slovak Republic


  1. Blanshard, Brand (1954). On Philosophical Style. Indiana: University of Indiana Press.
  2. Eco, Umberto (1994). The Limits of Interpretation. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
  3. Ferenčík, Milan (2016). English Stylistics as Discourse Analysis. Prešov: Filozofická fakulta.
  4. Hume, David (1896/1739). A Treatise of Human Nature. The Online Library of Liberty. Retrieved from http://oll.libertyfund.org/titles/hume-a-treatise-of-human-nature.
  5. Hume, David (2007/1739). Rozprava o ľudskej prirodzenosti [A Treatise of Human Nature]. Bratislava: Slovenské filozofické združenie pri SAV.
  6. Hume, David (1973/1739). Ein Traktat über die menschliche Natur. Hamburg: Felix Meiner Verlag.
  7. Hume, David (2015/1739). Pojednání o lidské přirozenosti [A Treatise of Human Nature]. Praha: Togga.
  8. House, Juliane (1997). Translation Quality Assessment: A Model Revisited. Tübingen: Gunter Narr.
  9. House, Juliane (2015). Translation Quality Assessment. Past and Present. London: Routledge.
  10. Kiczko, Ladislav et al. (1997). Dejiny filozofie [History of Philosophy]. Bratislava: SPN.
  11. Knuuttila, Simo (2012). Translation and Historical Semantics in Philosophy. Collegium: Studies across Disciplines in the Humanities and Social Sciences, 12, 1-9.
  12. Law, Jonathan (ed.) (2015). A Dictionary of Law. 8th ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  13. Munday, Jeremy (2016). Philosophical approaches to translation In: Introducing Translation Studies: Theories and Applications. 4th rev. ed. Routledge: London, 249-273.
  14. Nida, Eugene A. (1964). Toward a Science of Translating. Leiden: E.J. Brill.
  15. Nida, Eugene A. & Taber, Charles R. (2003/1969). The Theory and Practice of Translation. Shangai: Shangai Foreign Language Education Press.
  16. Nord, Christiane (2005). Text Analysis in Translation. Theory, Methodology and Didactic Application of a Model for Translation-Orienteйфычч d Text Analysis. 2nd ed. Amsterdam/New York: Rodopi.
  17. Parks, Gerald (2004). The Translation of Philosophical Texts. Rivista internazionale di tecnica della traduzione / International Journal of Translation, 8, 1-10.
  18. Pym, Anthony (2010). Exploring Translation Studies. London/New York: Routledge.
  19. Rée, Jonathan (1996). Being Foreign is Different. Times Literary Supplement, 20(2), 185-202. London: News International.

Copyright (c) 2018 BEDNÁROVÁ-GIBOVÁ K., ZÁKUTNÁ S.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

This website uses cookies

You consent to our cookies if you continue to use our website.

About Cookies