Quote

"
The presentation of the theory of knowledge presents a peculiar difficulty. This difficulty is linguistic. Human language was a not made for speaking about knowledge; linguistic formality is not cognitive formality; there are infra-linguistic and supra-linguistic cognitive levels."
- Leonardo Polo, Curso de teoría del conocimiento, tomo I

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Translating "además"

The term "además" is central in Polo's transcendental anthropology. The word is, however, difficult to translate into English. Added to the this is the fact that Polo's use of it in Spanish is already unusual.

Polo uses "además" to express the adverbial character of the human person. For example, according to his transcendental anthropology, Polo the human person is  "un ser además."

Thus, a correct English translation would ideally be an adverb and one that goes well with verbs such as being.

Test phrases:
1. "Si no me limito a pensar, precisamente porque el pensar es límite, soy además. ¿Además de qué? Ante todo, además de pensar."
2. "Además no significa añadir, ni es un añadido, sino que significa estar más allá y en ese más allá estar el además."

Possible candidates for an English word that would translate "además" include,
a) evermore
b) additionally
c) beyond

Evermore
Evermore was used by S. Piá.

Advantages: it is an adverb; flows well with phrases; its archaic character gives it a nice philosophical-technical sound to it.

Disadvantages: archaic, might sound a bit too rhetorical

Test phrases:
"If I am not limited to thinking, precisely because thinking is the limit, I am evermore. Evermore than what? Above all, evermore than thinking."
"Evermore does not mean adding, nor something added, but rather being beyond and it is in this beyond that evermore is."

Additionally:
Additionally is currently (but provisionally) preferred by R. Esclanda.

Advantages: it is an adverb; flows decently with phrases; is a word that is currently used in English (unlike evermore).

Disadvantages: may sound too simple

Test Phrases:

"If I am not limited to thinking, precisely because thinking is the limit, I am additionallyAdditionally to what? Above all, additionally to thinking."
"Additionally does not mean adding, nor something added, but rather being beyond and it is in this beyond that additionally is."

Beyond:
Beyond was tentatively suggested at some point (by A. Vargas?)

Advantages: can be used as an adverb; emphasizes that a constant tendency to go "beyond"

Disadvantages: has a spacial connotation; gives the impression that one goes from somewhere to some other place that is beyond

"If I am not limited to thinking, precisely because thinking is the limit, I am beyondBeyond what? Above all, beyond thinking."
"Beyond does not mean adding, nor something added, but rather being beyond and it is in this beyond that beyond is."

Any observations or other suggested translations?

14 comments:

  1. "Furthermore" and "moreover" are possible translations as well.

    I find some advantages using "beyond", but I provisionally agree with Derrick Esclanda: "additionally" is the best option available.

    Although, here are some other disadvantages:
    1) Seems to me (but not sure) that it has a numerical, quantitative or process connotation. In the case of "además" we don't want to express an action but an act.
    2) It is problematic with this text of Polo referring to "además" as being furthermore: “Además no significa añadir, ni es un añadido, sino que significa estar más allá y en ese más allá estar el además. O sea, ese más allá se mantiene como más allá en términos de además: el más allá es además, no un simple añadido al pensar, ni una ratificación del pensar -cogito ergo sum-. Y, por lo tanto, además es una designación del acto de ser”, Presente y Futuro del Hombre, p. 190. How are we supposed to translate "estar más allá". Beyond?
    3) Even though the notion of "además" is originally of Polo he was inspired by Eckhart. Meister Eckhart never speaks about "además", what he uses is "bîwort" (German). "Bi" is an inseparable verbal prefix and "Wort" means word and refers to the the Second Person of Trinity (Word). it seems to me that Polo chose the term "además" because it is the adverb that expresses pure adverbiality (cfr. PFH, p. 184). So I think the challenge is not to translate the term "además" but to find out a term that express the pure adverbialiy. Is there an adverb for this?

    Best,

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    1. "Furthermore" was also used by Piá in some of his English articles. It is a possibility, but doesn't have the correct ring to it. For example: "ser además" = being furthermore. Sounds flat and boring and not very "act"-ive.

      The origins of además from "Biwort" brings up another difficulty. Namely, when Polo uses "Verbo" when referring to the Second Person of the Trinity, it seems that the Spanish implies verbality. Thus, human being as adverbility makes clear reference to the the "Verbo". In English, however, the normal usage is "Word", which doesn't necessarily refer Verb. Thus, the connection that Polo is looking for is lost in the English.

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  2. Such an important term (for precision in ideas and for popularity of the work) could remain in the original as in Heideggerian terminology.


    Could we translate 'ademas' as 'more'?

    Also, what is Polo attempting to designate (or capture/not capture but to call attention to) by using the term ademas? More specifically, is he designating a pure departure from the material world? Is he designating something compounded with the material? Is he designating a constant growth in the thing itself?

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    1. This is another possible idea, but it seems to me that "more" is used in a broader sense and often times implies quantity (as in "more pizza"). When applied to verbs, it can also give the impression of just more of the same activity (as in "singing more" or "more singing). Polo's use of "además" wishes to express that the personal act of human being is more than just "more (extra-mental) being". I'm not sure if that made much sense, but I hope you can get a sense of where I'm going.

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  3. From an online dictionary here are the synonyms for the provided terms.


    Evermore
    Adv.
    1.evermore - at any future time; in the future; "lead a blameless life evermore"
    forevermore
    2.evermore - for a limitless time; "no one can live forever"; "brightly beams our Father's mercy from his lighthouse evermore"- P.P.Bliss
    eternally, everlastingly, forever
    evermore
    - adverb for ever, always, ever, eternally, to the end of time, in perpetuum (Latin)



    Additionally
    Adv.
    1.additionally - in addition, by way of addition; furthermore; "he serves additionally as the CEO" to boot

    adverb - also, further, in addition, as well, moreover, furthermore, on top of that, to boot The maintenance programme will additionally seek to keep sites graffiti-free.



    Beyond
    Adv.
    1. beyond - farther along in space or time or degree beyond - farther along in space or time or degree; "through the valley and beyond"; "to the eighth grade but not beyond"; "will be influential in the 1990s and beyond"
    2.beyond - on the farther side from the observer beyond - on the farther side from the observer; "a pond with a hayfield beyond"
    3.beyond - in addition; "agreed to provide essentials but nothing beyond"

    adverb - further away, far away, far off, at a distance People come from Renfrewshire and beyond to see his grave.



    Furthermore
    Adv.
    1. furthermore - in addition; "computer chess games are getting cheaper all the time; furthermore, their quality is improving"; "the cellar was dark; moreover, mice nested there"; "what is more, there's no sign of a change" moreover, what is more

    adverb - moreover, further, in addition, besides, too, as well, not to mention, what's more, to boot, additionally, into the bargain Furthermore, I will have to know all the data.



    Moreover
    Adv.
    1. moreover - in addition; "computer chess games are getting cheaper all the time; furthermore, their quality is improving"; "the cellar was dark; moreover, mice nested there"; "what is more, there's no sign of a change" furthermore, what is more moreover.

    adverb - furthermore, also, further, in addition, too, as well, besides, likewise, what is more, to boot, additionally, into the bargain, withal (literary) There was a man behind her. Moreover he was observing her strangely.

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  4. I am as confused as any other because the term is difficult to understand in Spanish.

    I was using "more" in the translations I do. After reading all comments I came with the idea of using a new term "always more" In the meaning I think it is the closest of the lot.

    What do you think?

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    1. As always, there's always room for discussion how to correctly translate "además". My two cents on the use of "always more" is that more seems to bring with it the notion of more of the same thing (see my comment above to Greg's suggestion). "Always" might help things, but it seems to me that it gives the impression that the act of being of the human person is just "always" continuing or perpetuating. But that's just my impression.

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  5. I think that all the words used above are rihgt for an article.

    Trying to look a good word for official translations I agree with Greg that is important to know the translations of previous philosophers. Polo's vocabulary was not made up as he went along, but he always tried to connect to the terms used by philosophers.

    It would be a good thing to have the help of someone who have studied Philosophy in English (It is not my case). Now I cannot remember any important philosophers that used the term "además", but there could be some, maybe Heidegger.

    I do not think that the dictionary is a good tool to find proper translations. The meaning of Polo's words are far away from Dictionary results. Obviuosly, it is some help (mainly for not native English speakers).

    Finally, just having a go, I like the word "Besides". It is simple and widely used like "Además", and phonetically nice. From the other words on the list I prefer "overmore". I was thinking of "more" but its most important meaning is "más" not "además". I do not think "Beyond" is a good translation (different meaning) and I find other words like "furthermore", "additionally", etc too complicated and formal.

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    1. "Besides" certainly has a more sonorous feel to it than "additionally". My only reservation about it is that it seems to imply something that is "next to" or "in parallel to" extra-mental being, but not necessarily related to it.
      I haven't really thought of "overmore". I'm not sure that it's English. But then again the word "Overman" is sometimes used in translation of Nietzsche.
      I do agree that it's important to know other philosophers, especially the ones Polo had in mind and also how those (especially Heidegger and Hegel) have been translated into English. But, as far as I know, there's no equivalent to Polo's además in other philosophers.

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  6. Greetings, I'm a 'fan' of Polo, and I've been studying him for a couple of years now. I came here invited by Beto.

    Just a note. Doesn't Polo sometimes use the expression "ser además"? How would that look like in English? I think "Being-besides" or "Being-beyond" may sound funny.

    I actually prefer being aditionally or being evermore. Aditionally sounds simple enough and moves away from an obscure philosophical vocabulary (which I think is important, since Polo sometimes seems to write in dialect). Evermore has a nice temporal ring to it, and sounds like a technical term.

    What do you think?

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    1. As I mentioned at the beginning of this entry, "additionally" and "evermore" are some of my top candidates for translating "además". So far, I'm still leaning toward "additionally" for many of the same reasons you gave. "Evermore" is a relatively strong second.

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  7. As a native English speaker, I can say that the first two of your options aren't idiomatically correct. Neither of them quite makes sense in English.

    I think it would be best to keep it simple and translate it as "more." (I should say, however, that I do not speak Spanish.) "More" is an adverb, and it conveys the sense of something additional, something beyond what was already stated. It is simple, clear, and idiomatically correct.

    "If I am not limited to thinking, precisely because thinking is the limit, I am more. More than what? Above all, more than thinking."

    "More does not mean adding, nor something added, but rather being beyond and it is in this beyond that [the something] more is."

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    1. Interesting that "more" is coming up more (no pun intended) in this discussion. Since I've mentioned some of my thoughts on "more" above (in response to Greg), I won't add more here.
      I do agree that "more" is simple and clear, but my sense is that it doesn't sufficiently express the distinction of personal act of being from extra-mental being.

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    2. Possibly "greater"?

      "If I am not limited to thinking, precisely because thinking is the limit, I am greater. Greater than what? Above all, greater than thinking."

      "Greater does not mean adding, nor something added, but rather being beyond and it is in this beyond that [the something] greater is."

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