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

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Translating "destinatorio"

When Polo speaks of the human person and actions, he speaks of the human possibility of "destining" action to someone. For example, "El prójimo no es el destinatario de la donación tan sólo como receptor."
The question I would like to raise here is how to translate "destinatorio". If we translate "destinar" as "to destine", then "destinatorio" would be the one to whom we "destine" something (or, more precisely, some action). But how do we translate "destinatorio" into English?

English sometimes uses the word “addressee” to designate, for example, who a letter is “destined” to. Or a “beneficiary”, who benefits from something given to them. But, as far as I know, there’s no other English term to designate someone to whom something is destined.

One possibility is to simply translate "destinatorio" as "the one to whom [an action] is destined". This, however, can become quite cumbersome.

Another possibility is to create a new English word. Could be “destinary” or “destinee” (like addressee). The disadvantage of this approach is, of course, that it introduces and neologism.

Sample translations (very rough attempts):

1. El prójimo no es el destinatario de la donación tan sólo como receptor.
A neighbor is not the one to whom a gift is destined to only as a receiver.
A neighbor is not a destinee of a gifting only as a receiver.

2. Si yo soy capaz de don, el don implica una justificación por parte del destinatario.
If I am capable of gift, the gift implies a justification on the part to whom it is destined.
If I am capable of gift, the gift implies a justification on the part of the destinee.

3. Pero también, si es que de antemano la dignidad del destinatario está asegurada, se pone a prueba mi capacidad de donar.
But also, if it is that the dignity of the one who gifting is destined to is assured, then my capacity for gifting is put to the test.
But also, if it is that the dignity of the destinee is assured, then my capacity for gifting is put to the test.

4. Ciertas corrientes del pensamiento moderno han vacilado en lo que respecta al destinatario último de la posibilidad humana oferente.
Certain currents of modern thought have vacillated with regard to the ultimate one to whom the offering human possibility is destined.
Certain currents of modern thought have vacillated with regard to the final destinee of the offering human possibility.

5. Si ese destinatario no es Dios, se produce una interna limitación en la tensión donante que repercute en la apreciación de la dignidad humana.
If the one to whom human possibility is destined is not God, an internal limitation in the gifting tension is produced that has repercussions in the appreciation of human dignity.
If the destinee is not God, an internal limitation in the gifting tension is produced that has repercussions in the appreciation of human dignity.

6. Por eso se despliega en una doble reducción: termina en el pesimismo antropológico y en una extraña identificación del donante y el destinatario
Thus, a double reduction unfolds: it ends in anthropological pessimism and in a strange identification between the gifter and the one to whom it is destined.
Thus, a double reduction unfolds: it ends in anthropological pessimism and in a strange identification between the gifter and the destinee.

Any thoughts?

1 comment:

  1. Boy, Polo has a real knack for picking words and phrases that can't be turned into good English! Even "destinar" has no obvious English translation. "To destine," as a translation, is the next closest thing to a neologism, since the verb "destine" in English means "to establish as an immovable fate." Only the word "destination" maintains enough connection to its etymology to function as a real translation of the Spanish.

    Perhaps "destinatorio" could be translated as "destination"? That would be odd, granted--since in English a destination is always a place, even if a metaphorical place--but I think it's still clearer than the options you're working with.

    Might it be possible to stretch things a little and translated "destinar" as "to aim" (or "to direct") and "destinatorio" as "target"? That keeps you closer to idiomatic English and keeps the relationship between the terms clear.

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