The sin of the translator: On words and mental images in translation

Keywords: archetypal image, archetype, inner word form, interpretation in translation, mental image, word.


This paper explores the interface between the conscious and unconscious minds in translation and focuses on the inner word form that it considers to be the linchpin in this interface. This paper assumes that words pertain via their inner forms directly to archetypal images and via these images indirectly to archetypes, which underpins image-driven interpretations of individual words in translation.

This paper discusses Ukrainian гріх commonly translated as English a sin and shows that this translatability does not imply an interpretability as the words via their inner forms relate to two distinct archetypal images - of fire and of movement, respectively, - that uniquely transcend the cultures to the core and capture a different, culture-specific knowledge of SIN. Pictorially, these are different SINs, owing to which гріх means something different to a speaker of Ukrainian than a sin does to a speaker of English. Yet, ingredients and associations drawn into the archetypal images show that THE SHADOW, ANIMA, THE SELF, and TRANSFORMATIONS are the archetypes that jointly endow to speakers the same foreknowledge of SIN as mediated from within the collective unconscious. This way the inner word forms via their connection to archetypal images extend back beyond the conscious into the unconscious mind.


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Author Biography

Olha Vakhovska, Kyiv National Linguistic University Kyiv, Ukraine.

Associate Professor, Dr. Department of English philology and philosophy of language Kyiv National Linguistic University Kyiv, Ukraine.


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How to Cite
Vakhovska, O. (2022). The sin of the translator: On words and mental images in translation. Amazonia Investiga, 11(54), 178-188.