Elsherif Garda


Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz

Research interest

translation history; translation of scientific and philosophical texts;

Research project

Translating Philosophers: The al-Kindi translator circle and its philosophical work.
Within the so-called Abbasid translation movement, a group of translators around al-Kindi (approx. 800-880) were active, translating Greek Texts into Arabic. Across all differences, the translations resemble one another inasmuch as all of them were translated source-text-oriented to a greater or lesser extent. This source-text-orientedness gets mostly traced back to a lack of linguistic skills. Starting from the convinction that for a descriptive approach to Translation Studies the inclusion of the translator’s aim is vital when assessing a translation, I want to argue that the literalness of these translations is not to trace back to a lack of language and comprehension skills, but rather played a role in developing the Arabic philosophical discourse. It seems as if the Kindi-circle didn’t aim primarily at opening up new philosophical contents, but rather at developing an Arab philosophical language and an Arab tradition of philosophizing through translation.

Scientific translations from German and Italian in France in the classical age (17th-18th century)
The project, led by Univ.-Prof. Dr. Andreas Gipper and funded by the German Research Foundation, aims at a detailed study of scientific translations in France in the classical age (17th- 8th century). With the emergence of modern natural sciences, national scientific cultures arise under the patronage of the early modern states. Making a massive use of vernacular languages they tend to put an end to the former Latin speaking Res publica literaria. One of the most important translation cultures of the early modern era is born: modern technical translation. Being the lingua franca on the European continent, the French language plays a prominent role in this process. Like no other language, French guarantees visibility in the global scientific community. The emergence of a practice and method of scientific translation has a highly consequential impact on modern society which will be comprehensively investigated in the project.

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