27(1) - 2015

Traduire le langage religieux : Pour qui ? Quand ? Comment ?

Liviu Marcel Ungurean


Our article aims at presenting a few reflections on translating religious language, following our experience as a translator. We shall try to answer the three questions presented in the title, from the perspective of making the religious text available to the general public by means of translation. The first question is addressed to the receptor of the translation who may be a specialized readership or a larger audience; the characteristics of religious language particular for the two categories are presented. This article also focuses on some problems which, in the case of a Romanian-French translation, translators should consider, such as: the issue of the ethno-cultural and religous differences between the West and the East, the problem of the reader’s religious affiliation and his attitude towards religious practice, as well as the question of the kind of reading he undertakes. The second question concentrates on the chronological aspect or the moment of translation. The translator should find the right moment ‘to feel’ when a certain writing has reached the level that enables its translation. The third question aims at the manner of translating a religious text. In this regard, editorial constraints, terminology, and the obligations required by the Holy Tradition that limit the translator’s freedom are identified.


Religious language, terminology, constraints, subjectivity, readership

27 avril 2015
  27(1) - 2015