Note sur la traduction en hébreu
des "Principes directeurs de l'acte analytique"
Notre collègue Ilana Rabin du GIEP-NLS nous envoie une note à partir du travail de traduction en hébreu des « Principes directeurs de l'acte analytique », parus en hébreu sur NLS-Messager 301g.
Our colleague Ilana Rabin of the GIEP-NLS sends us a comment out of the work of translation in Hebrew of the «Guiding principles for any psychoanalytic act”, published in Hebrew in NLS-Messager 301g.
In the meeting of the General Assembly of the NLS, during the Vth NLS congress in Athens, Eric Laurent the Délégué Général pointed out the fecundity of listing words that resist translation.
Hebrew is especially interesting in this respect and I would like to give one such example from my experience in a Cartel that translated the "Guiding principles for any psychoanalytic act". I will focus on the process and detour that one such obstacle created.
The resisting word is "autorise" used twice in the second principle:
Deuxième principe : La séance psychanalytique est un lieu où peuvent se desserrer les identifications les plus stables par lesquelles le sujet est fixé. Le psychanalyste autorise cette distance à l’égard des habitudes, des normes, des règles auxquelles l’analysant s’astreint en dehors de la séance. Il autorise un questionnement radical sur les fondements de l’identité de chacun. Il peut tempérer la radicalité de ce questionnement en tenant compte de la particularité clinique du sujet qui s’adresse à lui. Il ne tient compte de rien d’autre...
The translation to English is rather smooth, it replaces "authorise" by "authorize"!
Second principle: A psychoanalytic session is the place in which the most stable identifications by which a subject is attached can come undone. A psychoanalyst will authorize this distance from one’s customs, norms, and rules to which analysands constrains themselves outside of sessions. He will authorize a radical questioning of the foundations of each one’s identity. He is able to temper the radical nature of this questioning by taking into account the clinical specificity of each subject who addresses himself to him. He takes nothing else into account…..
In the 4th principle the issue of authorization appears in the context of all the third parties wishing to intervene in the analytic process in the name of this or that authority:
…Ce principe exclut donc l’intervention des tiers autoritaires voulant assigner une place à chacun et un but déjà établi au traitement psychanalytique. Le tiers évaluateur s’inscrit dans la série des tiers, dont l’autorité l’affirme de l’extérieur de ce qui est en jeu entre l’analysant, l’analyste et l’inconscient.
(English:…This principle therefore excludes the intervention of any authoritarian third parties seeking to assign both a place to everyone and a pre-established aim for psychoanalytic treatment. The authority of the evaluating third party, who fits into the series of third parties, is affirmed from outside of what is at stake between an analysand, an analyst and the unconscious.)
When we claim that the analyst "authorizes" how should it be differentiated from the various authorizations attempted by all those third parties, mentioned in the 4th principle? Is the difference in "authority" is marked just by whether the source is "inside the experience" or comes from its "outside"?
These questions and others were raised because the word "autorise/ authorizes" as used in the context of the 2nd principle resists smooth translation to Hebrew and by that loses the embedded reference that exists in French and English to the Proposition du 9 Octobre sur le Psychoanalyst de l'École which states clearly the source of authorization:
" D'abord un principe: le psychanalyste ne s'autorise que de lui-même. Ce principe est inscrit aux textes originels de l'École et décide de sa position".
This reference not only excludes various third parties it actually paves the way to the analysant (or according to the proposition, the would be analyst) to authorize himself by the same ethical principle.
The Hebrew translation of the expression we find in the "Proposition" encounters no problem in finding a match to "s'autorise que de lui-même". This same word, however, cannot be used in the translation of the principles and thus keep the referential tie to the proposition. The reason is that the Hebrew meaning of the word "authorize" ("hasmacha"/ "masmich") includes a limit. It is possible to authorize someone ("Le-hasmich") but not something (distance, questioning….)!
The Hebrew sense of the word- "masmich" could be used for the "Proposition" as a very good choice since it defers the "giving permission" sense and emphasizes the legitimacy of a given position. However, when this word is used in relation to "distance" or "questioning" it is either meaningless or gets other meanings like condensing materials or putting elements close to each other.
A wide range of alternative possibilities ranging from "giving permission" to mere "agreement" caused the members of the cartel to juggle various additional possibilities like: The psychoanalyst allows, enables, loosen, unties….
The chosen word was "Matir" which curiously enough resists translation too! It is almost a neologism condensing two major meanings: 1. to physically untie a knot 2. to undo or untie vows.
It also means: opening and liberating, giving permission to and even solve algebra formulas.
These remarks are just one example of the fruitful wanderings that are the outcomes of the obstacles and resistances encountered in translation.