Zurab Rtveliashvili







For Better Understanding of the Metaphysical Nature of Translation

[Can anyone translate the vibration?]


1. All the possibilities of the verbal text are limited to some extent. Conventional language can never translate properly those elements and energy that it contains but, meanwhile, this is the very goal it has set to reach in translation.


2. Any type of text rendered to another language by the translator is reproduced according to translator’s own acoustical capacity, intonation, interpretation and associations. It refers mainly to the structure of literary texts. As for technical texts and documentation it’s been translating based on deliberate schemes and frames. So, technical translation makes no problem as it is far more simplified now in the computer age. Translation as independent phenomenon is characterized with complex individual ontological peculiarities.


3. Globally viewed, translation is performed almost at all the levels of human consciousness and it is a way of investigation cultures with different techniques and approaches. For example, the most famous type of verbal translation from one language to another is one of the wide-spread occurrences of above-mentioned phenomenon. It functions based on almost the same principles as in all the similar cases connected to verbal thesaurus.


4. The inner censor that lives inside us rules human will (and passion too) from the point of view of the verbal matrix. To ignore this censor would be, at least, unreasonable. That very censor controls the fate of technical processes taking place deep in human brain that later emerges on the surface as a product of translation. This process itself is not less interesting for a researcher-observer than the Plato’s point in the allegory of cave.


5. In the case of poetry translation the target-text we get after translation process is quite different in its components:

a) Here at the initial state of translation the role of the author of word-for-word translation is utmost important as he/she defines greatly the future interpretation of the text, also on his/her mastery is depended the quality of its transportation to foreign-language recipients.

b) After there comes the state of artistic interpretation of the poem, that is a kind of creating new version of the initial text in another language. Here the role of the poetry translator is most important.

c) One can easily imagine how many states and how many transformations a text goes through until it begins to live in new language.


6. Let’s switch to language of poetry and say figuratively that every star in the galaxy and each planet in the space have their own voice and vibration that is even possible to be heard at certain rate of frequency. Can it be rendered to any language? Can anyone translate the vibration? It happens also sometimes – when a person experiences strong feelings connected to sexual intercourse or hunger or pain – that human mind does not obey the verbal source of language any more, otherwise, the verbal dictatorship stops functioning for some short period of time. It is beyond the verbal consciousness then to observe and express adequately what does a person feels actually during that short period of time. All that is impossible to render, interpret or translate in any other verbal language too.












 Poet and performer Zurab Rtveliashvili is from Georgia. He was very active in the « Rose Revolution », 2003. Rtveliashvili has been persecuted and arrested several times as a consequence of his performances, and arrived as guest writer in Stockholm City of Refuge in 2010.

His works include I-Retsqia (1997), Apokrifi (2001) and Anarqi (2006). He has also featured in the documentary film At the top of my voice (2009).




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