L'intraduisible et l'implicite. Frontières ou zones de contact en traduction ?


  • Sebastien Doubinsky Aarhus University, French Dept, Denmark
  • Merete Birkelund Aarhus University, French Department




translation, the untranslatable, the implicit, transfer of the unsaid, irony


The untranslatable and the implicit often represent the two limits of translation - the untranslatable by what can be expressed in only one language, and the implicit by what is not expressed in one language. Phenomena in a constant margin, phenomena in a liminary position (see Jacques Derrida), they overlap several territories, ranging from cultural to linguistic. Between the "nothing is translatable" and the "everything is translatable" delimited by Susan Apter, and the possible or impossible equivalences of Eugene Nida, these two notions are always troublesome, or at least, in motion. Indeed, the definitions themselves are sometimes blurred. What is untranslatable? Does "intraductible" mean inexplicable, unpredictable or incomprehensible? And how can we determine the implicit, since it is, above all, an absence, a meaning that lies beyond or below the text? However, despite this apparent absence, the transfer of the unsaid can be translated, but often by other linguistic means than those used in the source language.

Since languages (in this context French and Danish) are not isomorphic, translation remains intimately linked to this reality. The task of the translator is to know how to transmit the combination of the implicit and the explicit, but also to try to explain what at first sight seems untranslatable in order to respect the (implicit) intention of the discourse of the language source.

Author Biography

Sebastien Doubinsky, Aarhus University, French Dept, Denmark

French, associate professor




How to Cite

Doubinsky, Sebastien, and Merete Birkelund. 2019. “L’intraduisible Et l’implicite. Frontières Ou Zones De Contact En Traduction ?”. Bergen Language and Linguistics Studies 10 (1):11. https://doi.org/10.15845/bells.v10i1.1414.