Medieval Hebrew Terminology in the Making (Reunion Conference)

Mon, 19/12/2011 to Tue, 20/12/2011



Resianne Fontaine, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Gad Freudenthal, CNRS, University of Geneva

Contrary to the poet J.W. von Goethe, who was confident that "Denn eben wo Begriffe fehlen, da stellt ein Wort zur rechten Zeit sich ein", medieval Arabic-into-Hebrew and Latin-into-Hebrew translators (as well as the few translators from vernaculars) usually had to think long and hard before they chose a Hebrew term to render a philosophical or scientific term in the source language. Our reunion is devoted to an attempt to elucidate, as far as possible, the considerations and motives that guided their terminological choices. We will examine the translation process at instants in which the creativity of translators gave birth to Hebrew philosophical terminology.