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Subjectivity in Translation: Ḥunayn Ibn Isḥāq’s Ninth-Century Interpretation of Galen’s “Ego” in His Commentary on the Hippocratic Aphorisms

In: Oriens
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This article provides a quantitative analysis of Ḥunayn Ibn Isḥāq’s ninth-century translation of Galen’s Commentary on the Hippocratic Aphorisms. It focuses in particular on the use of first person forms in both source and target texts. The present study categorises these forms into five semantic groups; namely (a) the personal expression of stance, (b) endophoric reference, (c) frame marking, (d) the expression of personal experience and (e) the impersonal expression of intersubjectivity. By employing these categories, the author shows that while Ḥunayn increases the use of personal forms in his translation, he does this to highlight the subjectivity of Galen’s text or enliven the translation, without making the text more subjective.

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