Wednesday, December 07, 2005
How to tell if you're not too pagan.
But Maija Kule believes that Latvian is able to adequately translate foreign philosophical texts and render them in a suitable form. Her husband has translated the likes of Heidegger and Husserl, among others, from German into Latvian.

"It's very important that Latvian can capture word play, such as Heidegger's extreme word play in German. And it can. It's not so pagan that it can't express complex philosophical ideas," she says.
The background of this statement is actually quite serious. Namely Latvia (and Estonia) were for several hundred years occupied by Germans and the native languages of those countries were deemed (of course) barbaric and incapable of philosophical discourse. Till this day there is some ill feeling - in some circles - towards so deeply in German language rooted philosophy like Heidegger’s. What surprises me is the defiant position people still take when talking about German language and philosophy in this language.
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