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Hoffer, P.T. (2000). Translator's Note to the Correspondence of Sigmund Freud and Sándor Ferenczi Volume 3, 1920-1933. The Correspondence of Sigmund Freud and Sándor Ferenczi Volume 3, 1920-1933, vii-viii.

Hoffer, P.T. (2000). Translator's Note to the Correspondence of Sigmund Freud and Sándor Ferenczi Volume 3, 1920-1933. The Correspondence of Sigmund Freud and Sándor Ferenczi Volume 3, 1920-1933, vii-viii

Translator's Note to the Correspondence of Sigmund Freud and Sándor Ferenczi Volume 3, 1920-1933 Book Information Previous Up Next

Peter T. Hoffer

All Translations Require a compromise between a desire to retain the literal meaning and stylistic peculiarities of the original and the need to render it in acceptable, idiomatic English. Translations that are too literal are often cumbersome or stilted, whereas those that attempt to follow the norms of colloquial English run the risk of losing or distorting some essential meaning. In translating the letters of Freud and Ferenczi, an attempt has been made to retain, to the fullest extent possible, the style and meaning of the original. This entailed having to render many of Freud's idiosyncratic and imaginative metaphorical constructions in forms that have no exact English equivalent while retaining the otherwise precise yet uniquely intimate conversational tone of his epistolary prose style. In the case of Ferenczi, whose native tongue was Hungarian and whose German was flawed, obvious grammatical and stylistic errors have been silently corrected. But at the same time an effort has been made to translate certain peculiarities of Ferenczi's formal yet flowery, enthusiastic, and occasionally redundant prose into English. Correctness of style has thus, in some instances, been sacrificed for the sake of authenticity.

Certain conventions of translation have been adhered to throughout the volume. Salutations and closings have for the most part been standardized, except in a few instances where certain personal remarks were included. Abbreviations of names and terms regularly used by both writers have been silently spelled out, with the exception of the commonly used ΨA (ψα) for psychoanalysis and cs., pcs., and ucs. for conscious, preconscious, and unconscious, respectively. Original spellings of names and places have, for the most part, been retained.

Recent criticisms by Bruno Bettelheim, Darius Ornston, and others of James Strachey's translation in The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud have been taken into account in translating the correspondence.

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