The Second Conference on Hermeneutics and Translation Studies

Translational Hermeneutics  - Applications in New Areas

The 2nd “Hermeneutics and Translation Studies Symposium” took place at the CUAS in Cologne on 11 – 12 July 2013. About 50 participants heard high-level scholarly lectures on the subject of Translational Hermeneutics. The president of the university personally welcomed the audience and stressed the great interest of the university in such an event, underlining how the CUAS – with its focus on applied sciences – was interested to see how the conference and Translational Hermeneutics in particular would come to bear on the practice of translation and interpreting.

The 1st keynote speaker L. Cerny talked about Schleiermacher and Ch. S. Peirce, discussing in particular the relevance of Peirce’s semiotic approach for Schleiermacher and translation studies. Then R. Stolze spoke about various dimensions of subjectivity in translation as a human activity. Following that M. Alavi presented his research on the social function of translation according to Luhmann’s system theory.

The audience heard contributions on Husserl’s phenomenology, hermeneutics and translation with related research, on the relationship between hermeneutics and interpreting studies, on the experience of translating Heidegger into Spanish, and on the foundation of a new research centre on translational hermeneutics at the University of Saarbrucken. Two presentations were given by students from CUAS that dealt with the application of phenomenological and hermeneutical research methods on various aspects of the mediating process. Pommer delved into the hermeneutics of the legal text, and B. Schnettler opened the horizon towards a sociology of knowledge and genre analysis in social interaction.

The cultural aspect was also included with contributions on hermeneutics and literary translation, on poetical translation for the theatre, and working with films in subtitling, etc. Th. Hüsgen presented intriguing examples of translation criticism based especially on text coherence and J. Stanley presented a didactical method of how to hermeneutically approach the translation of texts. R. Kohlmayer’s talk on the translation of French alexandrines for the stage was most entertaining. D. Robinson closed the symposium Friday evening with a presentation on Schleiermacher’s famous article on the two methods of translating seen in the light of social ecologies.



Prof. Dr. Christoph Seeßelberg, President of the Cologne University of Applied Sciences, opened the conference with a welcoming speech for all participants.

Prof. Bernt Schettler, Chair of the Department for Sociology of Culture and REeligion at the University of Bayreuth, held an interesting talk on Hermeneutics, Sociology of Knowledge and Genre Analysis.


Prof. Thomas Hüsgen, Universidäde de Porto in Portugal, discussed the advantages of the hermeneutical approach to translating in his presentation entitled "Übersetzungskritik und Hermeneutik".


Prof. Lothar Cerny, University of Applied Sciences in Cologne, delivered an interesting paper on the relevance of Schleiermacher for today's translation studies.

The highlight of the meeting was the dinner at the Stanley’s home where we enjoyed wonderful home-made food under blue skies. A next symposium is already being scheduled for 2016.