„Is Intercultural Communication Possible? On the Difficulty of Adequate Trans-Lations.“
Gabriele Osthoff-Münnix

March 8, 2022, 7:00pm - 9:00pm
University of Tübingen

Keplerstr. 2
Tübingen 72074


Eberhard-Karls Universität Tübingen

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Online Lectures organized by the Society for Intercultural Philosophy

-March 8th, 7 pm (CET)

Dr. Gabriele Münnix-Osthoff, Münster/Innsbruck, Präsidentin der Association Internationale des Professeurs de Philosophie: „Is Intercultural Communication Possible? On the Difficulty of Adequate Trans-Lations.“


Normally most people tend to assume that communication between representatives of different cultures and mothertongues can work by translations programmes that are getting better and better nowadays. Professional translators no longer seem to be necessary.

But there are intranslatables, and very basic structual linguistic difficulties, especially if we move out of the area of the so-called Standard Average European languages. Regarding African and Asian languages, for instance, there seems to be no universal grammar, but thinking is very much imprinted by  the structures of languages which incorporate world views that remain hidden to us if we hold our own structures to be universal. Between Humboldt and Whorf, Chomsky and Quine different language philosophies are traced. Is there a way between universalism and relativism?

In this lecture languages are seen as different perspectives of seeing the world, and in order to improve intercultural understanding, one should not rely on interpretors or translation programmes which deliver ready made transformations into the world of our own own language structures. This does not prevent language imperialisms and the conviction that our own way of thinking and speaking is universal. Rather should one strive to know more about other possibilities of seeing the world in other languages, in order to complete one’s own views. Intercultural communication can only be succesfull if other ways of seing the world are not leveled and neglected, but respected and seriously taken into account.

Dr. Gabriele Osthoff-Münnix is president of the Association Internationale des Professeurs de Philosophie (AIPPh) and in the board of SIP. After having taught at Münster university (Germany)and Innsbruck university (Austria) she is now author of philosophical books, such als „Trans-Late. Language Diversity and Intercultural Hemeneutics“ (Alber Freiburg 2017).

GIP Lectures | University of Tübingen (uni-tuebingen.de)


To participate please send a short notice to weidtmann(at)uni-tuebingen.de before the day of the lecture. The lecture will be given via zoom. A zoom-link will be sent to all those who registered one day before.

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