Transference and translation / Übertragung und Überstellung

The six members of Zoe’s Ark convicted in Chad and returned to France to serve their sentences cause legal problems since they presumably can’t do forced labour in France.

They also cause language problems, since the term transfèrement (according to Bridge’s FR – EN law dictionary transfer of prisoners) seems unfamiliar to some journalists. Hence detailed discussions of the terms in Langue sauce piquante and Les zakouski du jeudi.

The subject is discussed by Arthur Goldhammer, who also mentions German:

In German “transference” is die Überträgung, which is indeed “transfer” in the ordinary sense, so maybe this is another of those instances where Strachey betrayed Freud by overrefining his language. This discussion may be of more interest to students of translation than of politics, and of course “translation” (Übersetzung, traduction) is but another sense of “transfer.”

Actually, the OED doesn’t mention Strachey in this connection. It gives two or three meanings of transference, one quite early. The Freudian one originates in 1911 (after a use of transfer in 1910).

1911 Amer. Jrnl. Psychol. XXII. 434 The reason why the physician is so often the object toward which the transference is made is that the Œdipus complex is almost invariably present in the patient. 1916 C. E. Long tr. Jung’s Analyt. Psychol. 245 What has disgusted you in hypnotism is at bottom nothing but the so-called ‘transference’ to the doctor. 1920 E. Jones Treatm. Neuroses 40 He is+reacting not toward the physician, but rather toward the other person who has been brought together (‘identified’) with the latter in his mind, an occurrence technically known as ‘transference’.

It appears that Strachey followed an earlier translation.

One meaning of transference is legal too:

Sc. Law. The procedure by which a depending action is transferred from a person deceased to his representative.

Thanks to Trevor

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