The Question of Psychological Types: The Correspondence of C. G. Jung and Hans Schmid-Guisan, 1915-1916

By John Beebe; Ernst Falzeder | Go to book overview

Translator’s Note

ANY TRANSLATION requires a compromise between the imperative to retain, as much as possible, the literal meaning along with the characteristic peculiarities of the original, and the need to render it in idiomatic English and avoid “translationese.” There always remain cases of doubt, however, in which I have opted for a translation close to the German original rather than for fluency in contemporary English.

A case in point would be Einfühlung, a perfectly common and ordinary term in German, for which there is no exact equivalent in English. Rather than using “empathy” to translate it, for example, I have decided on “feeling- into,” unusual as it may sound. This is not only a literal translation but also the term chosen by H. Godwin Baynes in the first English translation of Jung’s Psychological Types (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1923). Since Baynes, who lived in Zurich at the time, was assisted in the translation by Jung himself, who listened “to my translation week by week offering invaluable suggestions” (Baynes, in Jung, 1921[1923], p. xxi), we may be certain that the choice of this word met with the latter’s approval, or might even have been suggested by him. Moreover, “feeling- into” also preserves the associative closeness this term has in Jung’s theory with the psychological function of Fühlen or “feeling.”

In another instance, a term that was and still is commonplace in German vernacular speech, Persönlichkeit (which can mean character, figure, identity, individual, personage, personality, personhood), has taken on, in its literal translation “personality,” further specific meanings, particularly in psychology, that it would be hard to assume Jung and Schmid had in mind in 1915. Even so, I have chosen “personality” because the alternatives would probably have been even more open to misunderstandings. I should add that this was also

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