Versprechen des Un_Übersetzten im Feld der Geistes- und Sozialwissenschaften
This contribution understands the untranslated as the product of the instability of meaning and the provisionality of translation. Focusing on translation in the field of the social sciences and humanities, the paper will develop and explore four manifestations of promises of the un_translated as voiced by different agents: reduction of complexity as a subordinate dimension, and distinction, epistemic authority and increased coverage as three specific manifestations of the promises related to the intricate relationship between the translated and the untranslated. The un_translated will be discussed as form of translatorial agency leading to strategic decisions as exemplified in Harriet Martineau's translations of Auguste Comte. Further it will be shown in a discussion of the exchange between the sociologist Norbert Elias and some of his translators that manifestations of the above-mentioned promises are not necessarily kept. Overall, the differentiation of these promises pertaining to the un_translated serves as a heuristic for the study of translation in the construction of social and cultural knowledge-making.