All communicators are translators.

Posted on January 2, 2018


The most common way to think of communicating is as an exchange of thoughts or ideas between two people who share a common language. The dynamics of communication, then, are in how one conveys those messages; video, words, body language, illustrations, stories, etc.

However, it may be helpful to think of all communication as translation, the exchange of thoughts or ideas between two people who do not share a common language. If we expand our understanding of “language” to include the contexts of each party, there is not only an “original language,” and a “receptor language,” but there is also an “original context,” and a “receptor context.” This exists even between two people, because every person comes with their own set of experiences and environments.

So, just as it is important for hermeneutics and linguistics, a “theory of translation” is also important for organizations, friendships, and marriages.

Posted in: communication