Translating Western Social and Human Sciences in Argentina: A Comparative Study of Translations from French, English, German, Italian and Portuguese

  • Gustavo Sorá
  • Alejandro Dujovne
Part of the Socio-Historical Studies of the Social and Human Sciences book series (SHSSHS)


This chapter analyzes translations made into Spanish in Argentina of Social Sciences and Humanities books between 1990 and 2011. Argentina occupies a doubly peripheral position in the global system of symbolic production. First, its language, Spanish, is peripheral in comparison to English and, although to a lesser extent, to French and German. Second, scientific and cultural geopolitics indicate that the United States and Europe are the main producers and communicators in all areas of scientific output. The decision to focus on translations made in Argentina has been taken not just out of theoretical concerns—margins are key to understanding the centers—but empirical concerns too. Based on the analysis of bibliographical statistical data and of a series of interviews, this study compares translations from French, English, German, Italian and Portuguese. The chapter further explores the system of conditions that leads publishers to prefer certain languages over others, as well as the ways in which the structure and functioning of publishing affect the valuation of the intellectual production of different languages and countries.


Social sciences and humanities translations Argentina SSH French English German Italian Portuguese Spanish-language publishing market International circulation of SSH ideas Social sciences and humanities books Scientific field Spanish language cultural field Academic mediators Publishing houses French state support for translations Psychoanalysis Philosophy Cultural prestige Cultural world-system 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gustavo Sorá
    • 1
  • Alejandro Dujovne
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Anthropology, The National Scientific and Technical Research Council (CONICET)Universidad Nacional de CórdobaCórdobaArgentina
  2. 2.Centro de Investigaciones Sociales, IDES-CONICETBuenos AiresArgentina

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