§1 The goddess "truth" [18-19]

way can we assume the generally lighter and more limited task of translating a foreign word into our own language.

But the more difficult task is always the translation of one's own language into its ownmost word. That is why, e.g., the translation of the word of a German thinker into the German language is especially difficult—because there reigns here the tenacious prejudice to the effect that we who speak German would understand the German word without further ado, since it belongs, after alL to our own language, whereas, on the contrary, to translate a Greek word we must in the first place learn that foreign tongue We cannot discuss here in a more penetrating way to what extent and why every discourse and every saying is an original translation within one's own language and precisely what "to translate" means here. In the course of our introductory lectures on ἀλήθεια there will perhaps at times be an opportunity to experience something of these matters.

In order for us to be in a position to transport ourselves into the realm of the Greek word ἀλήθεια and so be able to speak this word henceforth in a thoughtful way, we must first become alert to and follow the directive provided by the translating word "unconcealedness." The directive shows as it were the direction of the transporting. The directive leads, if we limit ourselves to its main features, into a fourfold.

On the one hand, the word "un-concealedness" directs m to something like "concealedness." What, as regards "un-concealedness," is previously concealed, who does the concealing and how it takes place, when and where and for whom concealment exists, all that remains undetermined. Not only now and for us who are trying to reflect on ἀλήθεια under the guidance of its translation as "unconcealedness," but also and precisely among the Greeks, that which is intimated about concealedness remains undetermined and even unquestioned. The Greeks experience genuinely and express in word only unconcealedness. Nevertheless, the directive toward concealedness and concealing provides us now with a clearer realm of experience. In some way or other we surely do know the likes of concealing and concealedness. We know it as veiling, as masking, and as covenng, but also in the forms of conserving, preserving, holding back, entrusting, and appropriating. We also know concealedness in the multiple forms of closing off and closedness. From these modes of concealedness and concealing, "unconcealedness" immediately gains clearer features. The realm of the "concealed-unconcealed" is, if we do not deceive ourselves, more immediately familiar and accessible than what is expressed in the banal titles veritas and "truth." Strictly speaking, the word "truth" does not give us anything to think and still less anything to represent "intuitively." We must immediately call for help from a borrowed "definition"

Martin Heidegger (GA 54) Parmenides