From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
An interpretation can be the part of a presentation or portrayal of information altered in order to conform to a specific set of symbols. This may be a spoken, written, pictorial, mathematical, sculptural, cinematic, geometric or any other form of language. Complex meanings may be evoked where the reader consciously or unconsciously cross-references the text by situating it within broader frames of experience and knowledge.
There are three things that allow interpretation to occur, and these are all interlinked and interdependable: the writer, the text and the reader. Through the act of interpretation the reader is the one creating meaning; the meaning of the text intended by the writer is potentially overlooked or ignored. The reader produces meaning by participating in a complex of socially defined and enforced practices. Interpretation is an active process of producing values and meanings, a process that always occurs within specific cultural and political contexts, directly linked to the world in which the reader lives.
The purpose of interpretation would normally be to increase the possibility of understanding, but sometimes, as in propaganda or brainwashing, the purpose may be to evade understanding and increase confusion.
- The act of interpreting; explanation of what is obscure; translation; version; construction; as, the interpretation of a foreign language, of a dream, or of an enigma.
- The sense given by an interpreter; exposition or explanation given; meaning; as, commentators give various interpretations of the same passage of Scripture.
- The power or explaining.
- An artist's way of expressing his thought or embodying his conception of nature.
- The act or process of applying general principles or formulae to the explanation of the results obtained in special cases.
Interpretation or interpreter may refer to:
- Language interpretation, the facilitation of dialogue between parties using different languages
- Interpretation of tongues, a supernatural ability to understand unknown languages
- Semantics, assignment of meanings to symbols
- Interpretation (logic), an assignment of meaning to the symbols of a formal language.
- De Interpretatione, a work by Aristotle
- Hermeneutics, the study of interpretation theory
- Exegesis, a critical explanation or interpretation of a text