'From the fury of the Vikings and translators release us, O lord.' Translation beliefs and legal translation policies in Belgium, 1830-1914
In the past decade, translation studies have seen an increased interest in translation in institution settings (Koskinen 2008, 2014; Meylaerts 2011; Wolf 2012; Kang 2014; Schäffner, Tcaciuc en Tesseur 2014; Prieto Ramos en Guzmán 2017…): a previously neglected area of research in the discipline (Mossop 1988), which has traditionally focused on the study of literature. This dissertation, on institutional translation in Belgium (1830-1914) is an example of this tendency, as well as of the steady increase in translation studies with a historical perspective (O’Sullivan 2012, p. 131). It moreover tries to fill a gap in the historiography on the Belgian language struggles and the Flemish Movement, in which the role of translation and translators so far has been neglected and little understood. Applying D’hulst’s approach to historical translation research (D’hulst 2001), it deals with people’s beliefs about translation (as such) and about the way translation was used by the State in the judiciary and for the publication of legislation. Prior to this analysis, it reconstructs the legal framework with regard to these areas of legal translation and the outlines of the translation practice, lifting the veil over translators and translation offices so far forgotten by historians. This study complements previous, more conceptual and comparative research on institutional translation in Belgian by Meylaerts (2009, 2011…) and more practice-oriented research by Schreiber and D’hulst (2014), Ingelbeen and Schreiber (2017) and Van Gerwen (2019).
Keywords: court translation, institutional translation, legal translation, translation beliefs, translation history, translation policy, translation politics.
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