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'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.

D'HULST, L. and M. SCHREIBER, "Vers une historiographie des politiques des traductions en Belgique durant la période française", Target, 26/1, 2014, pp. 3-31; D'HULST, L., “Why and How to Write Translation Histories?”, in: J. MILTON (ed.), Emerging views on translation history in Brazil, São Paulo, Humanitas, 2001, pp. 21-32; INGELBEEN C., and M. SCHREIBER, "Translation Policies in Belgium During the French Period (1792-1814). Legal and Administrative Texts", Parallèles, 29/1, 2017, pp. 34-44; KANG, J.-H., "Institutions Translated. Discourse, Identity and Power in Institutional Mediation", Perspectives, 22/4, 2014, pp. 469-478; KOSKINEN, K., "Institutional translation. The Art of Government by Translation", Perspectives, 22/4, 2014, pp. 479-492; KOSKINEN, K., Translating Institutions. An Ethnographic Study of EU Translation, Manchester, St. Jerome, 2008; MEYLAERTS, R., "Et pour les flamands, la même chose. Quelle politique de traduction pour quelles minorités linguistiques?", Meta, 54/1, 2009, pp. 7-21; MEYLAERTS, R., "Translational Justice in a Multilingual World. An Overview of Translational Regimes", Meta, 56/4, 2011, pp. 743-757; MOSSOP, B., “Translating Institutions. A Missing Factor in Translation Theory”, TTR, 1/2, 1988, pp. 65-71; O’SULLIVAN, C., “Introduction. Rethinking Methods in Translation History”, Translation Studies, 5/2, 2012, pp. 131-138; PRIETO RAMOS, F. and D. GUZMÁN, “Legal Terminology Consistency and Adequacy as Quality Indicators in Institutional Translation. A Mixed-Method Comparative Study”, in: F. PRIETO RAMOS (ed.), Institutional Translation for International Governance: Enhancing Quality in Multilingual Legal Communication, London, Bloomsbury, 2017; SCHÄFFNER, C., L.S. TCACIUC and W. TESSEUR, "Translation Practices in Political Institutions. A Comparison of National, Supranational, and Non-Governmental Organisations", Perspectives, 22/4, 2014, pp. 493-510; VAN GERWEN, H., 2019. 'Tous les citoyens sont censés connaître la loi'. Étude des pratiques de traduction et de transfert dans le domaine juridique belge (1830-1914), KU Leuven: unpublished dissertation, 2019; WOLF, M., Die vielsprachige Seele Kakaniens: Übersetzen und Dolmetschen in der Habsburgermonarchie 1848 bis 1918, Vienna, Böhlau Verlag, 2012.

Date:29 Sep 2015  →  26 Nov 2019
Keywords:translation beliefs, translation policy, translation history
Disciplines:Literary studies, Theory and methodology of language studies
Project type:PhD project