The Habsburg Monarchy's Many-Languaged Soul

Translating and interpreting, 1848–1918

ORCID logoMichaela Wolf | University of Graz
Kate Sturge | Aston University
ISBN 9789027258564 | EUR 99.00 | USD 149.00
e-Book Open Access
ISBN 9789027268686
Google Play logo

In the years between 1848 and 1918, the Habsburg Empire was an intensely pluricultural space that brought together numerous “nationalities” under constantly changing – and contested – linguistic regimes. The multifaceted forms of translation and interpreting, marked by national struggles and extensive multilingualism, played a crucial role in constructing cultures within the Habsburg space. This book traces translation and interpreting practices in the Empire’s administration, courts and diplomatic service, and takes account of the “habitualized” translation carried out in everyday life. It then details the flows of translation among the Habsburg crownlands and between these and other European languages, with a special focus on Italian–German exchange. Applying a broad concept of “cultural translation” and working with sociological tools, the book addresses the mechanisms by which translation and interpreting constructs cultures, and delineates a model of the Habsburg Monarchy’s “pluricultural space of communication” that is also applicable to other multilingual settings.

Published with the support of the Austrian Science Fund (FWF)

[Benjamins Translation Library, 116] 2015.  xvii, 289 pp.
Publishing status: Available

For any use beyond this license, please contact the publisher at [email protected].

Table of Contents
“The book is an important contribution to the research on translation, multilingualism and language policies in the Habsburg Monarchy, with a very detailed overview of the role of different types of translation and interpreting, both habitualized and institutionalized, in creating multicultural spaces of the Monarchy. In addition, it places translation within the wide theoretical framework characterized by the “cultural turn” in translation studies. Applying the concept of cultural translation and working with sociological tools, the book successfully addresses the mechanisms by which translation and interpreting construct culture, and outlines a model of the Habsburg Monarchy’s “pluricultural space of communication” that is applicable to other multilingual settings. What I find especially valuable is the very detailed and thorough research into translation practices in the Habsburg Monarchy in the period under consideration, revealing numerous less known or completely new aspects of the Monarchy’s multilingual policies and practice. The book will be of interest to anyone interested in multilingualism, language policies, historical sociolinguistics and translation studies and it opens new directions of research into the role of translation in multilingual settings, offering possibilities of comparison between the Habsburg Monarchy and the European Union.”
“This is a ground-breaking study and a model of scholarship. Wolf’s exploration of translation in the Habsburg monarchy is remarkable not only for its pioneering incursions into unexplored territories, but also for the clarity of the concepts it invents and deploys. And I must add at the outset that the book’s success is enhanced in English by a first-class translation by Kate Sturge, which uses precise and theoretically savvy language throughout. [...] Wolf’s excellent work of scholarship opens the door to a host of new possible areas of study.
There is huge potential for the study of multilingual sites in the Habsburg lands, in particular the fabulously variegated cities, which produced a rich literature of borders and contact. Wolf’s own research has turned rather to further exploration of the area of translation and conflict, testing the limits of translation in new ways, questioning how one can speak of mediation or negotiation in situations of extreme violence. As with the Habsburg research, Wolf’s concern is to engage with activities of translation that have social impact but have not as yet been integrated into translation studies. This is important work and counts among the most stimulating contributions to the field today.”
“Wolf introduces methods that are so effective in laying bare piece by piece the translation practices and policies at work in the Habsburg Monarchy that it is merely a matter for inspired researchers to adopt them and apply them to other multilingual states or institutions. After all, many of the sources she used are available for other countries or regions as well, such as advertisements, bibliographical overviews of translated books, literary prizes, censorship laws, and political debates. Being able to compare different people’s and governments’ approaches to multilingualism would allow us to understand even better what features are specific to one context and which are universal or typically nineteenth-century and/or European.”
Cited by

Cited by 21 other publications

Berecz, Ágoston
2021. Linguistic diversity and the court system in Dualist Hungary. Multilingua 40:3  pp. 393 ff. DOI logo
Ciribuco, Andrea & Anne O’Connor
2022. Translating the object, objects in translation. Translation and Interpreting Studies 17:1  pp. 1 ff. DOI logo
Dullion, Valérie
2018. Chapter 6.6. Legal history. In A History of Modern Translation Knowledge [Benjamins Translation Library, 142],  pp. 397 ff. DOI logo
Dullion, Valérie
2023. When was co-drafting ‘invented’? On history and concepts in Legal Translation Studies. Perspectives 31:6  pp. 1127 ff. DOI logo
Gambier, Yves
2018. Chapter 1.1. Concepts of translation. In A History of Modern Translation Knowledge [Benjamins Translation Library, 142],  pp. 19 ff. DOI logo
Gao, Yuxia & Riccardo Moratto
2022. Governance-oriented State Translation Program in the Yuan Dynasty. The Translator 28:3  pp. 308 ff. DOI logo
Guo, Ting
2016. Introduction. In Surviving in Violent Conflicts,  pp. 1 ff. DOI logo
Gürçağlar, Şehnaz Tahir
2022. Translation Historiography. Baltic accent 13:1  pp. 14 ff. DOI logo
Hoyte-West, Antony
2023. On the Trail of the First Interpreters in Early British Colonial Trinidad: An Exploration of Relevant Historical Aspects. Vertimo studijos 16  pp. 81 ff. DOI logo
Jettmarová, Zuzana
2019. Chapter 14. The concept of translation in Slavic cultures. In A World Atlas of Translation [Benjamins Translation Library, 145],  pp. 309 ff. DOI logo
Kujamäki, Pekka
2018. Chapter 4.2. Archives. In A History of Modern Translation Knowledge [Benjamins Translation Library, 142],  pp. 247 ff. DOI logo
Meylaerts, Reine
2018. Chapter 3.7. Translation politics and policies. In A History of Modern Translation Knowledge [Benjamins Translation Library, 142],  pp. 215 ff. DOI logo
Newerkla, Stefan Michael
2023. Reconstructing historical language contact between Slavic languages and Austrian varieties of German: theoretical assumptions, methodological approaches and general results. Journal of Linguistics/Jazykovedný casopis 74:2  pp. 645 ff. DOI logo
O’Connor, Anne
2017. Introduction. In Translation and Language in Nineteenth-Century Ireland,  pp. 1 ff. DOI logo
Probirskaja, Svetlana
2017. “Does anybody here speak Finnish?” Linguistic first aid and emerging translational spaces on the Finnish-Russian Allegro train. Translation Studies 10:3  pp. 231 ff. DOI logo
Schögler, Rafael
2017. Sociology of Translation. In The Cambridge Handbook of Sociology,  pp. 399 ff. DOI logo
Simon, Sherry
2018. Chapter 5.8. Translation zones/spaces. In A History of Modern Translation Knowledge [Benjamins Translation Library, 142],  pp. 331 ff. DOI logo
Simon, Sherry
2019. Reflections on Translation Studies: Past and Present. TTR 30:1-2  pp. 61 ff. DOI logo
Sulaiman, M. Zain, Haslina Haroon, Intan Safinaz Zainudin & Muhamad Jad Hamizan bin Mohamad Yusoff
2024. The professionalisation of translation practice: a systematic review of the literature. Perspectives 32:2  pp. 295 ff. DOI logo
Vervaet, Stijn
2024. Studying Literary Multilingualism, Revisiting National Philology: Post-Imperial East-Central European Literature as a Testing Ground. In Procedures of Resistance,  pp. 133 ff. DOI logo

This list is based on CrossRef data as of 20 april 2024. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers. Any errors therein should be reported to them.


Translation & Interpreting Studies

Translation Studies

Main BIC Subject

CFP: Translation & interpretation

Main BISAC Subject

LAN023000: LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Translating & Interpreting
ONIX Metadata
ONIX 2.1
ONIX 3.0
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  2015002602 | Marc record