29(1) - 2017

Traduire sous des régimes hégémoniques en Belgique : une politique de longue durée ?

Lieven D’hulst


Translation under hegemonic regimes in Belgium: A long-term policy?


Translation concepts and practices always combine different temporalities, on a scale that covers long-term traditions, medium-term periods corresponding with political and cultural movements as well as short-term phases fitting the views and careers of individual actors. This contribution deals with the junction of these three types of temporality during the last decades of the so-called Austrian period in Belgium (1748-1792), i.e., a period that precedes French annexation of Belgium (1795-1815). It is well known that the French revolutionaries claimed the design of a proper language policy accompanied by a full-fledged translation policy imposed on the annexed territories, a.o. Belgium, where both policies have been enforced on the Flemish departements. Yet, it is less known that the French revolutionaries also pursued earlier traditions, e.g., as developed by the Austrian hegemonic regime. A brief comparison between the Austrian and the French period lays bare the latter’s combination of borrowings from long-term traditions with conjectural adaptations. The focus of research is on translations of “grey” literature in the legal and administrative domains, more specifically translations carried out within the “Conseil de Flandre”, located in the city of Ghent and an essential translating institution of Austrian politics.


Austrian Netherlands, French Revolution, translation traditions, local translation politics

DOI 10.17462/para.2017.01.03

21 avril 2017
  29(1) - 2017