The History of Translation and Translators in the Ottoman Empire
Germanistik in der Türkei, Bd. 25
Mehmet Tahir Öncü, Ayla Akın, Ahu Selin Erkul Yağcı (Eds.)
185 pages, year of publication: 2023
price: 43.00 €
The Ottoman Empire covered a vast territory for more than five centuries and was therefore a multi-ethnic and multicultural state from the very beginning. Due to the need to negotiate military, political and economic matters both within and outside its borders, the state relied on the services of interpreters. However, despite the multicultural and linguistically diverse communication in the Ottoman Empire, the practice of translation was not formally institutionalised by the state. Until the modernisation efforts of the 18th century, translation was mainly seen as a facilitating or ancillary activity in the diplomatic context.
The primary aim of this collection is to comprehensively analyse and define interpreting and translating activities within the Ottoman Empire. Particular attention is paid to the reasons for the lack of institutional structure and the impact of this lack of structure on the practice of translation. It also identifies individual actors, especially those who acted as language and cultural mediators and thus provided important services to the Ottoman Empire. By examining interpreting and translating activities and the agents involved in them, this research contributes to a deeper understanding of the role of language mediation in the Ottoman Empire and the importance of this issue in the context of Ottoman history.