Language Imperialism & The End of Translation

By Thorsten J. Pattberg, PhD

Imperialism, according to the Merriam Webster Dictionary, is “the extension or imposition of power, authority, or influence” over another nation. Consequently, linguistic imperialism is the extension or imposition of one’s own language over another’s. Martin Luther’s Bible translation is a good example, Georg Hegel’s German Die Philosophie der Weltgeschichte (1830) is another; the former made the Bible German, the latter made world history German. Language imperialism is more surgical than that: It is the translation of foreign key terminologies into familiar vocabulary of one’s own language tradition in order to claim deutungshoheit, to diminish another culture’s originality, or to pretend to have full comprehension of a foreign topic by simply switching into one’s own lingua. So even if a nation is not strong enough to impose its own language over another’s, like Germany could never conquer the Chinese people, it could always try to steal important cultural property by giving it German names…

List of Contents:
1. Language Imperialism (Essay)
2. The End of Translation (Essay)
3. The Revival of Confucianism (Interview)
4. Academia, Language, and
Imperialism in China (Interview)
5. List of Chinese Key Terminologies (Appendix)

This essay is available both as ebook and in paperback [click on the images below]:

Thorsten J Pattberg Language Imperialism ebook cover 1 Language Imperialism: & The End of Translation eBook: Thorsten J. Pattberg: Kindle Store
language imperialism book cover 1
Language Imperialism & The End of Translation: Dr. Thorsten Pattberg: 9780984209125: Books



  • Paperback: 72 pages
  • Publisher: LoD Press (December 18, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0984209123
  • ISBN-13: 978-0984209125

Dr. Thorsten J. Pattberg (裴德思 Pei Desi) is a German philosopher and cultural critic.

He has written and published extensively about Global language, the Competition for terminologies, and the End of translation. He discovered the Shengren as a unique, untranslatable, non-European archetype of wisdom; is the founder of Language Imperialism; and is actively promoting Eastern thought, in particular Chinese terminologies, on a global scale.

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