KudoZ home » German to English » History

Volkstumsstreit

English translation: ethnic struggle

Advertisement

Login or register (free and only takes a few minutes) to participate in this question.

You will also have access to many other tools and opportunities designed for those who have language-related jobs
(or are passionate about them). Participation is free and the site has a strict confidentiality policy.
GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
German term or phrase:Volkstumsstreit
English translation:ethnic struggle
Entered by: Rachel Ward
Options:
- Contribute to this entry
- Include in personal glossary

09:57 Jul 7, 2008
German to English translations [PRO]
Social Sciences - History
German term or phrase: Volkstumsstreit
This is from an afterword giving background information on the unrest between Germans and Czechs in Rilke's youth, when the "Two Prague Stories" were written.

It relates to a decree that the Czech and German languages should have equal official status in Czech-speaking areas and the difficulties that this created for German-speaking officials.

"National struggle" is the best I can do at the moment. Does anybody have any better ideas?

"Für die Deutschen in den böhmischen Grenzgebieten war das ein Schlag ins Gesicht, eine Kränkung aus dem unzuverlässigen Wien, von wo man sich Unterstützung im tobenden **Volkstumsstreit** erhofft hatte."
Rachel Ward
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:53
Volkstumskampf (ethnic struggle)
Explanation:
It seems that "Volkstumskampf" is the more common term, rather than "Volkstumsstreit". It is a term with a specific historical meaning, so I would be inclined to leave it in German, with a gloss in English the first time it occurs. My Duden has neither term, but a little Googling seems to indicate that the term designates the Sudeten Germans' struggle to preserve their influence/identity (so it should not be confused with the Czech struggle for nationhood). If the afterword to your book was written recently, I would suggest glossing the term with the anachronistic but fairly accurate "ethnic struggle". See reference below:

http://books.google.de/books?id=8UVxY-8Xk-sC&pg=PA262&lpg=PA...

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 1 day10 hrs (2008-07-08 20:31:42 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

I now think "Volkstumskampf" is not the same as "Volkstumsstreit": see my new entry.
("Ethnic struggle" may still be a possibility, though)
Selected response from:

DonM
Ireland
Local time: 16:53
Grading comment
Thanks DonM and mstkwasa for all the helpful context and background. I've put my points here because the other was marked "not for points"!
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

Advertisement


Summary of answers provided
4 +2Volkstumskampf (ethnic struggle)DonM
4 +1struggle for nationhood
Helen Shiner
3 +1dispute over national identitiesBrigitteHilgner
3dispute over nationhood
Stephen Gobin
3friction arising from national allegiancesDave 72
2 +1dispute over the national character
Bernd Runge
1 +1Not for points: An engagement with mstkwasa's helpful contributionDonM
1Not for points: Leave as "Volkstumsstreit" or "struggle for nationhood" as suggested by Helen Shinermstkwasa
1 -1ethnic conflict/discord
andres-larsen


  

Answers


19 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
struggle for nationhood


Explanation:
One suggestion: many references to this in titles of books, for instance. See link below.


    Reference: http://www.jstor.org/pss/2612775
Helen Shiner
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:53
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 93

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  franglish: I was just about to suggest it
5 mins

agree  mstkwasa: Works well in the context of the pre-WWI Habsburg monarchy. Both Czechs and Germans were asserting their linguistic / cultural nationhood be given due political / legal / administrative recognition within the crown lands of Bohemia and Cisleithania.
21 hrs

disagree  DonM: Were the Sudeten Germans (who were the ones who used this term) looking for nationhood? Well, no. mstkwasa refers to "linguistic/cultural nationhood", which begs the question: in what idiosyncratic sense are you using the word "nationhood"?
1 day1 hr
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

20 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 2/5Answerer confidence 2/5 peer agreement (net): +1
dispute over the national character


Explanation:
Sollte es mehr um Traditionen gehen, dann könnte man "national customs and traditions" einsetzen.

Bernd Runge
Germany
Local time: 17:53
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Harald Moelzer (medical-translator)
19 hrs
  -> Danke, Harald.
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

24 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +1
dispute over national identities


Explanation:
This is how I understand the expression.

BrigitteHilgner
Austria
Local time: 17:53
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman
PRO pts in category: 32

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Harald Moelzer (medical-translator)
18 hrs
  -> Danke schön, Harald. Frohes Schaffen!
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

2 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
friction arising from national allegiances


Explanation:
Just another idea

Dave 72
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:53
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

8 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 1/5Answerer confidence 1/5 peer agreement (net): -1
ethnic conflict/discord


Explanation:
Ethnic conflict - Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaAn ethnic conflict or ethnic war is a war between ethnic groups often as a result of ethnic nationalism. They are of interest because of the apparent ...
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethnic_war - 44k - Cached - Similar pages

Sri Lankan Civil War - Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaGamage, S.: Ethnic Conflict, State Reform and Nation Building in Sri Lanka: Analysis of the Context and Suggestions for a Settlement, in: Neelsen, ...
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sri_Lankan_Civil_War - 272k - Cached - Similar pages
More results from en.wikipedia.org »

Ethnic Conflict Research DigestThis journal contains peer reviews of recently published books, journal articles and research papers on the dynamicsand management of ethnic conflict.
www.incore.ulst.ac.uk/ecrd/ - 15k - Cached - Similar pages

Ethnic ConflictInter-Ethnic Conflict and Resolution in Kazakhstan, Nurlan Amrekulov · Ethnic Conflict Resolution and U.S. Assistance, Nancy Lubin ...
www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/ethnic.htm - 10k - Cached - Similar pages

The Myth of "Ethnic Conflict": Politics, Economics, and "Cultural ...Collection of essays that examines the causes of cultural conflict from an institutional perspective.
repositories.cdlib.org/uciaspubs/research/98/ - 20k - Cached - Similar pages

Encyclopedia of Modern Ethnic Conflicts — www.greenwood.comEthnic conflicts have occurred throughout the world. In Africa, conflicts involving the Hutu and the Tutsi have led to genocide. ...
www.greenwood.com/catalog/GR1381.aspx - 56k - Cached - Similar pages

allAfrica.com: Kenya: Govt to Act On Ethnic Conflict30 Jun 2008 ... allAfrica: African news and information for a global audience.
allafrica.com/stories/200806300219.html - Similar pages

WWW Virtual Library Sri Lanka: Politics, Ethnic Conflict, LTTE ...The current ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka is a much more complex business than a simple straightforward confrontation between a once well-entrenched minority ...
www.lankalibrary.com/pol2.html - 78k - Cached - Similar pages

[PDF] On the Theory of Ethnic ConflictFile Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat - View as HTML
We present a theory of ethnic conflict in which coalitions formed along ethnic lines ... along ethnic lines is the most apparent form of ethnic conflict, ...
personal.lse.ac.uk/casellif/papers/ethnic.pdf - Similar pages

Centre for the Study of Ethnic ConflictAttached to the Department of Political Science at Queen's.
www.qub.ac.uk/csec/ - 6k - Cached - Similar pages

Bosnian Election Shows Ethnic Discord | Europe | Deutsche Welle ...Bosnian Muslims elected a presidential representative who favors unification under a strong central government in Sunday's poll while Bosnian Serbs chose a ...
www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,2144,2191763,00.html - 38k - Cached - Similar pages

SCMP.com - the online edition of South China Morning Post, Hong ...Rising above ethnic discord. Sunanda Kisor Datta-Ray Dec 23, 2003 ... But since Mr Kadirgamar was seen as an ethnic candidate, his failure in a vote to take ...
www.scmp.com/vgn-ext-templating/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=8f51b... - 74k - Cached - Similar pages

Myroslav Popovych et al: Appeal to Yushchenko, Lytvyn and TymoshenkoYet, we still see instances of cooperation among representatives of power and those who spread ethnic discord and who get in the way of ethnic unity. ...
www.ukrainianstudies.uottawa.ca/ukraine_list/ukl355_16.html - 42k - Cached - Similar pages

[PDF] Chechnya Weekly from the Jamestown FoundationFile Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat - View as HTML
District Elections in Dagestan Reveal Ethnic Discord. By. Andrei Smirnov. Earlier this year, the North Caucasian republic of Dagestan was rocked by two ...
www.ciaonet.org/pbei/cw/cw_v8_18/v8_18e.pdf - Similar pages

Journal of Asian and African Studiesharmony, have been forced to grapple with the emergence of politicized ethnic-. ity and ethnic discord. The phenomenon of individuals and groups ascribing ...
jas.sagepub.com/cgi/reprint/40/4/303.pdf - Similar pages

Issues and Answers: Race and Ethnic RelationsMany believe that racial and ethnic discord is such a deep and hurtful issue that they do not know where to begin. But when the world has no answers, ...
erlc.com/article/issues-answers-race-ethnic-relations - 39k - Cached - Similar pages

JSTOR: Modernization and Ethnic Conflict: The Case of the BasquesReferring to the linguistic issues which keep cropping up in contro- versies involving ethnic discord, Horowitz concludes that, "without the careerist ...
links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0010-4159(197501)7%3A2%3C227%3AMAECTC%3E2.0.CO%3B2-I - Similar pages



andres-larsen
Venezuela
Local time: 11:53
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 2

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
disagree  Kim Metzger: Please don't litter our KudoZ pages.
44 mins
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

9 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
dispute over nationhood


Explanation:
This may work

Stephen Gobin
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:53
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 8
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

4 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +2
Volkstumskampf (ethnic struggle)


Explanation:
It seems that "Volkstumskampf" is the more common term, rather than "Volkstumsstreit". It is a term with a specific historical meaning, so I would be inclined to leave it in German, with a gloss in English the first time it occurs. My Duden has neither term, but a little Googling seems to indicate that the term designates the Sudeten Germans' struggle to preserve their influence/identity (so it should not be confused with the Czech struggle for nationhood). If the afterword to your book was written recently, I would suggest glossing the term with the anachronistic but fairly accurate "ethnic struggle". See reference below:

http://books.google.de/books?id=8UVxY-8Xk-sC&pg=PA262&lpg=PA...

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 1 day10 hrs (2008-07-08 20:31:42 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

I now think "Volkstumskampf" is not the same as "Volkstumsstreit": see my new entry.
("Ethnic struggle" may still be a possibility, though)

DonM
Ireland
Local time: 16:53
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 4
Grading comment
Thanks DonM and mstkwasa for all the helpful context and background. I've put my points here because the other was marked "not for points"!

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Kim Metzger: "The Third Reich's invasion of Poland was not an ordinary war, but a new kind of conflict, a Volkstumskampf, or ethnic struggle, .." http://www.projectinposterum.org/docs/survivors.htm http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glossary_of_German_military_ter...
9 mins
  -> Thanks, Kim!

agree  Rebecca Garber
26 mins
  -> Thanks, Rebecca!

disagree  Helen Shiner: Think this is a bit over-stating 'Streit', fine as it is on its own terms./ I do not think that the terms are synonyms, and I would not be arrogant enough to state that anyone else's professional judgment is irrelevant.
1 hr
  -> My point was that I think "Volkstumsstreit" is a synonym for the more commonly-used "Volkstumskampf". The latter is a term with a very specific historical meaning. If they are indeed synonyms, what you think is fine or not fine is irrelevant.

neutral  mstkwasa: Different historical context: Badeni's decrees (1897) gave equal footing to Czech as an official / administrative language in Bohemia and Moravia, which favoured the Czechs over the Germans. // [Edited & added] Your reference refers to the 1st Republic.
9 hrs
  -> Just to be clear, mstkwasa: my answer was referring to the Sudeten Germans under the pre-WWI Habsburg monarchy. (Didn't think I needed to make this explicit, given the context provided by the asker, but there you go!)

agree  Rolf Bueskens: This fits in my opinion
11 hrs
  -> Thanks, Rolf!
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

1 day10 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 1/5Answerer confidence 1/5 peer agreement (net): +1
Not for points: An engagement with mstkwasa's helpful contribution


Explanation:
First of all, hats off to mstkwasa for his/her very helpful outlining of the historical context. I agree with almost everything in it. In light of his/her contribution and some further research, I have come to the conclusion that I was wrong in my assertion that "Volkstumsstreit" and "Volkstumskampf" are synonyms. I now believe "Volkstumskampf" to be a specific historical term referring to the post-WWI situation of the Sudeten Germans (my reference indeed referred to this period, an oversight on my part, and thanks to mstkwasa for pointing this out). I think it is, in a sense, an escalation of the "Volkstumsstreit" pertaining in the latter years of the Habsburg Empire. I think "Volkstumsstreit", as used in the passage Rachel is translating, is probably not a term with a specific historical meaning. The author probably chose a term to generally convey the conflict at that time (and - presuming the afterword was written recently - correctly steered clear of the anachronistic and politically-loaded "Volkstumskampf"). If it is true that "Volkstumsstreit" is not a specialist term, then leaving the term in German and glossing it would, of course, be the wrong option. It could be translated with a general English term conveying roughly the same meaning (conflict, struggle), such as many of the suggestions provided here.
While I agree with almost everything mstkwasa said, I am a little confused by his/her attachment to using the word "nationhood" here. I feel this word (unless glossed expansively) could only lead to confusion. What would it mean to say that the German-speakers in the parts of the Habsburg Empire roughly corresponding to the modern Czech Republic were involved in a "struggle for nationhood"? I certainly accept that "nationhood" and "statehood" are not exactly the same thing, but surely a "struggle for nationhood" is a struggle for greater autonomy in one form or another (especially in the context of an ethnic/linguistic group inside an Empire). But here (in a very rough sketch) is my understanding of the situation of the German-speakers in the Habsburg Empire circa 1896: their culture and language (similar and the same respectively to those of the ruling class) was privileged over Czech culture and the Czech language. They were not looking for greater autonomy from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, rather to protect their (relatively privileged) interests in it. (This is my understanding from my school history and a few historical articles read here and there since - I may certainly be wrong in this understanding of the situation and am open to correction.)
If "struggle for nationhood" was used without any further explanation, could the reader be expected to know whether it was the Czech-speakers, German-speakers or both who were doing the struggling? Also, could the reader know that it was a struggle between (emphasis here on the word 'between') these groups?
While I now understand the (valid) sense in which mstkwasa was referring to "linguistic/cultural nationhood", I think mentioning a "struggle for nationhood" and expecting the reader, without further prompting, to understand that "linguistic" or "cultural" nationhood is meant is expecting too much (even the impossible).
On the matter of my use of "Sudeten Germans", I take mstkwasa's point that it is too narrow.
So, where does this leave the answer? I would suggest (though bear in my mind I've been wrong on this once before):
a) a general term conveying the meaning of conflict/struggle (for the "streit" part of "Volkstumsstreit")
b) a term other than the (in my opinion) confusing "nationhood" (to translate the "Volkstum" part of "Volkstumsstreit").

Anyway, apologies for long essay and, again, appreciation to mstkwasa for his/her thoughtful engagement with the issues raised by this question.

DonM
Ireland
Local time: 16:53
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 4

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  mstkwasa: Thank you for your comments. I take your point regarding "nationhood". It obscures more than it clarifies. "Conflict of nationalities" perhaps?
3 hrs
  -> Thanks, mstkwasa. "Conflict of nationalities" could well be the solution.
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

1 day7 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 1/5Answerer confidence 1/5
Not for points: Leave as "Volkstumsstreit" or "struggle for nationhood" as suggested by Helen Shiner


Explanation:
I hope I am permitted the right to reply regarding the context and use of certain expressions, and at the same time offer clarification and context on the late nineteenth-century Habsburg monarchy.

Despite our differences, I agree with DonM and I would leave the term as "Volkstumsstreit" (though not "Volkstumskampf"), and discuss with the client what level of gloss s/he thinks is desirable for the intended market. It would make a huge difference if the intended audience are students of German literature or the proverbial well-educated and interested readers. But if I were to choose, then I would go along with Helen Shiner's suggestion.

In the current context, it may be the case that Volkstumsstreit simply refers to the "conflicts between German- and Czech-speakers" as the result of Bedani's decrees. Because of the difficulties in forming a working majority in the Reichsrat, Bedani tried to appeal to the Czechs by issuing decrees that "gave Czech equality with German on entire territory of Bohemia and Moraiva" (H. Agnew, The Czechs and the Lands of the Bohemian Crown, 2004, p.149) Civil servants in Bohemia and Moravia were to learn to communicate in both Czech and German within 3 years. This was hard for German-speakers who rarely spoke Czech, whereas Czech-speakers usually had a reasonable grasp of German. In the Bohemian context, the Czech-speakers did not necessarily oppose the rule of the Habsburgs or aimed to repress the use of German. Their aims were greater autonomy within the Dual Monarchy and greater rights for their language and culture. They sought political, legal and administrative recognition that Czech was an equally worthy language as German.

Other than this major chasm between German- and Czech-speakers, there were different competing understandings of "nationhood" among each linguistic group (disputes "over" nationhood) in Bohemia at that time.

At the outset, I would like to stress that there was no straight correlation between 'nationhood' and 'statehood'. Nations exist without being states and nations did not necessarily strive for their own states or independence. Whether the Habsburg monarchy was doomed to failure because of the varied nations therein contained has been debated ever since its demise. A bit similar to the oft-asked question whether Christianity brought down the Roman Empire, but I digress. Most Czechs probably would not have imagined independence in late C19, and most probably not with the Slovaks, who were under the Hungarian rule.

The lands of the Bohemian crown - Bohemia, Moravia and the bits of Silesia not taken by the Prussians in the eighteenth century - were probably the most important polity within Cisleithania. Bohemia had a rich heritage comprising of customs, traditions and laws that fostered political patriotism. Historians like to talk about "political nation" in pre-modern world, and Bohemia's nobles constituted such an example. The 1848/9 revolutions probably were the last occasion when both Czech- and German-speakers rallied under the banner of Landespatriotismus of this kind.

There were Habsburg loyalists among both Czech- and German-speakers whose "nation" was the monarchy and the monarch. It transcended other possible divisions such as religion.

There was a movement among the Slav peoples (Czechs, Poles, Croats etc.) loyal to the monarchy (Austro-Slavs) to federalize Cisleithania and give more autonomy to the Slavic population.

There were Pan-Germrans who never accepted the failure of the so-called Grossdeutsch solution to the German problem and the formation of the Dual Monarchy. Their nation was German - linguistic and cultural, since they were not subjects of the component states of the German Empire. There was a disjunction between the linguistic / cultural nation and political citizenship. Their eventual (but quite befuddled) aim was to bring about political unification of all German-speakers in a single entity.

Pan-Slavism tried to find affinity between the various Slavic peoples and form a political movement to unite them. Czechs really did not buy into it and Russians were at best lukewarm sponsors of such a movement.

Despite the existence of different political aims that various groups pursued within a 'linguistic nation', much of the population defined themselves by the end of the 19th century, for example during census-taking, by the language they spoke. If a nation and membership to that nation were determined by the language one spoke, then "linguistic nationhood" would be an appropriate appellation. (For use of the term, see for example, R. Sussex and P. Cubberley, The Slavic Languages, 2006, pp.89-90).

Culture is a more diffuse notion and hard to pin down. "What is 'culture'?" probably is one of the most popular first-year essay topics in universities. It includes forms of expression that did not use language as medium and also included things such as shared past, collective memory and meanings imputed to landscape and other symbolic objects. Again the definition of belonging to that nation was determined by self-identification with that 'culture' (whatever that may be). (See R. Brubaker et al, Nationalist Politics and Everyday Ethnicity in a Transylvanian Town, 2006, p.48)

I think there are echos of the debates and antagonism between Czech- and German-speakers in Zwei Prager Geschichten. In König Bohusch, the conversation in the cafe serves as an example.

These debates were not restricted to the Sudeten Germans but touched German-speakers across the Monarchy, so I am not certain that this term either originated in Sudetenland or was used exclusively by the Sudeten Germans with specific significance.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 1 day13 hrs (2008-07-08 23:43:10 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

DonM has pointed out the ambiguity of using the word "nationhood": I can see the problem and I share his misgivings about the term.

"Conflict of nationalities" is frequently used in the Habsburg context and this may be appropriate here.

An example: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C0CE7DB1E39F...

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 1 day13 hrs (2008-07-08 23:53:54 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Correction: ... and I share DonM's misgivings ...

How terrible of me to determine someone's gender based on the user name. Apologies.

mstkwasa
Local time: 16:53
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in JapaneseJapanese
PRO pts in category: 11

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  DonM: Excellent contribution: see my response to the issues you raise.
3 hrs
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)




Return to KudoZ list


Changes made by editors
May 12, 2009 - Changes made by Rachel Ward:
Created KOG entryKudoZ term » KOG term
Jul 7, 2008 - Changes made by Kim Metzger:
FieldArt/Literary » Social Sciences


KudoZ™ translation help
The KudoZ network provides a framework for translators and others to assist each other with translations or explanations of terms and short phrases.



See also:



Term search
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search