1st Edition

Languages in the Crossfire Interpreters in the Spanish Civil War (1936–1939)

By Jesús Baigorri-Jalón Copyright 2021
    248 Pages 20 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    248 Pages 20 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book sheds light on the important role played by interpreters during the Spanish Civil War, offering a historical overview of the ways in which interpreters on both sides mediated the myriad linguistic, cultural, and ethical difficulties of wartime communication.

    Drawing on archives, interpreters’ memoirs, and testimonies from their own children, the volume extends beyond traditional historiographic accounts to demonstrate the significance of interpreters’ work in facilitating communication during the war across a range of settings, including in combat, hospitals, interrogations, detention camps, and propaganda. Baigorri-Jalón showcases the diverse backgrounds of these interpreters through individual and collective portraits, paying special attention to the work of the many women working as interpreters during the conflict. In turning its attention to lessons from the past, the book reaffirms the work of interpreters in present-day international conflicts toward better understanding the ethical dilemmas they face, in wars, humanitarian aid, demobilization tasks, and multilingual criminal proceedings.

    This volume, the first book in the Routledge Research on Translation and Interpreting History series, will be of interest to scholars in translation and interpreting studies, particularly those interested in historical and sociological approaches as well as Spanish Civil War scholarship.

    Chapter 1. Introduction: Interpreting in times of war

    Chapter 2. Languages as obstacles and as vehicles of communication in the Spanish Civil War

    Chapter 3. The Interpreter as an Agent of Communication in the Civil War

    Chapter 4. Interpreting settings in the Spanish Civil War

    Chapter 5. The thousand and one interpreters of the Spanish Civil War: Biographical notes

    Chapter 6. Afterword


    Jesús Baigorri-Jalón is Associate Professor Emeritus at the Department of Translation and Interpretation, University of Salamanca. He has a Master’s in History (1975) and a PhD in Translation and Interpretation (1998), University of Salamanca. He is a former staff translator and interpreter at the UN Headquarters in New York (1989–99) and a founding member of the Alfaqueque Research Group.

    Translator Holly Mikkelson is Professor Emerita in the Graduate School of Translation, Interpretation and Language Education, Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey; certified translator and court interpreter; author of the ACEBO training manuals for court and medical interpreters; published translator, author and editor.