Prūsijos valdžios aktų vertimo į lietuvių kalbą bylos atodangos: vienos polemikos istorija | On a Dispute over the Translation of Prussian Government Decrees Published in Lithuanian in the Late-18th Century
Volume 35 (2017): The Reformation in the Southeast Baltic Region = Reformacija Baltijos jūros pietryčių regione, pp. 229–251
Pub. online: 15 December 2017 Type: Article Open Access
15 December 2017
15 December 2017
The practice of translating government decrees into Lithuanian and publishing them for Lithuanian speakers living in Prussia has been known since the late 16th century. It stemmed from the policy of multi-lingualism which emerged under Duke Albert, and the establishment of the Reformation in Prussia. Most Lithuanian translations of Prussian government decrees known today date from the 18th century. At that time, the best experts in the Lithuanian language were engaged in their translation and publication. After the potential of Königsberg in Lithuanian studies declined in the second half of the 18th century, efforts to concentrate these activities in the area of Prussia that was still densely inhabited by Lithuanian speakers and called Lithuania at that time, became more active. The article analyses how this change was exploited by the Mielcke family, who were active in Prussian Lithuania. Christian Gottlieb Mielcke, who held a humble cantor’s position in the remote parish of Pillkallen, initiated a discussion on the principles of the edition of Lithuanian hymnals in 1781. His brother Daniel Friedrich, the priest at Ragnit, wrote a complaint about the quality of translations of government decrees into Lithuanian in 1788. This was the beginning of a dispute that eventually involved the Mielcke family in the translation of government decrees.