Polyglossia and Nativization. The translation of zoonyms in early Dutch Bibles. Research material.

SND-ID: 2021-247-1. Version: 1. DOI: https://doi.org/10.5878/v08b-ww18


Creator/Principal investigator(s)

Merlijn de Smit - Stockholm University, Department of Slavic and Baltic Studies, Finnish, Dutch and German orcid

Research principal

Stockholm University - Department of Slavic and Baltic Studies, Finnish, Dutch and German rorId


This study deals with the translation of exotic zoonyms in early Dutch Bibles. By looking at which course of action a translator has taken (for example, translating a zoonym as exactly as possible, or using a more familiar Dutch zoonym instead) I want to discern the ideology underlying a translation (for example, loyalty towards a tradition of source texts or maximal adaptation to a standard language). Data consists of the translation equivalents of thirty zoonyms in the Old Testament sections (minus the psalms) of five Dutch translations from 1477 to 1548. Also, source languages in Hebrew, Greek and Latin were examined, as was Luther's Bible translation of 1534.

Data has been selected through reading relevant sections of the Old Testament.

Data contains personal data



Method and outcome

Time period(s) investigated

1477-01-01 – 1548-12-31

Data format / data structure

Data collection
Language resources

Resource type


Foreseen use

Human use

Text corpus

  • Linguality

  • Language

    • Dutch (nld)

      Early modern dutch (other)

    • German (deu)

    • Latin (lat)

    • Ancient Greek (to 1453) (grc)

  • Modality

    Written Language
  • Size

    Terms: 30

Geographic coverage

Geographic spread

Geographic location: Belgium, Netherlands

Administrative information

Responsible department/unit

Department of Slavic and Baltic Studies, Finnish, Dutch and German

Topic and keywords

Research area

Specific languages (Standard för svensk indelning av forskningsämnen 2011)

Specific literatures (Standard för svensk indelning av forskningsämnen 2011)


De Smit, M. (2019). Polyglossia and Nativization : The Translation of Zoonyms in Early Dutch Bibles. In Languages in the Lutheran Reformation : Textual Networks and the Spread of Ideas (pp. 231–252). http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:su:diva-168243
ISBN: 9789462981553
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-168243
DOI: https://doi.org/10.2307/j.ctvfrxqjc.14

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Published: 2021-09-21
Last updated: 2023-08-31