Translating the Pacific: Georg Forster’s a Voyage Round the World / Reise Um Die Welt (1777–80)

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter presents a case study of the English and German versions of Georg Forster’s description of his and his father’s participation in Captain James Cook’s second circumnavigation of the world (1772-75), published in both languages between 1777 and 1780. The issue of translation is of considerable interest in that it gives insight into the question of how the eighteenth century perceived cultural and biological di erences. Georg Forster’s A Voyage round the World (1777) and Reise um die Welt (1778/1780) document numerous intercultural encounters.1 Both volumes not only describe these encounters with the Other, but also seek to understand and theorize the phenomenon of cultural and biological di erence. What complicates matters further is that Georg Forster (1754-1794) and his father, Johann Reinhold Forster (1729-98), themselves could also be considered outsiders and fi gures of alterity in Cook’s second expedition to the Pacifi c at the request of the British Admiralty. This adds another dimension to their work: it is not only the alterity of the non-European natives they encounter that is at stake in A Voyage round the World / Reise um die Welt, but also their own otherness as two native speakers of German (albeit of English descent) in a predominantly English-language environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationTravel Narratives in Translation, 1750-1830
Subtitle of host publicationNationalism, Ideology, Gender
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)9781136244674
ISBN (Print)9780415539944
StatePublished - May 7 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities
  • General Social Sciences


Dive into the research topics of 'Translating the Pacific: Georg Forster’s a Voyage Round the World / Reise Um Die Welt (1777–80)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this