Title

Life, liberty, and the pursuit of linguistic parity : multilingual perspectives on the declaration of independence

Document Type

Journal article

Source Publication

Journal of American History

Publication Date

1-1-1999

Volume

85

Issue

4

First Page

1449

Last Page

1454

Abstract

Reading these fascinating essays on translations of the Declaration of Independence into various languages-including Russian, Chinese, Italian, Japanese, French, and Spanish-what emerges is how remarkably paradoxical that document is. It is clearly both revolutionary and universal. Yet, we should perhaps remind ourselves of the inevitable contradiction in those two claims. If it is revolutionary, its precepts run counter to mainstream tradition: They contravene received wisdom and contradict normative experience, which together constitute the basis of the universal. In other words, if the declaration is revolutionary, how can it be universal?

DOI

10.2307/2568265

Print ISSN

00218723

E-ISSN

19452314

Publisher Statement

Copyright © 1999 Organization of American Historians

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Full-text Version

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Recommended Citation

Eoyang, E. (1999). Life, liberty, and the pursuit of linguistic parity: Multilingual perspectives on the declaration of independence. Journal of American History, 85(4), 1449-1454. doi: 10.2307/2568265