Wednesday, April 20, 2005

More on the "Society for Endangered Peoples"

Please note that while I retranslated the extracts from the GFP background report on the Society for Endangered Peoples (GfbV) that I presented in "A Curious Proponent of the ICC", an abridged version of the report is also available in English here on the GFP site. Note that the GFP translators have sometimes chosen to render the German word "Volksgruppen" by the very unenglish "peoples' groups". Whereas the German word "Volksgruppen" is indeed composed of the words "Volk" - which would be normally rendered by "people" or "nation" - and "Gruppen", i.e., "groups", a more colloquial rendering of the composite would be "ethnic groups". "National groups" could also work, provided it is kept in mind that the "nations" or "Völker" in question are construed precisely in an ethnic rather than a political sense. In the quasi-technical language of what in German is called "Volksgruppenrecht" - the "law of ethnic [or national] groups" - "Volksgruppen" are typically regarded as ethnic minority offshoots of the majority "nation" or "Volk" of another state: as in, for instance, German minorities or "Volksgruppen" in Poland or Romania.

(I've written, btw, on "Volksgruppenrecht" in my Policy Review essay "Anti-Semitism and Ethnicity in Europe". See the section titled "A 'Law of Ethnic Groups'".)