The Multilingual Issue: untranslatability, linguistic multitudes, embodied speech – an introduction

Antke A. Engel and Anna T.

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The Multilingual Issue engages with articulating queerness across different languages, considering untranslatabilities as well as hierarchies that have developed between languages. Those have emerged due to epistemic, economic, and cultural dominance, ableism, imperialism, and colonialism. Such hierarchies include the devaluation of embodied speech as it, for example, comes along in sign languages of Deaf cultures. It’s seen also in code-switching, which predominantly occurs amongst migrants, in performative poetics, queer slangs, racialized and classed registers, or in the expressiveness of sexual body language. The issue‘s aim is to disrupt and highlight these hierarchies, while respecting untranslatabilties and linguistic multitudes that derive from migration, disability, and disenfranchisement.


Keywords: language, queer slangs, embodied speech, linguistic hierarchies, cultural dominance