The Problems with the Translation of Military Ranks


The conversion of military ranks poses an enormous difficulty due to great differences in hierarchical structures between different national armies. This article written by the Director of Defence Language Institute Vyškov will give a short overview of most common troubles. The problem here is that national armies mostly represent national cultures as well. Translations of titles of high-rank military personnel are not too complicated. More problematic is finding equivalents for less-known, more specific ranks or those of other national Armed Forces. NATO has agreed upon a common standard for their translation, the norm STANAG 2116, based on NATO codes representing levels of ranks according to their duties, responsibilities, and career requirements.

Colonel Ladislav Chaloupský, Ph.D. (retired) was born in 1955 and graduated from the Faculty of Philosophy at Masaryk University in Brno. Following these studies he continued with a Ph.D. in linguistics at the same university. He has also participated in various courses related to language issues and defense management in the USA (Lackland AFB), Great Britain (Beaconsfield DSL) and Germany (Marshall Center in Oberammergau and Garmisch-Parterkichen) and has been an Honorary Citizen of Texas since 1992. He was appointed as the Chief of Germanic Languages at the Military University in Brno. In 1997 he assumed the position of Head of Languages at the Military Educational and Training Centre in Komorni Hradek. In 2003 he was assigned as Director of the newly established Defense Language Institute (DLI) in Vyskov. In addition to commanding the DLI he chaired the Foreign Language Methodology Board of the Czech Armed Forces and was a member of the NATO-BILC (Bureau of International Language Co-operation) steering committee for the Czech Republic.
Between 1995 and 2008, he was also posted to UN and NATO missions across Iraq serving as a Senior Logistics Officer, a Personnel Officer, a Liaison Officer and an Advisor to the Chief of Operations in Baghdad.

Country: Czech Republic



  • Comment Link Tuesday, 26 July 2022 10:44 posted by Ondřej

    Přiřazené hodnosti USA k ekvivalentům českých názvů, jsou chyby. Četař je SGT - Sergeant, desatnik by měl byt corporal, pokud se nepletu, Staff sergeant - rotný, sergenat first class - rotmistr a tak dále. Mám na služ.průkaze OR5 - SFC - rotmistr.

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