The contribution begins by considering the reception of German Idealist thought, and principally Kant and Hegel, in the English-speaking world in the second half of the 19th and the first few decades of the 20th century, and the role and character of the translations which facilitated this process. I examine how the early translators conceived of their task and the manner in which they executed it, the particular texts which they chose to translate, and the way they responded to the challenge of introducing an unfamiliar philosophical approach in the context of an established but increasingly contested religious tradition on the one hand and an empirically oriented native philosophical tradition on the other, one which eschewed the use of a systematic and highly elaborated body of conceptual terminology in favour of a literary vernacular. This first wave of translations of German philosophy largely reflected the spectrum of positions represented by the movement subsequently known as British Idealism, and the radical decline in influence of this movement after the Great War led to a marked loss of interest in Hegel, though not to the same degree in Kant, for a considerable period under the dominant influence of analytical philosophy. However, the revival of Hegelian studies over the last fifty years has encouraged a host of fresh translations and retranslations which reflect both new approaches to Hegel and the considerably extended textual base for such work (comprehensive editions including texts once marginalised or ignored, and much previously unpublished material). Likewise the full range of Kant’s mature thought has been increasingly recognised with an enhanced sensitivity to its specific historical and political context. Modern translations have often sought to demystify these authorships and free them from the weight of inherited interpretations, claiming to provide closer textual fidelity and greater terminological precision and consistency in relation to the freer and more tendentious approaches of earlier translators. It is instructive to compare and contrast the styles and specific translation choices here to appreciate the potential losses as well as gains that may arise in some contemporary translation practice (such as the relative neglect of the literary quality and rhetorical features of the source texts in a desire to accommodate them to more standard forms of writing).