Michael Metzeltin was born in Sorengo (Switzerland) in 1943. He studied Romance Philology at the Universities of Basel, Zurich, Salamanca, Coimbra and Padua. He received his doctorate in 1969 in Ibero-Romance Philology, French Linguistics and Italian Literature and approved the training for the chair with the legend in Romanesque Philology in 1972 at the University of Basel. He was assistant and reader of Romance languages at the University of Basel (Switzerland), professor at the Universities of Trier (Germany), Groningen (Netherlands), Coimbra (Portugal), Cosenza (Italy), Paderborn and Göttingen (Germany). Since 1989 he has been Professor of Linguistics and Didactics of Romance Languages at the University of Vienna (Austria), since 2011 he is professor emeritus at the same university. In addition to university education, he has lectured at numerous universities in almost every country in Europe, in Cuba, Chile and Peru. He is also an honorary professor at the Ricardo Palma University in Lima (2008) and the University A. Cuza de Iaşi (2009).
Michael Metzeltin is a member of the Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften (corresponding since 1994 and number since 2004), Grand Officer of the Ordem do Mérito da República Portuguesa (1998), honorary professor at the University of Bucharest (1999), head of the Encomienda of the Order of Civil Merit of Spain (2000), corresponding member of the Chilean Academy of the Language (2000), honorary member of the Asturian Llingua Academy (2001), holder of the National Ordin “Pentru Merit” of Romania (Ofiţer 2002, Comandor 2011), of the Gold Medal of the Faculty of Philosophy of the Comenius University of Bratislava (2003) and of the Presidential Medal of Honor commemorating the Centenary of the Birth of Pablo Neruda (2004), honorary member of the Romanian Academy of Sciences (2004), doctor honoris causa of the University of Timişoara (2006), the University of Stockholm (2007), the AI Cuza University of Iaşi (2010) and the Comenius University of Bratislava (2010), honorary member of the Council of the Aragonese Fabla and the Academy of the Aragonese Language (2008), number member of the Real Academia de Doctores (Barcelona, 2015), honorary member of the Consejo Superior Europeo de Doctores y Doctores Honoris Causa (CONSEDOC, Barcelona, 2015), foreign member of the Istituto Lombardo. Accademia di Scienze e Lettere (Milano, 2015) and corresponding member for Austria of the Real Academia de Ciencias Económicas y Financieras (Barcelona, 2016).
He has published 40 monographs and more than 300 articles on topics of Romance linguistics, Hispanics, textual anthropology, discourse analysis and identity problems, and is co-founder and co-editor of the Lexikon der Romanistischen Linguistik (LRL, 12 volumes, Tübingen, 1987-2005), the Romanistisches Kolloquium (RK, 30 volumes, Tübingen, 1985-) and the Cinderella Collections (19 volumes, Vienna, 1996-2016).