How the European Union functions in 23 languages
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Original versionSYNAPS - A Journal of Professional Communication 28(2013)
This article takes a look at how the EU functions in 23 languages. It places EU legal translation within a broad structural context. First, a general introduction to the EU environment is briefly proposed, with an eye to linguistic implications. Second, the foundation of the system in international treaties is emphasised. The main ones are mentioned and the relationship between EU law and national law and international law emphasised. There are terminology implications as terms move between the contexts. Third, the EU linguistic regime is outlined. There is a general regime for administration and legislation and a separate set of rules for cases brought before the Court of Justice of the European Union. Both involve translation between 23 languages. Fourth, the EU legislative context is introduced, in terms of types of EU legislative text, legislative institutions and procedures, viewed from a translation perspective. Fifth, the EU court context is explored, with attention paid to aspects impacting on language and translation. The article concludes with a few general words on other matters that have an impact on EU legal translation.
The comments expressed in this paper are personal to the author.