|General programme, activity sheet|
||Tuesday 28 June, 2016 15:20 to 15:40
The politics of EU translation: the multilingualism policy across genres Speaker: Lucja Biel, University of Warsaw
Authors: Łucja Biel
While the European Union’s legislation is subject to the multilingualism policy, also known as the principle of equal authenticity (Šarčević 1997: 64), which means that it is adopted in 24 equal and authentic language versions, other types of semi-legal and non-legal documents are drafted in the procedural languages (English, French, German) and are translated selectively. The procedural languages have a privileged status and “are members of an elite club which excludes lesser-used language groups” (Craith 2006: 56); attesting to the so-called hegemonic multilingualism (cf. Krzyżanowski 2010: 137).
The objective of the paper is to analyse the politics of translation in European Union institutions as evidenced through their language/translation policy and practices. The analysis was conducted as part of the EUROLEKT research project (2015-2018) and reflects our findings established during the design of a genre-based corpus for the project. While compiling a corpus, we have analysed four key EU genres: various types of legislation, judgments, reports and websites addressed to EU citizens. Our aim was to survey various types of documents produced by the EU institutions and identify the language policy across different genres, and specifically to answer the question which documents (genres) are translated into which official languages and which are not, thus excluding certain discourse communities.
The second part of the analysis looked into how the translation of genres, understood as social action (cf. Miller 1984, Martin and Rose 2007), is institutionally controlled through translation policies (including style guides) and practices. In particular, we looked into types of documents which are translated inhouse within the institutions and outside the institutions by external contractors, and if externally, how contractors are sourced and assessed. Overall, the conclusions will demonstrate how the variable of genre impacts the language and translation policy in the EU.
Biel, Łucja (2014) Lost in the Eurofog. The Textual Fit of Translated Law. Frankfurt: Peter Lang.
Koskinen, Kaisa (2008) Translating Institutions. An Ethnographic Study of EU Translation. Manchester: St. Jerome.
Krzyżanowski, Michał (2010) The Discursive Construction of European Identities. A Multi-Level Approach to Discourse and Identity in the Transforming European Union. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang.
Mason, Ian (2004) “Text parameters in translation: Transitivity and institutional cultures.” The Translation Studies Reader. ed. Lawrence Venuti. 2nd edn. New York/London: Routledge, 470–481.
Šarčević, Susan (1997) New Approach to Legal Translation. The Hague: Kluwer Law International. Further information:
Dr habil. Łucja Biel is an Associate Professor and Acting Head of the Institute of Applied Linguistics, University of Warsaw, Poland. She was a Visiting Lecturer on the MA in Legal Translation at City University London (2009-2014). She has been an English-Polish legal translator since 1997. She is Secretary General of the European Society for Translation Studies (EST) and deputy editor of the Journal of Specialised Translation. She has published over 40 papers on legal/EU translation, translator training and corpus linguistics, as well as the book Lost in the Eurofog. The Textual Fit of Translated Law (2014).
Place: Room 4