In the European Union, law and language are inherently connected. On the one hand, the EU pursues legal integration, i.e. the incremental harmonisation and unification of its Member States' laws. On the other hand, in its commitment to the diversity of European languages, its legislative institutions enact legislative instruments in 24 languages. This combination of policy objectives prompts Cornelis Baaij to ask how the EU can create laws that are uniform in a multitude of languages, and how legal integration and language diversity can be achieved simultaneously, without one compromising the other? He critically assesses translation practices in the EU legislative process, and proposes an alternative approach. Contrary to the orthodox view in the academic literature and EU policy, he suggest that the English language version should serve as the original and only authentic legislative text and that translation into the other language versions should prioritise syntactic correspondence and neologisms for distinctly EU legal concepts over clarity and fluency.
C.J.W. Baaij: Legal Integration and Language Diversity: The Case for Source-Oriented EU Translation.
Prof. M.W. Hesselink
Dr A.E. Oderkerk
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