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Legal Integration and Language DiversityRethinking Translation in EU Lawmaking$
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C.J.W. Baaij

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190680787

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190680787.001.0001

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Considering a Source-Oriented Alternative

Considering a Source-Oriented Alternative

(p.151) 5 Considering a Source-Oriented Alternative
Legal Integration and Language Diversity

C.J.W. Baaij

Oxford University Press

Three arguments point toward source-oriented EU Translation as the preferred alternative to current EU Translation practices. First, an original quantitative study of case law of the Court of Justice of the EU suggests that neologisms for EU legal concepts and syntactic correspondence between language versions is more likely to prevent discrepancies than pursue clarity and intelligibility. Second, the same case law demonstrates that legislative measures seeking far-reaching legal integration, such as in consumer contract law, call for a particular large degree of textual homogeny of its language version. Third, the work of language philosopher Donald Davidson helps illuminate the fact that the philosophical justification of a source-oriented approach avoids the pitfall of linguistic relativism that is afflicting theories proposing receiver-oriented translation. In all, these arguments signal that EU translators and lawyer–linguists of the EU legislative bodies had better prioritize syntactic correspondence and using neologisms over clarity and fluency.

Keywords:   language versions, Court of Justice of the EU, teleological interpretation, literal interpretation, functionalism, legal translation, philosophy of language, linguistic relativism, Donald Davidson

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