No. 27




„Eurolanguage”, Translation of „Eurotexts” and Translators

19 June 2013


RiTo No. 27, 2013

  • Heiki Pisuke

    PhD, Head of Estonian Language Unit, General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union; Professor of Intellectual Property Law, Faculty of Law, University of Tartu

The article discusses the translation of EU documents into Estonian by the EU institutions, and the changing role of translators in this process.

In the Estonian language, there are such terms as „Eurolanguage” and „Eurotexts”. The author argues that the aim of the translators at the EU institutions is not to create a special „mother-tongue eurolanguage”, but to transfer the EU texts into their mother tongue as correctly as possible.

Translation of EU documents is part of the translation industry, which is one of the most dynamic fields of production. Industrial production of translations has changed the whole translation process and the role of a translator. But still the translator is not an assembly line worker, but a creator of national and European culture. The author analyses the changing status of the translator and translators’ education (including the European Master’s in Translation).

The author gives an overview of the organisation of translation of draft legislative acts and the cooperation between the Commission, the Council and the European Parliament in this process. He also analyses why different institutions have their own, separate translation units (there are six independent translation departments or units in Brussels and Luxembourg, and three interpretation units). The author describes the important role that lawyer-linguists play in the whole translation process. He also analyses the importance of terminology work and cooperation with national experts. Possible translation mistakes, and the quality assurance measures used are also dealt with. The author argues that the quality of the original document has a direct impact on the final translation. The author gives several recommendations concerning the possible cooperation between the Estonian state bodies and the Estonian translation units of EU institutions.

Full article in Estonian