The Ambiguities of Legal Terminology in EU Documents and Legislation
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|Terminology’s Role in Society
|Terminology as Contribution to Language Development
|The Development of Terminology
|Terms as an Integral Part of Terminology
|Methods of Term Acquisition
|The Description of Terminology Commission – The Latvian Academy of Science
|Functions and Work
|The Description of Terminology
|Terminology as Subject of Study
|Tasks of Terminology
|Rules for Terminology Usage
|The Analysis of Legal Terms Accepted by the Legal Subcommittee of the Latvian Academy of Sciences
|Statistical Analysis of Legal Terms Introduced by LAS
|The Analysis of Ambiguous Terms and Their Translations
|Legal Terminology and Translation Related Aspects
|Legal Terminology as Specified Subject Field
|Terminology Issues Related to Legal Text Translation
|The Analysis of the Translation of an EU Document – minutes of the Committee on Transport and Tourism
|Analysis of term usage in the translation
|Terms with one translation option
|Terms with more than one translation option
This work has been done during the period from February 2007 till May 2007.
It deals with legal terminology used in EU documents and issues related to this terminology. The subject has been chosen due to its topicality as current events, such as national the interest in and international relations that has been even more topical since Latvia gained its sovereignty in 1991. Moreover, the demand for legal terminology in Latvia has increased greatly since 2004, when Latvia became a Member State of the European Union. The Latvian language was flooded with new concepts and they all needed to be named in terms. Even more, in order to make the communication between the states efficient the terminology has to be consistent and harmonised. This issue is as closely related to translation as to terminology, because the consequent, liable and concordant. The translations done for the European Union are a part of the world’s biggest translation business. More than 40% of EU’s general budget goes to translations. The facts mentioned above prove the fact that legal terminology is to be developed and studied. Moreover, unified and harmonised terminology may help to avoid many a misunderstanding in political activities of European society.
Terminology develops continuously and the research of it can never be finished. The work has to be as continuous as terminology is progressive. Besides, there is still a gap in co-operation between institutions that work on term creation. It concerns Latvia as well. The co-operation between institutions that deal with terminology (the Latvian Academy of Sciences (LAS), Translation and Terminology Centre (TTC) etc.) deserves a strong criticism. According to Undīne Kravale who works with TTC – the cooperation between LAS and TTC is not efficient enough.
The aim of the paper is to explore term-related problems and offer efficient solutions as well as to create conjoint update of legal terminology on the basis of two last legal terminology updates developed by the Latvian Academy of Sciences (LAS).
Update should be available printed or electronically. In this respect two last legal terminology updates (terms accepted during the period 02.05.2000 – 30.01.2006) offered by the Latvian Academy of Sciences serve as a basis to be studied, developed and conjoined. To present LAS updates as a reliable source the description of this institution and its work is given. The paper offers analysis of the issues related to legal terminology used in EU document translations and gives recommendations and solutions that come as a result of thorough study. The author of this research carried out interviews with the experts working in the field of terminology and translation and those are found in the given paper. The author has chosen to analyse terminology problems and look for possible and practicable solutions because in future it could help to those working in the field.
However any terminology with its own subject field, legal terminology inclusive, is connected with the general terminology conventions, being it application, development, adaption, usage or theories. Thus, in order to lay the foundation for in depth analysis of legal terminology this paper deals with:
- development of terminology - in order to indicate terminology as a progressive field that plays one of the leading roles in all the spheres of life. This supports the fact that terminology really is a topic of a day. The subchapter ‘Terminology as Contribution to Society’ deals with the ways how terminology helps people to get on with information exchange.
- the next chapter ‘Terms as an Integral Part of Terminology’ refers to term-related problems such as the acquisition of terms, including such aspects as term classification and term-related problems).subdivision and the like.
- next chapter approaches terminology as a science, putting forward: a) the facts - how to promote terminology as a science; b)the subdivision of terminology; c) distinction between domain-specific texts; d) tasks of the terminology; e) the scope and conditions of terminology work; f) the actions that should be taken in order to create terms; g) the things to be done in harmonization of terms; h) rules for terminology usage.
- at the end of this paper the analysis of translation (done by the author of this paper) is given. As translation contains a lot of terms introduced by LAS, it helps not only to supply examples, but also to analyse the accurate usage of each term in this particular context. This chapter deals with general translation rules, analyses of term usage (terms with one translation option vs. terms with multiple translation options).
Theoretical part is supplemented by the author’s individual experience gained while dealing with translation and terminology-related issues in practice. This gives both, translator’s and translation tasks manager's viewpoint.
The methods used for this research are the following:
statistical analysis with the statistics of LAS performance in six years inclusive, viz. the percentage of newly created terms, terms that have or have not been changed and the proportion of ambiguities in legal terminology data base;
linguistic corpora, in order to extract terms – more than five hundred EU documents and their translations were studied;
study of articles and books – theory and general information taken from articles and books written by well-informed professionals;
analysis of term explanations – the comparison of equal term explanations in order to make sure there is no difference in connotations;
comparison of theories - most of them are explained and commented.
translation – practical usage of theories given in this paper;
translation analysis – comparison between theory and practice.…
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