The Language of Europe. Multilingualism and Translation in the EU Institutions: Practice, Problems and Perspectives

Domenico Cosmai

Collection : Etudes européennes

Discipline(s) : Linguistique

Parution: 11/2014,
ISBN: 978-2-8004-1574-1
Nombre de pages: 240 pages
Prix: 22 €
Préfacier: José Manuel Barroso
Traducteur: David Albert Best



The Language of Europe offers a clear and comprehensive introduction to the policy area of multilingualism and to translation practice within the EU institutions. This first edition in English builds on the success, among academics and practitioners alike, of its two preceding Italian editions (published respectively in 2003 and 2007 with the title Tradurre per l’Unione europea, Milan, Hoepli), which have closely followed the EU journey through its successive enlargements, and the impact of these multiple accessions on the politics and practice of institutional translation. It proposes an in-depth, up-to-the-minute analysis of the direct relationships between member-state languages and the problems of knowledge transfer between the diverse languages and cultures that make up the patchwork which is the EU.

Enriched throughout with practical examples from many among the twenty-four official languages of the European Union, specially selected and adapted for an Anglophone readership, The Language of Europe features detailed studies on the following topics: the background to and arguments in favour of EU multilingualism; the language features of EU documents; variations in translation practice between the different EU institutions, agencies and consultative bodies; the day-to-day working practice of translators and lawyer-linguists; the impact of ICT on translation practice; distinctive genres of EU institutional translation; what the future holds for EU translation.

The volume incorporates a range of sample texts from a variety of EU official languages, provided in the source-language original and English target-language translation, in order to give the student and specialist an insight into and overview of the rigour and procedural expertise which are demanded and can be seen at work from initial (co-)draft to final version in the rendering of a “multilingual” EU document.

Geared towards students, peers and specialists in Translation and Interpretation Studies, Language Studies and Cultural Studies, The Language of Europe is likely to arouse an equal level of interest in those working in adjacent scholarly domains: Cultural Geography, European Studies and Law, Political Science, and Sociolinguistics, for a start, as well as those currently pursuing or prospecting a career in the European institutions.

Compte rendu

“this is an excellent volume which will interest all working in the field of  Translation Studies, be they translators or students, including those aspiring to a career in the field within the EU, as well as researchers and less specialist readers with an interest in the topic. Expertly translated from the Italian version, the volume is generally very readable and covers a lot of ground which clearly benefits from the insights of its author as a practitioner who has extensive experience of working in the field within EU institutions. Particularly useful is the inclusion of some sample translations from a range of source languages into English which constitute Chapter 9, while the other chapters include various examples which serve to illuminate the points discussed” (Martin Howard, University of College Cork, Translation and Translanguaging in Multilingual Contexts, vol. 1:2, 2015, p. 236-238)

Agence Europe, bulletin quotidien n° 11378, septembre 2015 (Michel Theys).

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