[Corpora-List] Constitution

Jean Veronis Jean.Veronis at up.univ-mrs.fr
Sun May 15 09:23:01 CEST 2005

Bart Defrancq a écrit :


> - if I'm well informed, the Commission's SdT is not to blame for the

> translation of the Constitution. Most of the work was done by the

> Council's SdT.

Well, thanks for the info, Bart. Then let's just add the Directorate
General of Administration and Logistics (DGAL) of the Council to my

> Unfortunately, there were no official translators for the languages of

> the 10 candidate Member States (work on the Constitution was done

> before the accession)

Isn't this the core of the problem? Extension to new members states and
8 new languges was known well beforehanhd. Couldn't Europe start an
emergency plan to train and hire translators (instead it has *reduced*
the translation effort!).

> and the translations were contracted out. The result pleads very much

> against the "dismantling of translation bureaucracies", I'd say.-

That was irony ;-)

> the Académie française fiddled with the French (original) version even

> after the text (one has to say texts) was officially approved by the

> European Council. Some of the differences between versions may have

> come from that.


Quite possible (if I find infos about this I'll certainly post it on my
blog!). However, even supposing that each country had a need to massage
the language of the text, there should be a final control within the
European institution. After all, it's them and not the language
Academies, who gave the green light to print it in the Official Journal
of the Union in December 2004. This seems to confirm that something is
wrong with the trnalsation and document production procedures and
quality control within the European Institutions.

However, I am not sure that this debate belongs here. My message was
more about using parallel corpora to spot possible translation errors. I
don't know if this has been done before on other texts?


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