chapter  6
18 Pages

Theoretical Aspects of Legal Translation in the EU: The Paradoxical Relationship between Language, Translation and the Autonomy of EU Law

The purpose of this chapter is to discuss the issue whether what we call translation in the EU is translation at all, or whether we are witnessing something different for which a proper theoretical concept has yet to be developed. What we know is that EU texts are drawn up in 24 parallel language versions, none of which has the legal status of an original text, and none of which is designated as a translation. Taken together, they are equally important sources of EU law (Kjær 2007). In spite of this paradoxical relationship between the multiple language versions and uniform EU law, we can see that EU law functions and is followed in real life activities in the Member States and that the multilingual rules make sense both inside and outside the confines of the EU institutions. But in theoretical terms we cannot explain why.