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CIUTI-Forum 2013

Facing the World’s New Challenges. The Role of T & I in Providing Integrated Efficient and Sustainable Solutions

Martin Forstner, Nikolai K. Garbovskiy and Hannelore Lee-Jahnke

The proceedings of the CIUTI FORUM 2013 outline in five chapters the different perspectives of sustainable language policies, role of translators and interpreters and the challenges they face on the globalized market. Such as new global partnerships between Universities and Organizations and transcultural negociations with a special case study of US-Latinos.
A special section of this book is dedicated to training and research issues, which have to handle the difficult task of preparing students for the globalized and changing market on the one hand, and showing research directions permitting new approaches to highly sustainable training methods and curriculum development. On the other hand, the delicate question is raised whether multilingualism in language training is a drawback for translation didacts.
This book contains contributions in English, French and German.
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The Politics of Translation in the European Union Institutions: Considerations and Questions: Rytis Martikonis


There are numerous aspects of EU translation that can be considered as political: language parity, the costs and benefits, mainstreaming translation into other EU policies, etc. This article focuses however on a recent, concrete example of how sensitive and political the subject of EU translation is, namely the Ombudsman’s recommendation to the European Commission concerning the language policy for Commission online public consultations. In discussing the case, a parallel is drawn with language policy for the web. Also, the article attempts to define the role of translation in the democratic process, and the nature of EU translation in general: can it be regarded as a basic human right, a commodity, a public good?

Leaving the exact definition of the politics of translation aside, let us start by outlining some issues concerning translation in the European Union that could indeed be considered as political.

The EU was founded on the principle of multilingualism. This was not only for historical and cultural reasons, related to the wish to protect linguistic and cultural diversity, but also for sound political ← 19 | 20 → reasons. Unlike other international organisations, the EU is a level of governance which passes laws that are directly binding on its citizens. As a matter of justice, citizens and national courts must have a version of any laws they have to comply with or enforce in a language they can understand. Hence the obligation to translate EU laws into all the official EU languages. Language parity is enshrined...

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