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Lost in the Eurofog: The Textual Fit of Translated Law

Second Revised Edition


Łucja Biel

The book is one of the few in-depth investigations into the nature of EU legal translation and its impact on national legal languages. It is also the first attempt to characterise EU Polish, a language of supranational law and a hybrid variant of legal Polish emerging via translation. The book applies Chesterman's concept of textual fit, that is how translations differ from non-translations, to demonstrate empirically on large corpora how the Polish eurolect departs from the conventions of legal and general Polish both at the macrostructural and microstructural level. The findings are juxtaposed with the pre-accession version of Polish law to track the 'Europeanisation' of legal Polish – recent changes brought about by the unprecedented inflow of EU translations.

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Chapter 4. EUROFOG corpus design and methodological considerations


4.1 Corpus design method

Recently more voices have been heard questioning Baker’s pioneering method of studying translation solely with comparable corpora without STs (cf. Bernardini and Zanettin 2004: 59, Pym 2010: 82, Bernardini and Ferraresi 2011: 228). One of the major methodological limitations of monolingual comparable corpora is the limited comparability of their translated and nontranslated components (Bernardini and Ferraresi 2011: 228). Secondly, researching translation with comparable corpora introduces a methodological bias (cf. Bernardini and Zanettin 2004: 59), because it does not enable the assessment of the extent to which deviations in the language of translations are caused by interference. It is, however, argued that comparable corpora should not be excluded from the study of translations, because the techniques of their analysis are much more sophisticated than those of parallel corpora (Bernardini and Ferraresi 2011: 228) and they are an important source of information about TL norms and conventions (cf. Becher 2010a).

The methodology applied in this project combines Baker’s method of studying translations against nontranslations with the use of comparable monolingual corpora with a more recent approach of a multilingually comparable corpus (cf. Hansen-Schirra and Teich 2009: 1162), which includes: a parallel corpus (SL original texts aligned with TL translations) and a monolingually comparable corpus to research translations against TL original texts corresponding to SL original texts.

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