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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 7. Synthesis and Interpretation of Data


This book has explored the textual fit, showing that it is a meaningful parameter for describing translations. The final chapter contains a discussion and interpretation of results, limitations of the study, implications for further research and its practical applications. It also attempts to categorise the relation of textual fit by proposing its description model.

7.1 Description model for textual fit

Translations are characterised by two underlying relations: their relation to source texts (equivalence) and their relation to target language texts of a comparable genre (textual fit). Equivalence and textual fit are two facets of translations which are critical for their quality. Based on the findings of the study, I propose the initial classification and description model for textual fit.

Definition: Textual fit is a linguistic distance between translations and nontranslations of a comparable genre.

Degree of textual fit: Textual fit is scalar and forms a cline from a convergent to divergent fit.

• Convergent textual fit: close similarity/convergence between translations and TL nontranslations of a comparable genre

• Divergent textual fit: low similarity/divergence between translation and TL nontranslations of a comparable genre.


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