Simona Anselmi, Francesca Seracini

The Transposition of EU Directives into British Legislation as Intralingual Translation: A Corpus-Based Analysis of the Rewriting Process

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Keywords: Intralingual Translation; Implementation of EU Directives; Legal English.

This article investigates the socio-cultural and linguistic changes of EU directives in English when they are implemented in the British legal system by using a monolingual corpus made up of a subcorpus of 16 English EU directives in the field of consumer law and a subcorpus of UK regulations implementing those directives, as well as a reference corpus of British legislation to determine to what extent these changes are due to (1) linguistic and textual conventions of British legal English, and (2) the process of rewriting. Besides showing different linguistic features in EU vs. British legal English, the results show a tendency to conform to the linguistic conventions of legal English in the documents implementing EU directives. Comparison with the UK reference corpus also highlights a greater tendency to over-simplify language and emphasise typical British legal language features when transposing EU directives rather than when drafting original British legislation.

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