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Translating the blurring? The translation of legal standards between terminology and discursive semantic

Conferences and symposiums

KeywordsTriple Keywords
Mass communication
Communication, Primitive
Acts, Legislative
Legislative enactments
Laws (Statutes)
Enactments, Legislative
Legislative acts
Language and languages
Foreign languages
Context (Linguistics)
Grammar, Comparative and general--Context
Situation (Linguistics)
Concept formation
World literature
Western literature (Western countries)
International law
Law of nations
Public international law
Nations, Law of
Number concept
Folk beliefs
Manners and customs
Social life and customs
Customs, Social
Social customs
Urban legends
Folk tales
Notions (Philosophy)


[Problematics and objectives] This Communication, which is part of the “international norms” axis of the day of study, has traditionally its starting point in the intrinsic links between law and language. Instantiated at terminological level, they lead to legal terminology being presented as soluble only in a given legal system and context, and define legal translation as based on a comparison and translation of the underlying conceptual systems. In this context, the recognition of ‘legal standards’, understood as indeterminate concepts a priori (Bernard, 2010), has disturbed this very oiled mechanism: the principle of subsidiarity (Joyeux, 2016) is a major example of this. According to legal literature, Roscoe Pound was, in the 1920s, one of the first lawyers who theoretically questioned the relevance of the legal standard, identified, in the face of the rigidity of the ‘rule’, ‘principle’ or ‘concept’, as ‘an average measure of correct social conduct’. Its vertus would be to set aside the law from a ‘floating right’ enabling the judge to ‘constantly adapt the law to varying social circumstances’ (tunc, 1970: 249.The development of the concept in the 20st century had a programmatic aspect: international law relies heavily on this concept, and in particular on European Union law: ‘One of the particularities of the Community legal order which is rarely mentioned is the presence of a particular type of concepts which are indeterminate a priori: legal standards’ (Bernard, 2010: 2-10), which the author describes as a “vague concept” implying “a margin of interpretation for the person implementing it”. Those standards therefore pose a fundamental question for the drafting and translation of international standards: in so far as a number of lexies give rise to lexies which do not pose a particular morphological problem in view of their transparency (fr. délation vs all). Diskriminierung — fr. subsidiarity vs all. Subsidiarität), the real challenge of their translation is a semantic of speech: how to ensure interpretative flexibility from one version to the next, precisely guaranteed by the use of a standard? [Corpus] The discussions will be based on the analysis of a double corpus around the standard of non-discrimination in language pairs and in legal traditions, German-German. The first corpus questioned is made up of parallel bitexts making it possible to uncover the translation strategies adopted by international organisations, but also to see the lexico-semantic networks built in these texts by means of reformulations/variations in initial formulations. These initial results will be supplemented by a study of comparable texts, precisely the original doctrinal comments from the two systems, making it possible to examine the ‘semantic life’ of this standard in the two cultural languages. [Methodology] This double corpus will be asked, on the one hand, in the light of current terminological approaches, based on an almost philological rediscovery of Wüster’s general theory, and, on the other hand, at affordable fuzzy terminology (fuzzy terminology) based on an essentially constructive semantic approach and, secondly, in the context of an analysis of the narrative applied to legal speeches which recognises the concept of formula, as defined by a basic discussion on the law. compatibility or incompatibility with national law? With the introduction of the standards, are there reformulations, redefinitions and lexical creations? The non-discrimination standard in French is particularly relevant for observing the evolution of a definition of illegality faced with criteria exogenous to legal law which the concept of standard presupposes: legal/unlawful discrimination, reasonable discrimination, etc.

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