Interaction of law and language in the EU: Challenges of Translating in Multilingual Environment

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This paper analyses the interaction between law and language in the EU multilingual context. It focuses on challenges in legal translation stemming from a new and hybrid EU legal system that developed over time through the influence of several European legal traditions. It is argued that the choice of English in translation of EU law as a source language, and in communication with the EU institutions, exposes an inability to reconcile civil law traditions with common law traditions. Equally challenging is to translate specific EU legal and expert terminology that is often exclusive only to the EU legal system.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)58-74
Number of pages17
Issue number27
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2017


  • Law, EU, source language, English language, French language, EU expert terms, legal concepts, common law traditions, civil law traditions, EU law