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Unique Experience of the
Estonian Language Planning
in the EU Texts
Katre Kasemets
Katrin Hallik
Institute of the Estonian...
The Estonian language
• Baltic Finnic branch of the Uralic languages
• Along with Icelandic, Estonian is one of the
smalle...
The Estonian language
• One million speakers
• The only official language in Estonia, also
in local government and state i...
The Estonian language
• Teaching, at both primary school and
university level, is in Estonian; it is also the
language of ...
The Estonian language
• Small number of speakers has enabled to
establish solid rules for language planning
• Yet, termino...
Strategy for the Development
of the Estonian Language
2004–2010
The aim is to protect the Estonian language
and to guarant...
The National Programme for
Estonian Terminology
2008–2012
• 30 terminology committees in different fields
• 10 regular ter...
Estonian Terminology
Association ETER
• Founded in 2001
• A member of EAFT
• Compilation of terminological dictionaries
• ...
The Estonian Legal Language
Centre (1995–2006)
• Translation of Estonian legislation into English
• Translation of EU legi...
The Institute of the
Estonian Language
• Founded in 1947
• Planning and development of standard Estonian
• Compilation of ...
The Institute of the
Estonian Language
• ~ 70 people
• 5 departments:
Linguistics and Language Technology
Dictionaries
Fin...
EU language planning
• EU language planning at the Institute of the
Estonian Language since May, 2008
• Complementary lang...
EU language planning
• Linguistic and terminological consultation
• Co-operation with universities:
- research on eurolang...
EU language planning
• Compilation and publication of linguistic
support materials and brochures:
"The Language of the Eur...
EU language planning
• Homepage of the EU language planning
and terminology: up-to-date information,
linguistic and termin...
EU language planning
• Close co-operation between translators,
experts and linguists via the Permanent
Representation of E...
EU language planning
• It is a paradox that often the translated EU
texts present a better linguistic quality than the
ori...
English as a modern
lingua franca
• English is no longer the property of native speakers
but belongs to everyone who speak...
English as a modern
lingua franca
• EU texts are standardized in terms of terminology and
structure. This results in the c...
English as a modern
lingua franca
• The semantic as well as grammatical structure of
Estonian as a Finno-Ugric language is...
English as a modern
lingua franca
• Strongly emotionally colored expressions in
eurotexts cannot often be literally transl...
English as a modern
lingua franca – empowerment
• OED says that empowerment was used already in
the 17th century
• Empower...
English as a modern
lingua franca – empowerment
• In eurotexts this term has various Estonian
equivalents and none of them...
English as a modern
lingua franca – flexicurity
• Flexicurity (a portmanteau of flexibility and
security) is a welfare sta...
English as a modern
lingua franca – flexicurity
• The definition of the term shows how much content
can be encompassed by ...
Vision and objective of the EU
language planning
• To enhance clear language usage in Estonian
EU-texts and to facilitate ...
Eurogiggle
• Switzerland's finance minister collapsed into a fit
of giggles as he tried to read the unintelligible
bureauc...
Obrigado!
Thank you for your attention!
Aitäh!
Katrin.Hallik@eki.ee
Katre.Kasemets@eki.ee
Unique Experience of Estonian Language Planning in the EU Texts - Katre Kasemets, Katrin Hallik
Unique Experience of Estonian Language Planning in the EU Texts - Katre Kasemets, Katrin Hallik
Unique Experience of Estonian Language Planning in the EU Texts - Katre Kasemets, Katrin Hallik
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Unique Experience of Estonian Language Planning in the EU Texts - Katre Kasemets, Katrin Hallik

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The presentation of the Estonian EU Language Planning Unit at Clarity 2010 offered an insight into the Estonian model of state-supported clear language consultation service, giving an overview of the practical side of the work as well as sharing concrete examples of the obstacles and challenges the Estonian translators are facing. The vision and objective of the unit is to enhance clear language usage in Estonian EU-texts and to facilitate through this the general idea of good language usage in Estonian legislation.

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Transcript of "Unique Experience of Estonian Language Planning in the EU Texts - Katre Kasemets, Katrin Hallik"

  1. 1. Unique Experience of the Estonian Language Planning in the EU Texts Katre Kasemets Katrin Hallik Institute of the Estonian Language Lisbon 2010 | October 13
  2. 2. The Estonian language • Baltic Finnic branch of the Uralic languages • Along with Icelandic, Estonian is one of the smallest languages in the world that fulfils all the functions necessary for a state to "perform" linguistically
  3. 3. The Estonian language • One million speakers • The only official language in Estonia, also in local government and state institutions
  4. 4. The Estonian language • Teaching, at both primary school and university level, is in Estonian; it is also the language of modern science (including molecular biology, computer science, semiotics, etc.)
  5. 5. The Estonian language • Small number of speakers has enabled to establish solid rules for language planning • Yet, terminology planning is a self-regulating process in Estonia • No governing official body whose decision about Estonian terminology could become binding to the users
  6. 6. Strategy for the Development of the Estonian Language 2004–2010 The aim is to protect the Estonian language and to guarantee its sustainable development and create necessary conditions for its functioning in all walks of life on the whole territory of Estonia
  7. 7. The National Programme for Estonian Terminology 2008–2012 • 30 terminology committees in different fields • 10 regular terminology committees, for instance the committees of military terminology and education terminology
  8. 8. Estonian Terminology Association ETER • Founded in 2001 • A member of EAFT • Compilation of terminological dictionaries • Co-ordination of terminology work • Participation in international terminology co- operation
  9. 9. The Estonian Legal Language Centre (1995–2006) • Translation of Estonian legislation into English • Translation of EU legislation into Estonian • Creation and administration of a full-text database of legal translations and of a terminology database • Publicly available databases
  10. 10. The Institute of the Estonian Language • Founded in 1947 • Planning and development of standard Estonian • Compilation of dictionaries • Creation and development of language technological tools supporting the use of Estonian • Research of modern Estonian usage • Estonian language history • Estonian dialects and its cognate languages
  11. 11. The Institute of the Estonian Language • ~ 70 people • 5 departments: Linguistics and Language Technology Dictionaries Finno-Ugric Languages and Dialects Terminology Language Planning
  12. 12. EU language planning • EU language planning at the Institute of the Estonian Language since May, 2008 • Complementary language training for the translators of the Estonian language working in the EU institutions • Annual workshops for freelance translators working in Estonia
  13. 13. EU language planning • Linguistic and terminological consultation • Co-operation with universities: - research on eurolanguage and lectures on good language usage - supervision of Master students of translation
  14. 14. EU language planning • Compilation and publication of linguistic support materials and brochures: "The Language of the European Union as Our Common Language" "Is It Possible To Use Clear and Simple Language in Eurotexts?"
  15. 15. EU language planning • Homepage of the EU language planning and terminology: up-to-date information, linguistic and terminological consultation, forum for translators etc. eurokeelehoole.eki.ee
  16. 16. EU language planning • Close co-operation between translators, experts and linguists via the Permanent Representation of Estonia to the EU • Since 2005 regular terminology meetings of the Estonian units of the EU institutions
  17. 17. EU language planning • It is a paradox that often the translated EU texts present a better linguistic quality than the original legislative documents in Estonian composed by Estonian officials and lawyers
  18. 18. English as a modern lingua franca • English is no longer the property of native speakers but belongs to everyone who speaks it • Native speakers of English may feel that the language belongs to them, but it will be those who speak English as a second or foreign language who will determine its world future (Graddol 1997)
  19. 19. English as a modern lingua franca • EU texts are standardized in terms of terminology and structure. This results in the creation of "hybrid" texts – translations that are neither source-culture-bound nor target-culture-oriented (Trosborg 1997) • The EU has already left its mark on the linguistic development of the languages of its member states by imposing its own linguistic culture and conventions
  20. 20. English as a modern lingua franca • The semantic as well as grammatical structure of Estonian as a Finno-Ugric language is different from the Indo-European English (no future tense, preference of singular forms, no gender etc.) • Estonian offers more concrete and rational equivalents for notions
  21. 21. English as a modern lingua franca • Strongly emotionally colored expressions in eurotexts cannot often be literally translated into Estonian – they seem ridiculous in an official register (i.e. dramatic and drastic), and need to be replaced with more neutral synonyms
  22. 22. English as a modern lingua franca – empowerment • OED says that empowerment was used already in the 17th century • Empowerment – a floating concept which means different things in different organizations and, further, means different things to different people within those organisations (Nicola Denham Lincoln et al.)
  23. 23. English as a modern lingua franca – empowerment • In eurotexts this term has various Estonian equivalents and none of them is exact • Estonian defines the notions in a more rational way, diffused notions with a wide range of additional meanings is usually causing problems for Estonian translators
  24. 24. English as a modern lingua franca – flexicurity • Flexicurity (a portmanteau of flexibility and security) is a welfare state model with a pro- active labour market policy. The term was first coined by the Prime Minister of Denmark P. N. Rasmussen in the 1990s
  25. 25. English as a modern lingua franca – flexicurity • The definition of the term shows how much content can be encompassed by one term in English • That is why a convenient Estonian equivalent has not yet been coined and the translators are creating new bureaucratic jargon constantly trying to find equivalents to globalised terms
  26. 26. Vision and objective of the EU language planning • To enhance clear language usage in Estonian EU-texts and to facilitate through this the general idea of good language usage in Estonian legislation
  27. 27. Eurogiggle • Switzerland's finance minister collapsed into a fit of giggles as he tried to read the unintelligible bureaucratic language in his report while answering a parliamentary question about imports of cured meats • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ps6e_toM26I&f eature=related
  28. 28. Obrigado! Thank you for your attention! Aitäh!
  29. 29. Katrin.Hallik@eki.ee Katre.Kasemets@eki.ee

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