Translating Institutions: An Ethnographic Study of EU Translation

Translating Institutions: An Ethnographic Study of EU Translation

by Kaisa Koskinen


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781905763085
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Publication date: 06/23/2016
Pages: 188
Product dimensions: 6.25(w) x 9.25(h) x (d)

Table of Contents

1. Introduction


The European Commission as a translated institution

Ethnography: a weaving method

Small is beautiful

Role of the researcher

The logic of both/and

Aims and structure of the book


2. Translating institutions and institutional translation

2.1. Institutions

2.2. Rules, norms, and beliefs

2.3. Institutional translation

2.4. Categories of translated institutions

Supra-national institutions

Multilingual and bilingual administration

Public services

2.5. Translating institutions and translator training in Finland

3. Ethnographic approach to institutional translation

3.1. How to research institutional translation?

3.2. Essentials of ethnography

3.3. Ethnography in translating institutions

3.4. Probing cultural relations

Operationalizing culture

Nexus approach to culture

3.5. Identifications

Split identities

Questioning identification

Textual identities

3.6. Who is who: Positioning myself


Ethical considerations


4. Language work in the European Commission

4.1. Institutional Ethnography

4.2. Framework documents

Institutional multilingualism

Building Europe

Legal selves in a law-based administration: Staff Regulation

4.3. Translating in the European Commission



Material environment: JMO

The Finnish Unit

4.4. Living in Luxembourg

4.5. Conclusions

5. Institutional identifications

5.1. European identities

5.2. Provoking representations with the help of focus groups

Ethnography and focus groups

Focus groups in the translation unit

Mind map and questionnaire

Transcription and translation

Limits of focus groups

5.3. Translation unit as a nexus of relations

Officials and translators

Socialization to the organization

Socialization to the profession: the issue of educational background

Readers and readability

Transnational expatriates

5.4. The role of laughter

Laughing together

Laughing at ambiguities

5.5. Conclusion

6. Institutional text production

6.1. Social study of texts

Mapping the process

Focus on shifts

Focus on interpersonal shifts

6.2. Drafting process

Political redrafting (ORI-00 → ORI-01)

Institutional redrafting (ORI-01 → ORI-02)

Reframing the document (ORI-02 → ORI-03)

Drafting process: summary

6.3. Translation process

Communicating in Finnish (independent reading of TRA-02)

Continued institutionalization (ORI-02 → TRA-02)

Analysis of shifts vs. independent reading

Improved AND deteriorated version (ORI-03 →TRA-03)

Translation process: summary

6.4. From shouldness to maybeness?

6.5. Conclusions: Us and them

7. Net results

7.1. Rules, norms and beliefs: the question of culture in institutional translation

7.2. Readability

7.3. Recognition

7.4. Towards reflexive practice

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