EU Legal Language and Translation. Dehumanizing the Refugee Crisis

Elpida Loupaki


The aim of this paper is to investigate lexical choices made in the EU legal texts, which could contribute to dehumanizing the “refugee crisis”, and compare them with the choices made by Greek translators. For this purpose, a corpus of EU legal texts, regulating migration matters and issued by the European Commission, is compiled. The language versions studied are English and Greek. The theoretical model adopted is Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA), and the major tools used are “framing” and “detachment techniques”. The methodology employed in this research is corpus-based and the analysis is both qualitative and quantitative. The English corpus studied revealed some convincing evidence about the existence of dehumanizing strategies in EU legal texts, and its Greek version is, as expected, totally in line with the original lexical choices. By analysing a number of characteristic examples, the present paper sheds some light on the multidimensional relationship between language and ideology, while examining its influence on the translation process.

Cite as: Loupaki, JLL 7 (2018), 97–116, DOI: 10.14762/jll.2018.097


EU Legal Language, EU Translation, Migration, Dehumanizing Strategies, Corpus-based Methodology, Critical Discourse Analysis

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