Feb 07 2005

EU Acts Get Lost in Translation in Estonia

Published by at February 7, 2005 12:30 pm under Translation

Lawmakers in new European Union member country Estonia have got bogged down when ratifying some pieces of EU legislation because of poor translation, a press report said Monday.

“Theres a huge web of problems in connection with translating (EU laws),” Rein Lang, chairman of the Estonian parliaments European affairs committee, said in the Eesti Paevaleht daily Monday.

“The government has to make sure the English and Estonian-language versions of the laws are identical.”

The ratification of several EU acts has stalled in the Estonian parliament because of mistakes spotted in their translation, which has resulted in the documents having to be retranslated.

Officials have said the quality of translation has been patchy because of the huge amount of acts that needed to be translated before May 1, 2004, when Estonia joined the EU.

More than 100,000 pages of text have been translated, often under pressure of very tight deadlines, said Hille Saluaar of the Estonian Legal Language Centre.

Today, with Estonia a member of the EU, most translation work is being done in Brussels.

About 100 translators have moved from Estonia to the EU institutions in Brussels, causing a shortage of translators at home in the Baltic state.

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