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English language in the European Union: ‘lingua franca’ or ‘double-dutch’?

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In a special event providing great pleasure and satisfaction, 50 participants took part in a lecture by the outstanding translator of the European Court of Auditors, Jeremy Gardner, titled: ‘EU English: ‘lingua franca’ or ‘double-dutch’?’ For many years, he has observed the misuse of the English language in the structures of the European Union, and his experience resulted in the publication of “Misused English words and expressions in EU documents”.

The lecture, organised by the School of Foreign Languages of Vistula University, was an opportunity to look at how English vocabulary items and grammar are misused in EU publications, affecting the readability of official documents, as well as the effectiveness of communication. Few of the drafters of EU documents are native English speakers, and their English drafting skills vary greatly. In addition, there are no procedures to guarantee the quality of the texts, and eliminate errors before publication. A recognition of this phenomenon will enable translators and students to improve their understanding of documents relating to the EU’s activities and make reasoned choices in their translation and editing work.

Jeremy Gardner taught English for 15 years at the Universities of Perugia, Cagliari, Cosenza, and Ancona. Then, he moved to Luxembourg to work as a translator in the European Union. He also deals with training, aimed at increasing the level of text editing in the EU, conducting presentations and workshops, both in the Community institutions and outside of them.

The School of Foreign Languages would like to thank all participants of the lecture by Jeremy Gardner. We hope it was an extremely important and useful experience that will allow you to develop in the field of professional translations.

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Vistula University in Pultusk

Vistula University in Pultusk

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