Are French laws translated?
Thread poster: John Detre

John Detre  Identity Verified
Canada
French to English
Sep 19, 2013

My question is similar to the previous one but not identical.

I'm translating a European legal text (which is a bit outside my usual field) and it quotes extensively from the "Arrêté du 16 mai 2005 établissant les modèles types de règlement particulier d'appel d'offres et de convention de délégation de service public pour l'exploitation de services aériens susceptibles de faire l'objet d'une prise en charge financière par l'Etat."

Would an English translation of this text already exist, and if so where could I find it?

Thanks for your help!


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Tony M  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 02:32
Member
French to English
+ ...
Some are Sep 19, 2013

And it should be easy enough to find with a bit of basic Googling.

I think the Legifrance site is perhaps a good place to start looking, and I seem to remember it has a list of which laws are available in EN.

Do be warned, though, that some of the translations are pretty dire in places, so always read a lot more of the text around the bit you're interested in, so you can form your own opinion of the reliability (or not!) of the translation.


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John Detre  Identity Verified
Canada
French to English
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Tony Sep 19, 2013

I did try Google and Legifrance but didn't come up with it, so I thought maybe someone knows of another site that might have it.

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JL01  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:32
English to French
+ ...
Did you look well? Sep 19, 2013

On this page: http://www.legifrance.gouv.fr/, click on "Traductions" in the bluish banner row at the top.

Be forewarned: although some Codes have been translated, and ostensibly by prestigious University professors (more likely, the work was farmed out to students who were not up to the task, in typical university fashion), one finds quickly that translations are not good, and quite often large parts of texts (laws, IOW) have been left out.

Basically, the English translations are useless, even when they don't contain egregious errors. IU haven't looked at other languages.

(Salut, Tony !)

John Detre wrote:

I did try Google and Legifrance but didn't come up with it, so I thought maybe someone knows of another site that might have it.


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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 01:32
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Could be useful... Sep 19, 2013

http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=CELEX:31992R2408:fr:HTML
http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=CELEX:31992R2408:en:HTML


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John Detre  Identity Verified
Canada
French to English
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks for your help everyone. Sep 19, 2013

I haven't found it but at least now I can tell the client that I made every effort to do so and I'm reasonably confident it doesn't exist. They can't complain if I go ahead and translate it myself.

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John Detre  Identity Verified
Canada
French to English
TOPIC STARTER
Yes, very useful Sep 19, 2013



Thanks!


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Neil Coffey  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:32
French to English
+ ...
Word of caution Sep 20, 2013

Just to echo Tony slightly, be very wary about existing translations and of EU law in general -- I've come across (and reported here on at least one occasion as I recall) cases of basic mistranslation. And in any case, an existing translation is not of course "gospel".

Don't take existing translations as an excuse not to put your brain in gear...


[Edited at 2013-09-20 03:18 GMT]


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Mark Hamlen  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 02:32
Member (2010)
French to English
+ ...
Joining the chorus Sep 20, 2013

I agree that existing translations of French law are pretty awful at times. They are to be taken with a grain of salt, especially because the applicable law is in French.

EU legislation is another (big) problem because English is an official language so it is the official translation that is applicable. So if the translation is an "official" translation, we're stuck with the sometimes bad translation and we should quote it as is (if we have the translation).

[Edited at 2013-09-20 09:17 GMT]


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FarkasAndras
Local time: 02:32
English to Hungarian
+ ...
EU law Sep 20, 2013

Neil Coffey wrote:

Just to echo Tony slightly, be very wary about existing translations and of EU law in general -- I've come across (and reported here on at least one occasion as I recall) cases of basic mistranslation. And in any case, an existing translation is not of course "gospel".

Don't take existing translations as an excuse not to put your brain in gear...

I have read (more than) my fair share of EU legislation. While the translations are often the most atrocious legalese, they are generally precise (not to say I haven't come across the occasional howler). Whatever their quality, the official text is what is applied in that country (all the language versions have legal force, there is no "primary version" and "translated versions"). Therefore, if a text to be translated contains or cites EU law, I would consider retranslating the text an error. You have to paste in the existing official text. If you find a major error, you might want to add a translator's note.
Of course that doesn't necessarily apply to national legislation that has been translated into a foreign tongue, but even there, for the sake of consistency, I try to use existing translations if they're not hopelessly bad/factually incorrect.


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