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According to this article a Romanian minister speech was particularly hard to translate, so the various (real-time?) translations were quite different:

English

Let me tell you that the fact that I am here today ... in the EU Council is a time to remember, a historic moment for my country.

French

I would like to tell you that ... the fact that I am here today in this position in the Council of the European Union is a historic moment for me and my country

German

I would like to say that ... the fact that I am here today in this position in this position in the Council of the European Union is a historic moment for me and for my country

Spanish

I would like to point out that the fact that I am here in front of you is a historic moment to me not only for me but also for my country. My country fought a lot to get into the European Union

and the original

Romanian

A first question came from a colleague, let me tell you, who has the same name as me - Petre [Peter].

But what place is not pleasant in Romania! Bravo!

We have entered the hall with a formidable, bravo, extremely important success, but so necessary and so useful to us all.

You know, I am telling you here, a very important moment by the presence of the undersigned in this council, bravo!

See cormorant [Phalacrocorax carbo] population. Cormorants in Romania bathe in pools, they are no longer men, fishermen, not so. Thank you for your questions! Bravo!

Arguably there was quite a lot lost in translation. I am wondering if these speeches are retranslated to grasp what was actually said.

Question: Are EU Parliament speeches re-translated to minimize "lost in translation"?

  • I'm afraid your link appears to have got mangled. – origimbo Jan 30 at 13:13
  • @origimbo - yes, fixed. Thanks. – Alexei Jan 30 at 13:15
  • What do you mean by “re-translated”? As can be seen in the answer and the comment on that answer, it can be interpreted as a second translation from the original Romanian to the other languages, or as a translation of the translated e.g. English text back to Romanian. – chirlu Jan 30 at 14:17
  • @chirlu - the article (in Romanian) provides Romanian translation for the various (real-time?) translations as heard during the speech by English, German, French speaking EU members. Some differences between what is really said and translated version make sense, but they seem to be all far away from what was really said. Many argued that such a speech is really hard to translate as it makes little sense even for native Romanian speakers. So, without a re-translation many members did not get what was actually said. – Alexei Jan 30 at 14:25
  • @Alexei I believe chirlu's query was asking for confirmation whether you meant retranslation as "from Romanian to X again" or what I know as back translation, i.e "from Romanian to X to Romanian". – origimbo Jan 30 at 14:30
3

From Rule 194 of the Procedure of the European Parliament

Rule 194 : Verbatim reports

  1. A verbatim report of the proceedings of each sitting shall be drawn up as a multilingual document in which all oral contributions appear in the original official language.

  2. Without prejudice to his or her other disciplinary powers, the President may cause to be deleted from the verbatim reports the speeches of Members who have not been called upon to speak or who continue to speak beyond the time allotted to them.

  3. Speakers may make corrections to typescripts of their oral contributions within five working days. Corrections shall be sent within that deadline to the Secretariat.

  4. The multilingual verbatim report shall be published as an annex to the Official Journal of the European Union and preserved in the records of Parliament.

  5. A translation into any official language of an extract from the verbatim report shall be made if it is requested by a Member. If necessary, the translation shall be provided at short notice.

So it appears that the default assumption is that:

  • The authoritative copy is the corrected version in the original language of the speaker.
  • Retranslation may be requested by any MEP, but it doesn't happen automatically.
  • I don't see where the retranslation is coming from. Point 5 allows members to ask for a translation of the verbatim report. It doesn't say they can request a translation back into the original language. – Abigail Jan 30 at 14:06
  • 1
    @Abigail Retranslation as in 'another translation than the instantaneous translation referred to in the original question'. – origimbo Jan 30 at 14:11

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