The common-law-based standardized legal model of the terms and conditions of use of commercial websites instantiate, on the one hand, the increasingly influential role that English plays as the international language of trade and legislation, and, on the other, the disparities in legal practice among different national legal systems using English as a lingua franca (ELF). The paper investigates a small monolingual corpus of terms of use translated into English from the international websites of three international car manufacturers from three different countries of origin and legislations based in civil law: Fiat, Renault and Volkswagen. The aim is to find the similarities and differences in layout/content and terminology/phraseology of the three ELF documents: 1) against the respective source documents in the Italian, French and German national sites of, respectively, Fiat, Renault and Volkswagen; 2) among the three translated ELF documents themselves; and 3) against three terms of use taken as a reference, two of which are non-translated ENL (English as a Native Language) disclaimer templates whilst the third is a translated ELF EU Commission Legal notice. The significant intralingual variation found in the three ELF translated documents even in a highly standardized legal format such as that of the terms of use of a website is finally taken as evidence of the difference in awareness – and ultimately professionalism - by the legal drafters of the respective source texts and by the translators of the international readership of the final documents to be translated into English.

Similar Yet Different. ELF Variation in International Website Terms and Conditions of Use

SCARPA, FEDERICA
2013

Abstract

The common-law-based standardized legal model of the terms and conditions of use of commercial websites instantiate, on the one hand, the increasingly influential role that English plays as the international language of trade and legislation, and, on the other, the disparities in legal practice among different national legal systems using English as a lingua franca (ELF). The paper investigates a small monolingual corpus of terms of use translated into English from the international websites of three international car manufacturers from three different countries of origin and legislations based in civil law: Fiat, Renault and Volkswagen. The aim is to find the similarities and differences in layout/content and terminology/phraseology of the three ELF documents: 1) against the respective source documents in the Italian, French and German national sites of, respectively, Fiat, Renault and Volkswagen; 2) among the three translated ELF documents themselves; and 3) against three terms of use taken as a reference, two of which are non-translated ENL (English as a Native Language) disclaimer templates whilst the third is a translated ELF EU Commission Legal notice. The significant intralingual variation found in the three ELF translated documents even in a highly standardized legal format such as that of the terms of use of a website is finally taken as evidence of the difference in awareness – and ultimately professionalism - by the legal drafters of the respective source texts and by the translators of the international readership of the final documents to be translated into English.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11368/2755770
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