The EU language policy and interpreting/translation practices: the case of Croatia's application for EU membership

2017-06-02T02:13:07Z (GMT) by Hlavac, Jim
The EU is considered by most to have exemplary language and interpreting/translating (I/T) policies: EU parliamentarians may use their own language when speaking in parliament and the 20 official languages of all 25 member states have equal status in regard to I/T services. This paper traces official EU and Croatian policies in regard to language choice and examines some of the translation practices employed by both the EU and Croatia. So far, bi-directional translation practices have involved a language variety that is unmistakeably Croatian and one of the EU's 'working languages', usually English. But interpreting practices have not always followed the same pattern and EU-employed interpreters do not always interpret into Croatian. There is some evidence to suggest that the form and name of the language in EU-Croatia contacts may not always remain uniquely Croatian. If Croatian continues to be employed, this may be a consequence not only of principles applied by EU (or Croatian) bureaucrats. Rather, it may in some part be due to the absence of Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia-Montenegro as co-applicants for EU membership. Thus, amongst the rhetoric of respecting member states' language designations and most Croats' adherence to the term 'Croatian' as their native language it is the absence of Bosnian/Bosniak and Serbian (and possibly Montenegrin) as closely related codes which may co-determine the EU's I/T practices just as much as its official language policies.