29(1) - 2017

L’emploi de la langue française et des néologismes dans les textes juridiques étrangers du XIXe siècle

Sylvain Soleil


The use of French and neologisms in foreign legal texts of the 19th century


Nineteenth century reformers relied on foreign legal systems to produce new legislation and were therefore aware that they would come up against various linguistic difficulties. These difficulties proved to be so great that their policy was sometimes to simply not translate certain words, or to avoid translating them for as long as possible. Manéga in Bessarabia and Boissonade in Japan considered French to be the working language, which is to say the legal language and only language that, in their opinion, could help publicize their reforms. They used French to draft their codes and delayed translating them into Russian, Moldovan and Japanese. They also introduced new legal concepts through French neologisms combined with definitions, interpretations, annotations and examples, producing a didactic work designed for legal practitioners (judges, lawyers, public notaries) and the populations affected by the new codes.


Law, neologisms, translation, France, Japan, Bessarabia, Montenegro, Ottoman Empire

DOI 10.17462/para.2017.01.08

21 avril 2017
  29(1) - 2017