30(1) - 2018

Erwachsenenschutzrechtsreformen im deutschen und französischen Sprachraum: Terminologische Entwicklung und Übersetzungsprobleme

Suzanne Ballansat-Aebi


New legislation about the legal protection of adults in European countries with German and/or French as official languages: terminological choices and translation problems


The new provisions of five European countries (Germany, Austria, France, Switzerland and Belgium) about the legal protection of adults all implement the principle of self-determination, but there are still fundamental conceptual differences between the statutory instruments of protection. An analysis of the terminological choices for three key concepts (legal instrument, protecting person, protected person) reveals that legislators have either opted for the use of traditional terminology or created new terms. Discriminating and stigmatizing language was avoided in many respects, but has not disappeared. A comparison of the German and French version of the Swiss and Belgian legislation shows that these concerns are given more importance in the German than in the French language. The terminological evolution in the field of the legal protection of adults has led to new translation problems, illustrated by the solutions for the three key concepts found in a French translation of the German Civil Code, scholarly articles and information material for citizens. It is argued that source text oriented translation methods provide more adequate information to these target recipients than functional equivalents.


Legal protection of adults, legal translation, comparative law, stigmatization in legal terminology, multilingualism

DOI 10.17462/para.2018.01.04

22 avril 2018
  30(1) - 2018