Translation practices in political institutions: a comparison of national, supranational, and non-governmental organisations

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This article explores the settings and practices of translation at three types of political institutions, i.e. national, supranational, and non-governmental organisations. The three institutions are the translation service of the German Foreign Office, the translation department of the European Central Bank, and translation provision by the non-governmental organisation Amnesty International. The three case studies describe the specific translation practices in place at these institutions and illustrate some characteristic translation strategies. In this way, we reflect on how different translation practices can impact on translation agency and how these practices in turn are influenced by the type of institution and its organisational structure. The article also aims to explore to which extent the characteristics of collectivity, anonymity and standardisation, and of institutional translation as self-translation are applicable to the institutions under discussion.



Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)493-510
Number of pages18
Issue number4
Early online date13 Jul 2014
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Bibliographic note

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Perspectives: Studies in Translatology on 9/10//14, available online:


  • agency, institutional translation, translation at the European Central Bank, translation provision for Amnesty International, translation service of the German Foreign Office

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