The authority-citizen relationship through constitutional discourse: a translational perspective

Christina Karakepeli


The aim of this paper is to examine politeness strategies in EU institutional discourse through a translation perspective, and then to compare strategies of im/politeness to those of the Greek Constitution. The study begins with a quantitative analysis of politeness shifts between the English and the Greek versions of the EU Constitution (etic approach), then it takes an emic
approach to the phenomenon by asking Greek respondents to comment on their perception of appropriate politeness shifts in ten translation examples. It concludes with comparing qualitative politeness findings in the Greek Constitution to the Greek version of the EU Constitution. The analysis found that the EU Greek version of the Treaty of Lisbon favors separateness in comparison
to its English-language counterpart in an attempt to create greater distance between EU authorities and Greek EU citizens, whereas the Greek Constitution seems to address citizens’ “connectedness face” shaping a different State/citizen relationship.

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 ISSN 2184-4585