1887
Volume 4, Issue 3
  • ISSN 0272-2690
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9889
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Abstract

SUMMARYThe author analyses two documents on the UN language services, produced by the Joint Inspection Unit, a group of specialists whose task consists in studying the working of the UN system with a view to introducing improvements of an administrative and organizational character. Never before had a study been published with such a wealth of information on the linguistic functioning of the UN network of agencies.Although, according to its title, the first report should deal mainly with the use of additional languages, it actually covers many aspects of language services in general, emphasizing two main points, viz., that it is extremely costly to use several languages (US$105 297 000 in 1976), and that it is difficult to provide satisfactory services because of the lack of competent personnel. This dearth of good translators and interpreters is especially serious for the two languages newly adopted as working languages, Arabic and Chinese.The second report, which deals with translation, is to be commended as much as the first one for its conciseness, its clarity and the value of the information it provides. However, it demonstrates a lack of realism in the part devoted to recommendations, where the role of irrational factors has been underestimated. For instance, the recommendation that translators be authorized to send a text back to its author when it is poorly drafted would require a psychological restructuring which is unrealistic to expect. Most recommendations in both reports can be summed up by the word "restriction": refraining from adding new languages, producing fewer documents, limiting the revision of translated papers, etc.In conclusion, the author warns the potential reader that neither report views the problem of linguistic communication in international organizations from a wide perspective, on a long-term basis and with due regard to the principles involved. The reports do not face up to the political and sociopsychological factors which explain why communication in the UN system is based on such expensive, cumbersome and inefficient methods. On what criteria are languages selected? Would it be possible to avoid discriminating against many language groups? Would a more efficient system be workable? Such questions are not discussed in the Joint Inspection Unit reports. Similarly, the JIU does not envisage undertaking a cost/efficiency analysis based on a comparison with alternative systems that are applied elsewhere and can be readily studied. In the present circumstances, studying alternatives appears to be taboo.RESUMOLa aùtoro analizas du dokumentojn pri la lingvoproblemo ellaboritajn de la "Komuna Inspekta Opo," grupo da personoj komisiita studi la funkciadon de UN kaj de la institucioj ligitaj al gi, cele al administra kaj organiza plibonigo. Neniam antaùe aperis referajo tiel rica je informoj rilate al la lingva funkciado en tiu reto da organizoj.Kvankam, laù la titolo, la unua raporto devus pritrakti nur la aldonon de novaj lingvoj al la jam uzataj, gi fakte abunde pritraktas la lingvajn servojn generale. Gi cefe emfazas du punktojn, nome, ke paralele uzi plurajn lingvojn estas tre kosta sistemo (105 297 000 usonaj dolaroj en 1976), kaj ke estas malfacile funkciigi la necesajn servojn kontentige, car veraj kompetentuloj mankas. Tiu generala manko estas aparte grava koncerne la du laste alprenitajn lingvojn, la araban kaj la cinan.La dua raporto, dedicita al tradukado, estas jugata same laudinda kiel la unua, car same konciza, klara kaj informe multvalora. Sed oni povas riproci al gi ian mankon de realismo en la rekomendoj, en kiuj la rolo de l'neraciaj faktoroj estas subtaksita. Ekz-e la rekomendo, ke tradukistoj povu resendi al la autoro tekston fuse redaktitan postulus psikologian restrukturadon, kiun atendi estus nerealisme. La plimulto el la rekomendoj, en ambau raportoj, povas resumigi en la vorton "limigo": limigi la nombron de lingvoj, la dokumentaron, la uzon de reviziado en la tradukservoj, ktp.Konklude la aùtoro atentigas, ke tiuj raportoj ne konsideras la problemon de lingva komunikado en internaciaj organizoj lau vasta, principa kaj longtempa perspektivo. Ili pretersilentas la politikajn kaj socipsikologiajn faktorojn, pro kiuj komunikado en la UN-sistemo organizigis tiel koste, komplike kaj neefike. Kial oni uzu tiun lingvon kaj ne tiun ci? Cu estas evitebla diskriminacio en la internacia lingva komunikado? Cu alia maniero solvi la komunikproblemon preferindus? Similaj demandoj tute ne estas tusitaj. Same, la Inspektistoj ne konsideras la eblecon foje entrepreni analizon de efikeco rilate al kosto, kompare kun alternativaj sistemoj aplikataj aliloke, kiujn estus facile studi. En la nuna situacio, la studon de tiuj alternativoj sajnas bloki tabuo.
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/content/journals/10.1075/lplp.4.3.03pir
1980-01-01
2019-11-19
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  • Article Type: Research Article
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