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Jargon

The main problem for anybody working in the EU environment is realising what counts as jargon. This includes staff in the institutions and writers in the private sector who tend to reuse the jargon from the EU source texts.

 

Working in the EU environment can make you jargon-blind. We might all recognise e.g. subsidiarity or countervailing duties as technical jargon - but EU language is full of many less obvious jargon terms, influenced (especially) by legal/diplomatic terminology. For example, when did you last negotiate your accession to a gym or sports club, or go on holiday to a third country?

And in English - the original language of most web texts - there is the extra problem of false friends, mostly from French.

For a list of jargon examples, see

 
 

Tips

Administrative/technical jargon

Wrong approach

Correct approach

Provisions regulating the carriage of goods

Law on transporting goods

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Fashionable business/political jargon

Wrong approach

Correct approach

mainstreaming

enshrining/anchoring in law and practice, establishing across the board, in all policies

Community added value

where EU action can help / be effective (or useful)

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Elaborate expressions

Use simple language when possible. Here are some examples below and you can see other examples on Simple and direct language in English.

Wrong approach

Correct approach

in the field / area / framework of

in

primarily due to the fact that

mainly because

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Legal style

Wrong approach

Correct approach

failure to comply shall result in the levying of a penalty
(hides who's doing what to whom)

if you do not comply, we will impose a penalty on you

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Uncommon foreign terms (e.g. Latin)

Wrong approach

Correct approach

inter alia

e.g.
also: among other things, one of the things is, such as, for example, including - or consider leaving out completely

 

 

 

Prefer interesting/natural alternatives (journalistic style) to standard EU phraseology

Wrong approach

Correct approach

adopt

roll out, accept, approve

obtain information on

find out about