LANGUAGES OF THE LAW IN THE POLISH-LITHUANIAN COMMONWEALTH (FROM XVI TO XVIII CENTURY) FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATION AND TRANSLATION PRACTICES

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Irena SZCZEPANKOWSKA

Abstract

In the period from XVI to XVIII century Poland (the Kingdom of Poland at that time) was united with Lithuania (i.e. the Grand Duchy of Lithuania) by a political union, which formed a state named ― the Commonwealth of the Two Nations. In reality the country united numerous population groups of a variety of social, national and confession statuses; and speaking various languages. Those communities were governed by diverse common law systems and regulations originating from feudal rulers, provided in a large number of group and individual ―privileges‖.During the long period of creating the union of the nations and evolution of the political system, which aimed at constituting the so-called Nobles' Republic, significant local diversities in the area of legal culture, particularly in the political, economic and social dimension, had to be eliminated. A crucial factor in alleviating unification processes of legal standards and institutions and gaining social acceptance for them was, however, respecting certain cultural differences, and especially the attachment of the citizens to a particular language code, also in the official and legal sphere. The intensive codification activities required special sensitivity on the rulers' part, as well as thecompetence of cultural élites to solve problems of the communication and translation nature. The purpose of the Author is to present the complex language-related situation in the context of the legal culture forming at that time – also under the influence of Pan-European codification efforts – which became strongly entrenched in the consciousness and daily practice of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth's citizens. It is also a historical phenomenon which deserves attention from the point of view of contemporary aims and problems of the multi-national European community.

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How to Cite
SZCZEPANKOWSKA, I. (2010). LANGUAGES OF THE LAW IN THE POLISH-LITHUANIAN COMMONWEALTH (FROM XVI TO XVIII CENTURY) FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATION AND TRANSLATION PRACTICES. Comparative Legilinguistics, 3, 119-133. https://doi.org/10.14746/cl.2010.3.12.
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