Duvoisin and suffixation
Karlos del Olmo


The article includes the opinions of some of the speakers and members of the public who attended the "Administrative Language and Terminology Seminar" held in Vitoria-Gasteiz on June 8th-9th 1989 and which reflect certain problems which the translator must face both within the Government and in other sectors. Some of these problems refer to the need to make use of the possibilities offered by suffixation to form new terms and meanings, especially with reference to abstract ideas. The author offers examples of the words which Duvoisin used in his translation of the Bible (Gospel according to Saint Matthew, in this case). On the other hand, he draws our attention to the lack of a single set of criteria in the different governments which resort to this type of translation and the need to make more exhaustive studies in the use of suffixes and affixes. He points out the fundamental role which the Bible and religious literature have played in the Basque Country, as they are the only texts which many Basques have read. On the other hand, in the cultural patrimony of this country, the Bible has been the only contact with erudite language. Given that on many occasions the Bible contains certain standards closely related with western legal tradition standards which, on the other hand, remain in the collective unconsciousness of normal speakers- it seems appropriate to make an in-depth study of the "judicial governmental" terminology included in translations (total or partial) of the Bible.