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Legal Language Harmonization System for Environment and Spatial Planning within the multilingual Alps



Lead Partner


Lead Partner Country


Project Website

Lexalp website


01/2005 - 02/2008

Date of Approval


Approx. Total Budget in €

1.892.596 €

ERDF in €

906.798 €

Project Summary

LexALP supports cross border cooperation by creating innovative approaches to harmonise multilingual legal terminologies needed to conceive and implement common visions for the balanced development of the Alps. Legal concepts being deeply rooted in their national systems, they often hinder supranational dialogue within and outside Alpine institutions (e.g. Alpine Convention). LexALP will develop ad hoc methods and tools to rationally compare 6 national legal systems (A, CH, F, D, I, SLO) and the international legal framework, compile quadrilingual terminologies (F, D, I, SLO) and harmonise them. So far, experiences in this field have focused on two languages/legal systems at a time and have not fully exploited I&CT potentials. Harmonised terms (to be officially validated, constantly updated and made freely available online) are bound to foster mutual understanding and economic development as well as the rise of a common Alpine culture. Methodologies could be adapted to other multilingual contexts of the enlarged EU and to minority languages.

Project Objectives

To provide a concrete answer to the ever increasing demand for efficient communication at supranational level by creating scientific and institutional networks of excellence, individuating efficient comparative methodologies and implementing innovative language tools and also disseminating acquired know-how and results. To elaborate quadrilingual term collections and term bank entries (with definitions, contexts etc.) to be examined by a Harmonising Group, which will consider translation equivalence and make counterproposals, if necessary, in order to obtain a set of terms carrying the same meaning in all 4 languages. To determine the most efficient strategies to carry out terminology and harmonisation activities on such a great number of legal systems and languages through an interdisciplinary team of experts working at different locations (hence, the project will also be an occasion to telework facilities for terminologists and translators). To adapt/develop computational linguistic tools (multilingual corpora, internet platform, automatic quadrilingual terminology extraction) to rationalise terminology work and offer online language services (automatic term translation, text annotation, information retrieval etc.) to a wider public. To disseminate the use of harmonized quadrilingual terminologies and language tools through the LexALp Information System, training courses for translators/interpreters and public officials dealing with cross-border matters, the publication of scientific papers, participation at conferences and the organisation of 1 international conference.

Project Achievements

The first workshop has been organised in Bolzano on 17th -18th February 2005; the 2nd Workshop (to be held in Grenoble on 19th-20th May 2005) is currently being organised. A common shared space on the internet (the LexALP archive) has been created; The first project phase is running, i. e. studying the different legal systems and their interaction with the international framework of the Alpine Convention, as well as the most recent developments in terminology and computational linguistics are being analysed with a view to optimizing project-related activities and adapting them to specific LexALP needs. A first general article on LexALP has been published on EURAC's scientific magazine Academia in March. (<http: /> )

Project Result Files


EU Project Partners

Autonomous Region Friuli Venezia Giulia - Department for International Relations and European Integration (Italy)
Dipartimento Affari Regionali - Presidenza del Consiglio dei Ministri (Italy)
Ministero dell’Ambiente e della Tutela del Territorio dello Stato Italiano - Direzione per la Ricerca Ambientale e lo Sviluppo (Italy)
Sprachen & Dolmetscher Institut (Germany)
UNIVERSITÉ JOSEPH FOURIER, Laboratoire Communication Langagière et Interaction Personne Systeme, Groupe d'Étude pour la Traduction Automatique (France)
Université Stendhal Grenoble 3, groupes de recherche GREMUTS (ILCEA, UFR de Langues) et LIDILEM (UFR de Sciences du langage) (France)

Non-EU Project Partners

Sektion Terminologie - Schweizerische Bundeskanzlei (Switzerland)

Contact Person

Ortner, Stephan

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© 2001-2006 INTERREG IIIB Alpine Space Programme
Community Initiative Programme funded by the European Regional Development Fund