SYRIZA

January 30, 2015 2:48 pm

Syriza-logoIn IATE you find among the entries on political bodies and parties an entry that will have now to be completed after the elections in Greece.

The full name of SYRIZA, the party that formed the new Greek government, has created all kinds of interpretations and misinterpretations during the pre-electoral period. In most languages their name is translated as something to the effect of “Coalition of the Radical Left”. The word “radical” in the title was interpreted in the different countries according to their political history and parties. In most countries it tends to be used as a synonym for “extreme”. Not in Greece though, where the word radical is a less radical term than in other languages.

Take for example the history of another major Greek party, the centre-right New Democracy. Its predecessor in the 1950s and 60s was called “National Radical Union”, using the same word (Ριζοσπαστική) for “radical” as SYRIZA. Far from a group of extremist outsiders, the National Radical Union was an establishment party that was in power for most of its existence. So unlike in other countries, it’s not unheard of for mainstream political parties in Greece to call themselves radical.

This goes to show that political terminology is always a challenge.

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A terminologist for the language in question will revise your answer and decide whether to validate them. Given the implications of the process, a delay is to be expected.

 

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