πολίτες

citizen, subject according to the dictionary, but one of those words, like λαός, which is highly culturally bound.  In the ILSP corpus it is the 471th most frequent lemma; in the bank of English, it is the 1785th.  Since the two corpora are not parallel, this point is indicative rather than conclusive.  (Don't forget that Πολίτης is also a proper name, and the computer does not know this.)  There are clearly cases where citizen and subject might be appropriate translations, and others where they are going to sound stilted or unnatural in English.

In the context of nationality, or relations with the state (κράτος), citizen is fine.  In other cases, where the sense is broader, the writer may not be not consciously thinking of two categories of citizens and non-citizens, and this is where the translator needs to think.  Compare these examples:

ο απλός Έλληνας πολίτης    the ordinary Greek (citizen)

ο απλός πολίτης   the ordinary member of the public

η κυβέρνηση δεν έχει ενημερώσει επαρκώς τον πολίτη [εδω δεν πρόκειται για υπηκοότητα - η κυβέρνηση δεν έχει σκοπό να εξαιρέσει τους ξένους που διαμένουν στην Ελλάδα] για το σημαντικό αυτό θέμα   The government has not kept the public sufficiently informed on this important matter.

η εύλογη απορία του πολίτη είναι    the obvious question, for the average person, ...

είναι δικαίωμα και καθήκον των ΜΜΕ να ενημερώνουν τον πολίτη, να καταγράφουν τα γεγονότα και να ασκούν κριτική  The media have a right and a responsibility to inform the public, to record events and to exercise criticism.

ήταν εντυπωσιακή η μαρτυρία πολίτη που θέλει να κρατήσει την ανωνυμία του  The testimony of a witness who wishes to remain anonymous is remarkable, OR, better, in terms of theme and rheme,  There was remarkable testimony from a witness who wishes to remain anonymous.

[Greek data from ILSP corpus; translations mine - PK]

More data, from the transcripts of the European parliament for 1996 (original languages unknown):

απλοί πολίτες people out there
χρειάζονται δικαιώματα ως απλοί πολίτες they need rights as private individuals
περιοχές όπου δεν είναι δυνατή η πρόσβαση για τους απλούς πολίτες parts which have become no-go areas for ordinary citizens
η ανησυχία μου αναφέρεται στους απλούς πολίτες της Κολομβίας my concern is with ordinary Colombians
αν οι τρομοκράτες χτυπήσουν ξανά αθώους πολίτες  if the terrorists strike at innocent people once again
ο φορολογούμενος ιρλανδός πολίτης the taxpayer in Ireland

You might also, if you think the sense is very general, consider the English words someone, anyone, everyone - cf the final sentence of this piece, which might be rendered as everyone, not just the government.  What do you think?

 

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