What Do Translators’ Professional Ethics Include?
Translation is more than just simply converting texts from one language to another. Specialists in any field have professional ethics to uphold, and translators are no exception. In their guide to obtaining credentials, NAATI, the national standards and accreditation body for translators and interpreters in Australia, list a number of general principles that every translator and interpreter should follow. For instance, these principles require professional translators to respect their clients’ right to privacy and confidentiality; disclose any real or perceived conflicts of interest; decline to undertake any work beyond their competence and level of accreditation; relay information accurately and impartially between parties, etc.
Every organization of translators and interpreters has its own rules and regulations which members have to follow. For example, the Society of Translators and Interpreters of British Columbia (STIBC) has established principles for professionals in BC. These requirements say that members should not make misleading statements about their level of proficiency; they should respect all copyrights and other intellectual property rights. In addition, they cannot use their professional role to perform functions that lie beyond the scope of a language professional. Violation of these regulations can negatively affect not only the quality of their work, but also their future career.
Furthermore, in today`s world of globalization, the concept of accountability is especially important in the career of a translator. Accountability means that translators and interpreters are responsible for the consequences of their behavior. Therefore, they need to think carefully about the decisions they make, both textual and non-textual. Finally, they also need to keep in mind that their choices can affect other people`s lives.
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